WMU students earn top honors at national sales competition

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Photo of Greta Lorr and Aaron Anuszkiewicz with their scholarship checks.

Lorr and Anuszkiewicz with their scholarship checks

KALAMAZOO—Two Western Michigan University students have earned top honors in a national sales competition, jointly securing more than $10,000 in scholarships and landing WMU a second-place finish.

Greta Lorr, a senior sales and business marketing student from Jackson, Mich., took second place overall in the 2013 State Farm Marketing and Sales Competition held at the University of Central Missouri in November. In addition, Lorr placed second in the sales role-play category.

Aaron Anuszkiewicz, a junior sales and business marketing student, also from Jackson, Mich., took third place overall and earned first place in the marketing presentation category.

"What a fantastic way to showcase the quality of our sales and business marketing students and their skills," says Dr. Kelley O'Reilly, assistant professor of marketing and coach of the students at the event. "Greta and Aaron certainly put our university in the spotlight and generated a great deal of positive buzz for WMU's Sales and Business Marketing program. I am extremely proud of their preparation, performance and professionalism."

The competition

The State Farm Marketing and Sales Competition brings together high-performing marketing and sales students for a competition consisting of two primary components: an integrated marketing communications plan presentation and two sales role-plays based on scenarios involving the sale of auto insurance to fictional young adult buyers. After the role-plays, the top four students compete in a final round. Overall winners for the event were determined by combining each student's scores.

'Exhilarating and amazing'

Lorr's second place overall finish and individual award now make her one of the most decorated sales and business marketing students in the program’s history.

"Competing in the 2013 State Farm Marketing and Sales Competition was not only exhilarating, but so much fun," says Lorr. "I could not have asked for a better coach and team to compete with. The greatest challenge for me was just overcoming the nerves and remembering to rely on the structure and preparation we put in up until the competition in order for us to execute, and we executed, mistake-free. The best aspect of the competition is knowing that we went, did our best and have no regrets looking back."

Taking first in the marketing presentation and third overall was an honor for Anuszkiewicz.

"The experience of competing was amazing," he says. "It was great to take skills that I learned in the classroom and compare them with those of students from across the nation. The best aspect of the competition for me was the chance to represent my school and, more specifically, the sales and business marketing major in the Haworth College of Business. I have received so much from my professors and because of them have been able to enhance my knowledge, skills and ability to succeed."

WMU's second-place overall finish placed the institution ahead of competitors from University of Central Missouri, University of Missouri, University of Houston, Duquesne, Louisiana State University, Texas State University, University of Oregon, University of Southern California and Wake Forest University. After only two years competing at this event, this is the second time WMU has claimed a spot on the podium.

About the major

The sales and business marketing major has an intense sales-focused curriculum and prepares graduates to start their careers in professional sales and business marketing. The sales and business marketing major at WMU is considered one of the best sales programs in the country and has been named a "Top University Sales Program" by the Sales Education Foundation each year for the past eight years and is rated the No. 2 program in the country by education-portal.com.