The first two days for students on the road with the #NIUSalesBus were a flurry of activity.
After a Monday morning send-off from Dean Denise Schoenbachler, and Chair of Marketing Geoff Gordon, the 24 students from the NIU Professional Sales Program settled in for a four-and-a-half hour ride to St. Louis, but there was no idle time. The students analyzed the results of tests that analyzed their strengths, listened to a presentation of steps they should take during their last semester on campus and viewed a video on dining etiquette.
The last bit of business came in handy during the evening when the students were hosted at a reception by McKesson, a medical supply maker that annually processes more transactions that Amazon and Google…combined. The company is one of the top level sponsors of NIU’s nationally respected sales program. There students listened to NIU alumni employed in sales by the company, learning first-hand about the life of a professional sales person.
On Tuesday, the students spent the morning meeting with a group of three NIU alumni who launched their careers at McKesson.
“We spoke about career paths at McKesson and how important it is for your upward mobility to be willing to relocate,” said Chareen Bogner, an account manager at McKesson who graduated from NIU’s Professional Sales Program in 2012.
The students also heard from representatives from the St. Louis Chamber of Commerce who touted the virtues of their city and provided information on housing and about services available to help make a move to St. Louis easier.
Bogner, who herself recently moved to St. Louis, said that she and her counterparts were impressed by the NIU students, and by the experience they were being afforded by the class.
“There wasn’t one non-student at either if the events that didn’ say that they wished they had had an opportunity like this when they were in school,” Bogner said. “I think students learn much better in a real world environment and they really benefitted from being able to come into our work environment and speak to people in the field.”
While the students soaked up information like sponges, the part of the day that really made an impression came Tuesday night when the class was welcomed as guests of Enterprise (the car rental giant) in their sky box at the Scottrade Center to watch the St. Louis Blues take on the L.A. Kings. Students mingled with Enterprise executives, many of whom they might see again when the traveled to the company’s headquarters Wednesday.