The site of the 2016 Pi Sigma Epsilon Western Regional Pro-Am Sell-A-Thon moved south to San Diego, but the result for the College of Business Administration’s chapter was the same as last: The top two spots belonged to its members.
Third-year marketing management student Jessica Rockwell took top honors at Sell-A-Thon, held Oct. 21-22, where students sold Liberty Mutual group benefits to judges taking on the role of executives from Falcon Data Services.
“It felt like all of the preparation paid off,” Rockwell says. “Going from second place last year to first place this year, it definitely tells me that I’ve grown as a soon-to-be sales professional.”
Pi Sigma Epsilon chapters from six universities including UCLA and UC Berkley attended the event. Rockwell’s last hurdle to a Sell-A-Thon victory was fifth-year marketing management student Kevin Schroyer in the all-Bronco final round.
Rockwell and Schroyer were in a group of students that spent a quarter with UPS sales executives preparing for the 2015 nationals. The extra work proved beneficial when the 2016 regionals arrived a month earlier than usual.
“They gave us the scenario three weeks before the competition,” Rockwell says. “It was such short notice – we had two sessions with Dr. Oakley and then it was competition time.”
Marketing Professor Jared Oakley is Pi Sigma Epsilon’s faculty advisor and played the judge’s role while students refined their 12-minute sales pitches. He also accompanied the eight representatives from Cal Poly Pomona on the trek south to San Diego.
Regional winners received roundtrip airfare to the the organization’s national convention as well as a complimentary registration packet and recognition at the convention. For finishing second, Schroyer was awarded a complimentary registration packet to nationals and a ceremonial recognition.
In addition to runner-up on the mainstage in the Sell-A-Thon, Schroyer was part of the winning marketing competition team where he and two CSU Fullerton students had two hours to create a full marketing plan for a start-up company with a $1 million budget.
“This year, we wanted to focus on being top performers at these competitions,” Schroyer says. “Whether it’s the faculty helping us train or our students being really motivated, winning and continuing to win means we’re doing something right.”
Schroyer says prior to the recent resurgence, Cal Poly Pomona’s Pi Sigma Epsilon chapter was a dominant force on the national level during the ‘80s and ‘90s. The organization’s president, Ryan Singelyn, advanced to the semifinal round of the Sell-A-Thon to make three of the four competition finalists students from the CBA.
“Our organization started on the East Coast because that’s where all the sales-focused schools are,” Schroyer says. “That’s why going to these competitions and winning is a good thing. We want to become the west’s premier sales school so the best companies come and cherry-pick our students – that’s the goal.”