Sales program among the best in the nation

Contact: Mark Schwerin
Photo of Dr. Stephen .


KALAMAZOO—A foundation promoting the sales profession and sales education has ranked the Western Michigan University Sales and Business Marketing Program among the best in the nation and has awarded three WMU students national scholarships.

The Sales Education Foundation annually ranks programs and selects those that demonstrate a strong sales curriculum and university recognition and support, as well as the opportunity for experiential learning, such as internships. The top programs were listed in the organization's annual publication, Sales Education Annual.

WMU's Haworth College of Business was one of four schools in Michigan and 65 schools nationally meeting those requirements.

Student scholarship winners

Of the foundation's 10 recently announced scholarship recipients, three are WMU students: Rebecca Hard of Coldwater, Mich., Brian Little of Kalamazoo, Mich., and Joseph Russell of Saline, Mich. The students answered questions highlighting measurable differences a sales education makes for students and their employers.

The scholarships, each worth $1000, were awarded to students from a total of seven universities. Michigan State University, with one recipient, was the only other school in Michigan with a scholarship winner. Other schools with a scholarship winner included Northern Illinois University, the University of Cincinnati with two winners, the University of Houston and the University of Washington.

Sales majors small in number

"There are a relatively small number of universities that formally offer sales as a major," says Dr. Stephen Newell, WMU professor of sales and business marketing. "At many institutions, sales is offered via sales-related classes or as a concentration. Offering the program as a major lends greater credibility to a student's degree."

Newell works with Dr. Jim Eckert, associate professor of sales and business marketing, industry partners and alumni to evaluate the program, course offerings and employment opportunities for students to continually upgrade and improve the program.

"We are proud of the quality and the success of our SBM program as measured by our students recently placing in the top five in national sales competitions," says Eckert, "and by the employability of our job-ready graduates and their professional accomplishments."