Sophomore Sentiments: Using real skills in competition

matt_WEBI am honored to be a part of Rider University’s newly initiated Pi Sigma Epsilon Zeta Psi Chapter. From April 8-13, we stood out at our first Nationals in Miami, Fla. Moreover, we made great strides and set standards for our own chapter in the Pro-Am Sales Competition, Recruitment Fair Challenge and Case Study Competition.
Along with my chapter, I had the opportunity to compete against 500 other Pi Sigma Epsilon (PSE) members at Nationals. I had to utilize the skills that I learned from working with PSE sales trainers to craft an effective 12-minute sales pitch for Multiview’s Targeted Campaigns. The objective was to successfully close the deal, walking away with a check from the client. It may have seemed like a daunting task to role-play with sales professionals from Multiview, but it put me in a real-world environment. Where else could I obtain such distinct training and receive feedback prior to entering the workforce? All six of us competed against more than 150 students. Junior sociology and psychology major Rachael Nissim placed in the top 30.
I was very fortunate to be accompanied by my fellow delegates including: Eric Marion, a senior double major in entrepreneurship and finance; Jon Sanchez, a senior marketing major; Nissim; Devon Downs, a sophomore double major in marketing and economics; and Andrew Gordon, a freshman double major in marketing and public relations.
Afterward, our team competed in a Case Study Competition sponsored by GEICO. We had less than 24 hours to craft a marketing strategy for GEICO and its affinity program. This competition allowed the team to use classroom skills in a real-world context. According to our judge, we took second place in the first round of competition, so we did not advance to the final round. I felt the team performed extraordinarily well in our first national marketing challenge, and we look to place next year at nationals.
During the fall regional conferences, our team was mixed into inter-chapter teams and each group used its marketing skills to create a new marketing plan for Southwestern Advantage. Sanchez’s team was one of five finalists for the Regional Conference Marketing Challenge Award acknowledged at Nationals.
Freshman delegate Andrew Gordon brought our school to the leaderboard when he was one of eight to be recognized as a PSE 2014 Future Leader. He is now part of the PSE 2014 Future Leaders Team. This scholarship consists of a PSE National Convention registration ($275) and a $100 travel stipend to attend the National Convention. I can duly note that I was deeply impressed that Andrew had won the award in our first year in the competition. I know he will continue to lead PSE for the remaining three years.
Each year the National Scholarship Committee awards about $40,000 in scholarships at the PSE National Convention. This year the National Scholarship Committee selected 38 finalists out of 97 scholarship applications. Of the awards given, the memorial scholarships were the most prestigious and most difficult to obtain. I was honored to be the recipient of the Whan Memorial Scholarship; it was relieving to know that hard work does pay off.
Our team this year set the precedent for our future participation in PSE conferences. Since this is our first year as a chapter, we put Rider on the map on a national level. This rewarding experience will help pave the way for many future accolades for Rider’s PSE.
PSE has allowed me to build connections with recruiters from Fortune 500 companies, strengthened the effectiveness of my sales pitches and case study strategies, and offered me internship opportunities that will transform into full-time positions at graduation. If you would like the same, contact Nissin at nissinr@rider.edu or myself at kolbuszm@rider.edu.

-Matthew Kolbusz
Sophomore marketing and advertising double major

Printed in the 4/23/14 edition.

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