Rangers Bring Home the Hardware

Published: April 28, 2015

Four awards bring university's total to 30 since '09

Graduating M.B.A. students Joe Fullington and Vivek Shetty brought home four awards, a UW-Parkside record, in the graduate division at the 17th Annual National Collegiate Sales Competition April 7-10 at Kennesaw State University, in Georgia.

Fullington and Shetty's honors raise UW-Parkside's award total at national sales and marketing competitions to an even 30 since 2009. Teams from 68 colleges and universities competed this year at Kennesaw State. However, UW-Parkside team coach and Business Professor Dr. Peter Knight said fewer universities entered the graduate division. "Partly because it is a newer division," Knight said, "but also because of the intense preparation for three rounds of competition." 

In the M.B.A. competition, students make a sales presentation on ADP payroll and HR services to industry buyers based on cases provided months in advance. The sales presentations are evaluated by a team of six judges from industry and academia. 

Award winners in the M.B.A. Division:

  • Round 1 - Needs Assessment (individual) 1. UW-Parkside (Shetty); 2. Texas State; 3. Central Missouri

  • Round 2 - Presentation and Business Commitment (team) 1. Central Missouri; 2. UW-Parkside (Fullington and Shetty); 3. Vrelick (Belgium);

  • Round 3 - Customer Care and Upsell 1. Central Missouri; 2. UW-Parkside (Fullington); 3. Bloomsburg

  • Overall Team 1. Central Missouri 2. UW Parkside 3. Texas State

Knight credited UW-Parkside undergraduate competitors Cierra Miller (spring 2015 graduate) and Tara Knapstein (junior) with outstanding performances in what was acknowledged by many as the toughest and most competitive National Collegiate Sales Competition ever. Knapstein barely missed a quarterfinal plaque in the opening round, a very impressive feat for a first-time sales competitor who has yet to start her sales certificate curriculum. 

"Tara has a tremendous future in sales and marketing," Knight said. "She's poised to be one of UW Parkside's top sales competitors."

Miller, who also serves as president of the UW-Parkside chapter of the American Marketing Association, gained a similar result to Knapstein and earned a number of interview requests from competition sponsors. "The event is a great way for talented students to get in front of key people who have career opportunities to offer," Knight said. "Cierra will likely have a number of excellent job offers as a spring 2015 graduate." 

The strong effort of the Rangers' undergraduate team comfortably ensured UW-Parkside's eligibility for the 2016 competition. "Our success is a team effort," Knight said. "Undergraduate coaches Jim McPhaul [Small Business Development Center director] and Kyle Hagemann [2011 UW-Parkside graduate and record-setting sales competitor] devoted tireless commitment to the success of our students." 

Knight also acknowledged UW-Parkside alumni Sarah Porter and Troy Woodrow, along with many industry professionals for their efforts in helping prepare the Parkside competitors. 
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