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NIU sales students get executive treatment at Enterprise

Students on the #NIUSalesBus got a taste of life in the C-Suite on Days 3 and 4 of their adventure.

Wednesday included a visit to the board room of Enterprise Holdings, parent company of Enterprise Rent-a-car, Alamo-rent-a-car and several others, where they were introduced to the company’s CEO Pamela Nicholson.

Later they were treated to breakfast as they learned about what life at the company is like for new employees. Later they participated in a webinar with a representative from LinkedIn who told the students how to get the most out of their online professional profile. They also got a lesson on how to make the most of their first paycheck, as well as a lesson on the importance of maintaining a good credit score.

From there it was on to the bus for a road trip to Indianapolis, where the students got a night on their own to explore the Indiana capitol.enterprise

The next morning the group was up with the sun (actually, before the sun) for a meeting with May 2014 NIU alum David Eble, a sales coordinator for White Lodging, which is the parent company for several major hotel chains across the country including the Marriott chain.

He answered questions about his day-to-day role as a sales manager and spoke about his experiences relocating to Indianapolis – all of which have been positive. Students, many of whom knew Eble from his days at NIU, grilled him about the finer points of sales in the hospitality industry and his experiences getting settled in a new town.

“They were asking great questions about the nitty-gritty points of selling in the hospitality business,” said Eble, who added that the preparation he got in the NIU Professional Sales Program had given him an edge as he entered the work world. “Coming into the job I had a lot of confidence and that has been a huge advantage.”

Later in the day students got another lesson in finances thanks to a representative from Northwestern Mutual who walked them through the importance of various types of insurance, including life, health and auto insurance.

Wednesday concluded with a reception hosted by White Lodging executives, where another NIU alum stopped by – NFL quarterback Chandler Harnish, who relocated to Indianapolis to start his football career.

Thursday it was on to Eli Lilly, which many students deemed the most impressive of all of the corporate headquarters they visited – which was an impressive list. Students again met with alums of the NIU Professional Sales Program who shared tales of life as a pharmaceutical salesman.

Later in the day, representatives from the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce did their best to convince the NIU students that they should start their professional lives in the heart of the Hoosier state.

The trip concluded Friday with a trip to a the White Lodging corporate headquarters (and test kitchens!) in Merrillville, Ind.