Marian bested universities and colleges from around the country
They are the cream of the crop and now tops in the nation, as Marian University's all-senior Byrum School of Business Professional Selling team are national champions.
"I think the desire to be the best and hold that first place spot propelled the team to become national champs," said Marian team sales manager Matthew Riehle. "We wanted Marian to be the school holding the victory, especially since we were competing against schools larger than us."
The team, consisting of Jenny Rodriguez '24, Jacob Carroll '24, Macey Kenna '24, and Matthew Riehle '24, placed first and beat other top-level college and university sales talent from across the country, such as Michigan State University, Baylor University, University of Arizona, University of San Diego, and more. The National Team Selling Competition (NTSC), held at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, in late October 2023, required a team of students to accomplish a selling objective. Byrum students excelled in the first round by engaging the buyers in a two-way conversation about their goals and needs.
"The experience was just incredible!" explained team member Rodriguez. "Being up on the stage and presenting in front of many universities was nerve wracking yet exciting. This was my first time participating in this type of competition, so this was both a personal and professional accomplishment for me."
In the second round, the students created a custom presentation that addressed each customer's need, accurate financials, and return on investment for a multi million-dollar purchase. “Kenna acted as the product expert, flawlessly presenting the product's capabilities," coach Lori Rumreich, Ed.D. said, while Rodriguez simplified detailed operational data through her expert graphics and communicated expected outcomes.
Jacob Carroll rounded out the team with a promotional plan to boost revenues, along with the implementation strategy. But the group said their unique approach also involved encouraging prayers from teammate Riehle.
"Each team member was alive, healthy, and talented enough to attend the competition and put their best out there," Riehle said. "It made the team stronger because prayer calmed the nerves of all team members since we were anxious and worried about performance."
Judges from the competition sponsors, Altria and Nucor, used scores from rounds one and two to identify the three finalists to go head-to-head in the third round, with the winner determined by audience vote. Presenting in the final round were the University of Kansas, Marian University,and Indiana University.
“The team prevailed by executing flawlessly throughout the finals, presenting their plan on stage in IU's Alumni Hall, winning over the audience with a targeted program delivered with enthusiasm and energy," Coach Rumreich said. Second place went to Kansas, while IU took third. Take a look at the final rankings here.
Coach Rumreich said, "While I am absolutely thrilled with the way our students worked together to achieve this great honor, I am also very proud of the character they showed throughout the competition. They embraced the opportunity to learn through every event during the three days." Bob Kubacki, Byrum School of Business executive -in-residence, also coached the winning team. For their efforts, Marian took home the national title and three thousand dollars.