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New biz program promotes sales and leadership skills

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A&T’s School of Business, Economics and Transportation has introduced a new certification program that offers seniors internships in sales and leadership positions.

The name of this initiative is the Frontline Sales and Leadership Program. Professors and students alike are very excited about the commencement of the program.

“The Sales and Leadership Program is an interdisciplinary program designed to provide students with the opportunity to better prepare themselves for career success in customer-contact leadership positions such as sales and customer service,” said Dr. Jacqueline Williams, Associate Professor and member of the 3M Frontline Initiative.

3M is a diversified technology company serving customers and communities with innovative products and services. Each of their seven businesses has earned leading global market positions.

Through the Frontline Partnership innovative curricula and student internships are offered. The 3M Frontline Initiative Summer Internship Program is a ten week assignment that offers qualified students a unique opportunity to sell for one of the

divisions of the company, as stated on the School of Business and Economics website.

“Sales is important to everyone, regardless to whether one is persuing a career in sales or not because everything we do begins with selling one’s self,” said Dr. Edna Ragins, chairperson of the Business Administration Department. “If you’re trying to get a job, get into school or just make a favorable impression, what that involves is selling one’s self. If a person can learn how to effectively sell him/her self, that will contribute to that person’s success.”

There are a total of 9 schools participating in the program. Each school has partnered with the 3M Company to offer education in sales, though A&T is one of few

putting sales education at the undergraduate level.

“Curriculum development was started to enhance the courses offered to specifically focus on the skills and competencies needed for our students to fill high-level customer contact positions such as field sales, inside sales, and customer service jobs,” said Williams.

“Many recruiters are excited that we are enhancing the curriculum to focus on skills for frontline customer contact positions. The Professional selling course is an elective course that can be taken by any student if the prerequisite principles of marketing course is taken. Within the marketing major we have put together a series of five courses that would constitute a sales concentration. We also have a certificate program called the Customer Relationship Marketing and Management Certificate that is open to any major,” added Williams.

Dealings with the 3M Company began in 2001 after Williams completed a summer faculty internship. Every year following students have been placed in the Sales

Internship Program. The positions they hold are in field sales, inside sales jobs, and sales training programs in various areas such as computer technology, health care, office

products, industrial business, broadcasting, and safety products.

Rickey Bennet, Senior Marketing major from Raleigh, North Carolina said, “My internship gave me experience with the industrial business sector. I worked with household appliances and factory strength tapes and adhesives. I was involved with testing the products to help make the company more money and the process more efficient. I traveled to Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana, and Kentucky. Overall it was a great experience and I met great people.”

  • Ashley Johnson
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