Sarah Stratta, Janet Parish and Ron Lamb

The Professional Selling Initiative (PSI) at Mays was launched mid-October, when PSI partners got to meet with faculty, staff, students and industry guests at a celebratory dinner at the Diamond Club at Bluebell Park. Mays Dean Eli Jones spoke, as well as Ron Lamb, president of Reynolds and Reynolds, Founding Partner of PSI. Representatives from the other partner companies – Altria, Pepsi, Phillips 66, AT&T and PepsiCo – also attended.

The next morning, there was a ribbon-cutting ceremony to unveil a donor recognition wall in the Wehner building, followed by a networking breakfast. Then, some of the PSI partners and industry guests spoke to students in classes, while others took the opportunity to tour the renovated Kyle Field.

Afterward, the PSI partners and industry guests participated in a discussion with Mark Houston, head of the Department of Marketing, about the needs of recruiters that could be met by students coming through the PSI programs. That meeting helped fulfill some of the goals of the PSI – to provide enhanced educational offerings for students, increase research opportunities for faculty and give the PSI’s corporate partners greater access to the top sales students.

Students in the program will learn more about the sales career path and its job and salary growth potential. Job placement of students will improve through enhanced sales training, including expanded course offerings and high-impact learning experiences outside the classroom.

Employers will have access to a growing pool of top sales talent as the number of students who complete the Professional Selling and Sales Management career tracks increases.

PSI facilities will be enhanced with the addition of more role-play rooms, which are supported by state-of-the-art technology. And the PSI lays the foundation for a self-sustaining funding model in which corporate partners help support a long-term PSI facility, faculty and programming costs.