Senior Matthew Sleister’s real-world experience as an intern at Sandhills Publishing in Lincoln provides him with a head start on his career. On campus, Sleister enhances an already robust educational experience as a management major with a certificate from the Center for Sales Excellence at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Business Administration.
The certificate program teaches students how to sell themselves to employers, how to pitch ideas and how to enhance their communication skills. Both business and non-business major students earn the certificate by taking 13 credit hours of required coursework.
“The sales certificate program has been a great way to expand my education,” Sleister said. “It really focuses on what we are going to do specifically in sales, and it relates a lot more towards what we are going to be doing after graduation.”
Sleister decided to become a part of the initial group to go through the program after hearing about it during a marketing class. A group of about 10 students, including Sleister, composed the first group to enter the program.
“It was nice because everyone in the class knew each other, which is kind of weird for a large university,” Sleister said. “Chad Mardesen (assistant professor in practice in marketing) did a great job teaching. He provided real-life examples. We didn’t just learn in class, but also out-of-class and network events were made available.”
His sales certificate experience is already paying dividends through the opportunities made available to him.
In December Sleister, along with fellow CBA student Audrey Pawol, was awarded the 2015-16 National Research Corporation (NRC) Rising Stars Scholarship. NRC awards the scholarship to two UNL students with an interest in business development, marketing and entrepreneurship. As a junior he was one of two students chosen to represent CBA at the 17th Annual National Collegiate Sales Competition at Kennesaw State (Georgia) University.
Sleister wants to continue his career in sales after graduation, and the sales certificate from CBA gives him a push in the right direction. He graduates in May.
“It’s just given me so many opportunities, such as the ability to network with people around Lincoln and beyond,” Sleister said. “(At Kennesaw State) we were able to network a lot and got some job offers without interviewing, just by being associated with the sales certificate program. I’ve said to anybody who has reached out to me that they should definitely do it.”
For more information on the Center for Sales Excellence, visit cba.unl.edu/salescenter