As many companies look for innovative ways to navigate the challenging current economic environment, many have chosen to partner with Bryant and deepen their engagement with the University, seeing opportunities for business growth by supporting experiential learning opportunities that prepare students for the new professional landscape.
In a year when many events have moved online out of necessity, Bryant’s recent ninth annual Northeast Intercollegiate Sales Competition (NISC) embraced the new reality of a remote business environment, highlighting students’ interpersonal and communication skills to effectively close sales and conduct business in our new work paradigm.
“The amount of networking among students, faculty and employers was exciting and impressive, with several students making more than 100 connections during the three days, and that will certainly lead to many interviews and job offers.”
More than 150 students representing 24 schools from throughout the U.S. and Canada competed in the three-day competition and met employers from some of the best sales organizations in the nation. Carousel Industries, presenting sponsor for NISC 2020, provided the sales case and collaborated with Bryant to coordinate the competition and provide program development support. For the first time, the event was entirely virtual, but NISC’s Founder and Director Stefanie Boyer, Ph.D., Professor of Marketing at Bryant, saw significant value added for students and sponsoring companies in this year’s transition to an online format.
“The future of sales will include a virtual component and the event went even better than we expected, particularly from a relationship-building perspective,” Boyer said. “The amount of networking among students, faculty and employers was exciting and impressive, with several students making more than 100 connections during the three days, and that will certainly lead to many interviews and job offers.”
The tournament-style competition includes role-playing, with competitors conducting a 10-minute sales meeting with a fictional company, and speed selling, featuring 60-second elevator pitches from each student to a company representative explaining why they should be hired. Skill-building sessions provided participants opportunity to enhance their selling approach and showcase and strengthen their interpersonal and persuasive communication abilities.
“The competition provided me with valuable experience that is extremely hard to come by at my age,” said Bryant marketing student Kyle Rosa ’21 in a LinkedIn post about his NISC experience. The Bryant team finished fifth in the overall sales competition among 24 schools, with the University of Central Florida taking the top prize.
Sponsor companies network, recruit
While NISC offered students a unique experiential learning opportunity to build and refine their sales skills, employees from 12 sponsoring companies served as volunteers to evaluate role-plays and judge competitions. NISC sponsors saw unique value and many upgraded their involvement this year, making the most of structured time to engage with students through networking and gaining access to a recruitment pipeline for emerging sales talent.
Carousel Industries sees their involvement with Bryant as a smart investment. “We couldn’t be more thrilled with the interactive, educational, and fun experience that NISC was able to deliver this year,” said Gille Halle, Director of Inside Sales at Carousel Industries. “We are grateful for the opportunity to engage with talented and ambitious young sales leaders from top colleges and universities across North America.”
Learn more about sponsorship and recruitment opportunities at nisc.bryant.edu/