Sales Institute to bring jobs to campus

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When asked what the Sales Institute of Excellence will offer students, Professor of Marketing James Pletier spelled it out, “J-O-B-S.”

Since its approval in February, the Institute has established certification programs in collaboration with almost 20 companies, which want students to fill jobs and internships.

The Institute begins instruction at 4:30 p.m. today in Hyland 1000.

The first few meetings this semester will be for the financial services sales certificate, which costs $20.

Anyone, regardless of major, can attend and hear the first half of the presentation for free.

Paid participants will sit down with industry professionals from Federated Insurance, Northwestern Mutual and U.S. Bank. They will also be offered free pizza and upon earning a certificate will receive their money back.

Peltier

Peltier, who is also the director of the Institute, said they charge students initially because it’s important for them to have an incentive to complete the program. He said that participation rates tend to drop off if there is, “no skin in the game.”

“A big concern for graduates is can they find a job,” Pletier said. “We put students in an environment with businesses that want to hire them.”

Peltier said companies will offer students jobs and internships through the institute before they are posted anywhere else. He said it’s becuase businesses want to hire students so badly that they have even covered the costs of the certifications.

The Institute will offer three certifications for the 2012-2013 school year. Peltier said they are aggressively expanding the number of internships and certifications that will be offered next year.

Dean of the College of Busi-

 

ness and Economics, Chris Clements, said the institute is a great opportunity for students to learn skill sets outside of the classroom.

“We promise our students rigorous academics with applied experiences; that’s the hallmark of

Whitewater,” Clements said. “This brings tremendous value to the college and gives students the opportunity to engage with the business community.”

When asked if concerned about the level of involvement with businesses, Clements said they are not promising students to companies. She said the Institute is a means of offering real-world experience and that the college’s mission is, “to educate first and foremost.”

President of the Institute and UW-Whitewater’s AMA chapter, Austin Durham, sat down with business executives to establish the content for the certificates.

He said another reason for students to consider the Institute is to develop valuable personal skills.

Durham said speculation for the recent drop-off in enrollment of sales classes is the use of new technology. He said the underlying basics of marketing might be lost on new students and that a face-to-face element is essential.

“Some people don’t want to go outside of their norm and prefer to talk online or on the phone,” Durham said. “Sometimes you just have to open the door; you might get kicked out, but you have to do it.”

Kate Dodge grahic

Vice President of the Institute, Katelyn Herlache, said students can expect to get more than their money’s worth in the certification programs.

Herlache said things such as job shadowing and internships are great for students, and will take them outside of the classroom.

“The connections that you can make with businesses and the knowledge you gain are worth the time,” Herlache said.

Anyone interested in finding out more can contanct Peltier at [email protected] or can visit the Institute’s website at www.uww.edu/cobe/sales.