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KU’s Professional Selling Program Continues to Grow

The Professional Selling Program at KU helps students start their careers in sales. 

BY: ANNA DENISON 

The Professional Selling Program at KU prepares students for successful careers in consultative selling. The program is offered through the business school but welcomes members of all majors. 

The program started in 2016 with around 14 members and has since grown to 287 members currently in the program. 

Kristen Helling, the director of the Professional Selling Program, was hired in 2019 to help grow the program. 

“Basically, the certificate of professional selling is an opportunity to layer a certificate on top of a major or a minor that you already have in existence. And so once you decide to pursue the certificate, what makes it really special is there’s a, there’s a component of classroom work, so you have to take three courses,” said Helling. 

In order to qualify for a professional selling certificate, students must take three courses, Marketing 305 or 310, Marketing 316 or 426, and Marketing 315 or 425. Students also need at least four experiential activities. These can be things such as; a sales competition, networking event, or a sales internship. 

Gigi Mullins, a senior at KU, says she joined to get more experience in sales before she graduates. She was selected to compete in a sales competition last year. 

“I signed up for the competition and was selected to interview with a couple of the teachers and a couple of companies to see if I was selected for competition. And then I got accepted and joined the NAICS Bryant sales competition, which was super exciting,” Mullins said. “It was such a good experience. I ended up making it to the semi-finals, which was really cool. And so much more about selling in real life it how important planning sales calls are and how much you have to be prepared.” 

The program also partners with several companies that help with the experiential events. 

Haley Eksi, a senior at KU, says her favorite part of the program is the connections she has been able to make. 

“I’ve been exposed to different companies and been able to connect with different individuals from the networking mixers and mock interviews and I actually have my internship now from a mock interview that I did through the Professional Selling Program,” Eksi said. 

Helling said the program can be extremely helpful to students entering the workforce, no matter what their major is. 

“I think it helps immensely. Regardless of what career you go into, you’re always going to be selling. You’re going to be selling your ideas to your boss, your subordinates, your team, or your customer. And so I am a huge advocate,” Helling said.

The program is always welcoming new members. For more information, contact program director, Kristen Helling at khelling@ku.edu

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