Matthew Mazzella ’20
On Feb. 27, Providence College hosted its first ever Sales Showcase in the Arthur F. and Patricia Ryan Center for Business Studies.
Dr. Ronald Jelinek, associate professor of marketing, organized the event so PC students could start making professional connections, especially for students interested in sales. The participating companies included 3BL Media, Dell EMC, EverQuote, Toast, HubSpot, Western Digital, CyberArk, and Oracle NetSuite.
Jelinek credits the close connection with former sales students as well as strong industry ties for the success of the inaugural event.
The event had a massive turnout and exceeded all expectations. In total, 150 students pre-registered for the event, and many more showed up at the door to learn more about what was being offered on campus.
When he first arrived at PC in 2005, Jelinek’s mission was to improve the sales curriculum, and he has done just that during his time in Friartown.
Jelinek stated “When I arrived, the department did not have any regularly-offered sales courses and few students were graduating with the goal of pursuing a career in professional selling. I set out to develop two business-to-business (b2b) sales courses—MKT 310 (Personal Selling) and MKT 311 (Sales Management)—when I arrived here. Each of these courses were first offered just once per academic year, but as interest in and student demand for the courses grew, the marketing department gradually increased the number of sections offered. We now graduate 80-90 students per year who have taken at least one of the two sales courses, and many of these students go on to pursue careers in b2b sales.”
Ryan Gallahue ’20 believed the event was a huge success and provided him with opportunities and connections that can really help him down the road.
Gallahue said, “It was really helpful to have another opportunity to meet employers on campus. It gave me a better sense of what I want to do in the future, especially by participating in the open forum held by sales alumni. I made some really strong connections here and gained great professional advice, and I hope that it could lead to a job opportunity in the future.”
Jelinek is excited for the future after seeing all the success from this program. He believes “building upon our College’s commitment to transform lives, develop minds and souls and motivate a quest for truth, our sales program provides an opportunity for graduates to stand for integrity and virtue and sell for success. Today’s world needs this and companies which have recruited from us for years have long-understood this: we generate grads who know the sales process really well, but there is something else in our secret sauce. The showcase gave these eight new organizations a glimpse of that. Friars are different, and that is the way we like it.”
The marketing department at the college believes this is a step in the right direction in terms of not only enhancing student-alumni relations, but also in building upon the career education that takes place on campus.
There are never enough opportunities that can be given to college students looking for career advice and job offerings, and the Sales Showcase is another way for Friars to get their feet in the doors and help enhance their career paths.