Professional selling center plans fall workshop, competitions

August 21, 2013  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University's Center for Professional Selling will launch its fall sales competitions with a workshop designed to prepare students for the upcoming job fair season.

The center, a part of the Department of Consumer Science in the College of Health and Human Sciences, is open to all Purdue students interested in careers in professional sales. Started in 2010, it helps students develop practical skills in all aspects of selling and sales management.

"Professional selling is a fast-growing segment in business," said Chris Kowal, assistant professor of consumer science and director of the center. "Our goal with our workshops and competitions is to help students work on the skills in demand, including communications, consumer behavior, customer relations, sales management and marketing."

The Aug. 28 career fair workshop will be sponsored by Coyote Logistics, a transportation and logistics service provider.

Coyote staffers will be available at three stations where students can get résumé critiques, practice interviewing and give elevator pitches.

The fair will be from 1:30-4 p.m. in Stewart Center Room 322.

Sponsored sales competitions during the fall semester include PepsiCo, Sept. 18; Northwestern Mutual, Sept. 25; AT&T, Oct. 23; and Victaulic, Nov. 6.

Some of the competitions will be multiple-day events with opportunities for students to learn more about the companies. PepsiCo will host an information session Sept. 4 that will include Purdue chefs preparing appetizers using Frito-Lay snacks.

Northwestern Mutual will bring in one of its managing directors, Jamie Asher, a former National Football League player, to talk to students Sept. 16 about wealth management for athletes.

"We're fortunate that these companies are willing to make the time and effort to help our students prepare for their careers," Kowal said.

Danielle Liparoto, Coyote Logistics corporate recruiter, said, "Partnering with organizations like Purdue Center for Professional Selling gives us access to top talent and a chance to build strong relationships with students. The center has been a creative partner in helping us design activities that benefit students."

For more information on the Center for Professional Selling, contact Jane E. Anderson, associate director, at 765-494-7860,

Writer: Judith Barra Austin, 765-494-2432,

Sources: Chris Kowal, 765-494-9245,

Jane E. Anderson, 765-494-7860,

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