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Sales Certificate Recipients Find Direction in Selling

Sales Certificate Recipients Find Direction in Selling
Sales certificate recipients pose with faculty for a group photo after the awards ceremony.
University of Nebraska–Lincoln students received their certificates in professional selling at a luncheon ceremony held in the Nebraska Union on Friday, April 20, which honored recipients from academic disciplines across campus. The Undergraduate Certificate Program in Sales Excellence focuses on sales communication training, honed through partnerships with companies who provide curriculum guidance based on the modern workplace.

Skarley Gonzalez, a senior business administration major from Omaha, Nebraska, started her college career without a definite career plan. After taking the Sales Communication (MRKT 257) class, she gained inspiration to enroll in the sales program. She quickly learned how to sell, including selling herself.

“I was very introverted but became fascinated by the sales class, and slowly began seeing myself as a sales person,” said Gonzalez. “I became better at presenting, and more comfortable with myself. You learn to sell yourself and use sales in any shape or form you pursue.”

Skarley Gonzalez talks with fellow sales certificate recipients before the awards ceremony.
Skarley Gonzalez talks with fellow sales certificate recipients before the awards ceremony.
She credited Chad Marseden, assistant professor of practice in marketing, and Laura McLeod, assistant professor of practice in marketing, with mentoring her along the way. Sales role-playing activities put Gonzalez in the position of negotiating with classmates.

“At first I thought I’d do terrible. Then I went in and nailed it. They record us so we can watch ourselves selling later. I never saw myself look so confident and comfortable than when I watched myself selling. At that point, I knew the sales program was for me,” she said.

Kyle Benesch, a senior marketing major from Columbus, Nebraska, took a different route to the program. On his 24th birthday, Benesch, who felt he was in a dead end job, made a visit to the Business Advising and Student Engagement office to see an academic advisor. He completed some college but needed new direction for scholastic opportunities and career goals.

“We talked about sales and they said it might be something to consider,” said Benesch. “In two years, I completed my bachelor’s degree and got my sales certificate.”

The program allowed Benesch to make connections he otherwise would not have had. He represented Nebraska at the International Collegiate Sales Competition in Orlando, and credits the sales faculty with his new employment.

Dr. Kathy Farrell presents Kyle Benesch with his sales certificate during the awards ceremony.
Dr. Kathy Farrell presents Kyle Benesch with his sales certificate during the awards ceremony.
“They helped me make awesome connections which led to an internship and full-time position at NRC Health. I’ll be hitting the ground running when I start my new position before graduation in May. Without the sales program it would not have been possible,” he said.

Dr. Ravi Sohi, executive director of the Center for Sales Excellence, professor and Robert D. Hayes Distinguished Chair of Sales Excellence, sees the students receiving their certificates as important to the growth of the program.

“Over the past four years, we have admitted more than 200 students into the program and its popularity has grown. A lot of the growth is word-of-mouth. We originally wanted to admit 25 students per semester, but we’ve had so many good applications, we’ve ended up admitting 35 or more. Students receiving their certificates today are now our ambassadors to show others around campus what you can do with a sales certificate in professional selling,” said Sohi.

Dr. Kathy Farrell, James Jr. and Susan Stuart Endowed Dean of the College of Business, presented students with that certificates at the ceremony. She endorsed the value of the certificate to all Nebraska students.

“The sales certificate is important regardless of your major. It doesn’t matter what you do, you’re going to be selling. The sales certificate is a great addition to a student’s personal portfolio, and through the sales program you learn to present yourself better than when you started the program,” said Farrell.

To learn more about the Center for Sales Excellence, visit:

Students earning Sales Certificates in Professional Selling during the past year:

First Name Last Name Major Certificate Type
Jacob Andrews Business Administration Regular
Shayne Arriola Marketing Advanced
Wesley Ball Management Advanced
Meredith Bargman Textiles, Clothing and Design Regular
Michael Bebout Mechanical Engineering Regular
Kyle Benesch Marketing Regular
Jacob Bespalec Marketing Regular
Madeline Bishop Management Regular
Samuel Brewster Marketing Regular
Nathan Brown Advertising and Public Relations Regular
Jacqueline Bruns Business Administration Regular
Natalie Campbell Marketing and Management Advanced
Angelica Carlini Marketing and Management Regular
Daniel Clare Accounting Regular
Justin Clark Marketing and Management Regular
Brody Cleveland Marketing Regular
Patrick Codute Management Regular
Thomas Crawford International Business Advanced
Katie Curtiss Management Regular
Joseph Dahir Accounting Regular
Nicole D'Elia Business Administration Advanced
Joseph Dooley Marketing and Business Administration Advanced
Ian Ekdahl Accounting and Spanish Regular
Alexis Fregoso Marketing and Broadcasting Regular
Madison Gaber Management Regular
Emily Gillman Marketing Advanced
Skarley Gonzalez Business Administration Regular
Josh Greisen Marketing Regular
Nicholas Grosstephan Marketing Regular
Nathan Heimes Marketing Regular
Grant Horton Finance and Marketing Regular
James Hulsey Marketing Regular
Rachel Hupp Marketing Regular
Brett Jones Finance Advanced
Amber Kohmetscher Business Administration Regular
David Krueger Management Regular
Logan Lewis Marketing and International Business Advanced
Sydney Lock Marketing Regular
Patrick Lowe Business Administration Regular
Kaden Madler Marketing Regular
Naif Mazzawi Marketing Advanced
Kaytlin McCasey Marketing and Management Regular
Connor Mellick Business Administration Advanced
Jonathan Meyer Marketing Regular
Patrick O'Neill Finance Advanced
Paige Pogue Marketing Regular
Andrew Reeson Marketing and Management Regular
Dylan Scheele Marketing Advanced
Sage Schmidt Management Advanced
Conrad Shiu Accounting and Finance Regular
Taylor Simones Marketing Regular
Sam Skokan Marketing and History Regular
Justin Specht Marketing Regular
Benjamin States Business Administration Advanced
Drake Thomsen Marketing Advanced
Nick Turner Accounting and Finance Advanced
Rebecca Volten Economics Advanced
Thomas Wapelhorst Marketing Regular
Trevor  Willenborg Marketing and International Business Advanced
Jacob White Management Regular
Alisha White Marketing Regular
Published: April 26, 2018