From Intern to President
PROVO, Utah – Apr 07, 2020 – Many students go into an internship hoping to gain experience for their careers. However, Noah Kirk, a senior in BYU Marriott’s marketing program, returned to BYU Marriott after his summer sales internship at Qualtrics with even more than experience. Kirk’s internship gave him the idea to create the BYU Sales Club, a new club that offers experiential learning opportunities to students interested in sales.
During his internship, Kirk met fellow interns who had participated in sales competitions through their schools’ sales teams. “I wondered why BYU didn’t have a program in place that would allow students to participate in sales competitions,” says Kirk. “So I worked with BYU Marriott professor Tamara Masters, Mike Neuffer from the Business Career Center, and the Marketing Association to get the sales club going on campus.”
The BYU Sales Club seeks to help train students who are interested in pursuing a career in sales. “I founded the club with the goal of helping students develop sales skills and putting them in contact with relevant opportunities,” says Kirk. Even Sales Club members who don’t compete can participate in sales trainings.
Though the BYU Sales Club is a new subset of the Marketing Association, five club members tested their sales skills when they competed in the Arizona Collegiate Sales Competition (ACSC) on 28–29 February 2020. “Participating in sales competitions shows competing students that they can succeed in a career in sales,” says Kirk, who currently serves as the president of the club. “You can only learn so much in a classroom before going out and applying what you've learned in a real context.”
The ACSC team included Kirk from Salt Lake City; marketing junior Jared Blatter from Newbury Park, California; entrepreneurial management senior David Sorensen from Laguna Niguel, California; marketing senior Aubrey Nelson from Payson, Utah; and Morgyn Carroll, a pre-business student from San Juan Capistrano, California. Kirk, Blatter, and Sorensen advanced to the semi-finals, and the team placed third overall at the competition.
For Sorensen, the opportunity to compete drew him to the Sales Club. “I joined the club because I wanted to improve my sales skills and have opportunities to use new techniques in competition settings where I can learn and improve before entering a sales position job,” he says.
The competition allowed students to take concepts from their classes and apply them in the real world. “The competition was a valuable learning experience because it allowed me to apply the sales concepts I have been learning in Professor Masters' Professional Sales class,” says Blatter. “During the competition, I faced several situations that made me think on my feet and rely on my training to overcome those objections.”
While competing, the BYU Marriott students also had the opportunity to network. During the first round of the competition, Kirk participated in a role play where he was pitching a product to a buyer. Kirk was filmed while judges, recruiters, and spectators watched the process from another room. “I checked my phone after completing the first round and saw two LinkedIn requests from recruiters, and I was met by two more recruiters who had viewed my role play and wanted to connect in person shortly afterward,” says Kirk.
Potential recruiters weren’t the only ones impressed by the students’ performance. Masters, a professor of marketing and the team’s coach, appreciated the students’ success. “We are proud of these students because this is the first time BYU Marriott has been a part of this competition,” says Masters. “This competition provided a great opportunity to hone skills being developed and for top firms to become aware of the excellent professional sales students BYU Marriott has.”
Though Kirk will graduate this April and leave the BYU Sales Club behind, he is excited for the club’s future. “I am confident in the younger students in the BYU Sales Club and know they will have incredible success moving forward.”
Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Natalia Green