By Jane Bowden
A team of six business students won first place in AT&T’s National Sales Competition in Dallas on Oct. 19.
The team beat out 30 other highly-competitive schools, winning scholarship money, professional opportunities and a $10,000 check toward the College’s School of Business.
The nationwide competition was divided into two parts. The first round of the contest was a virtual conference in late September, where the team presented a sales pitch for AT&T’s business solutions via webcam to a group of AT&T employees who acted as prospective buyers from a mock insurance company called Right Claim.
Impressing the judges with their selling skills, the team of students moved onto the second round along with 11 other colleges.
The second round of the contest included a free trip to AT&T’s global headquarters in Dallas from Oct. 18 to Oct. 20. The students then had to present their pitches at an in-person meeting, where they ultimately won the competition.
The participants included senior finance major Emily Bowen, junior marketing majors Victoria Presser and Alden Racz, sophomores Austhon Manalac, a biology major, Matthew Nisi, a marketing major, and freshman finance major Justin Figueroa. The team was led by Professor Aniefre Eddie Inyang who teaches marketing at the College.
Throughout the competition, the students were determined to win, practicing their sales pitch dozens of times before and during the week of the competition.
“I feel the strongest key to success is preparation, and my teammates and I spent quality time preparing with Professor Inyang in order to perform our best in the competition,” Racz said. “I thought we were very prepared which allowed us to relax and have fun in both rounds.”
Still, the students with various degrees of experience were surprised to rank above the rest of the competition, who were formal sales teams.
“I felt we did our absolute best, and while I was confident in our performance I did not expect to win” Bowen said. “The entire competition itself was an incredible experience –– winning was truly a bonus.
For Inyang, who started teaching at the College last year, the results of the competition only proved to be a well-deserved award for his student’s hard work.
“I’m so happy for the students,” Inyang said. “This win is a good example that bigger is not always better and hopefully will be a precursor of many more successes in other competitions in the future.”