First Professional Selling Networking Mixer a Success

Posted: Wednesday, November 25th 2015 at 5:35 AM

As part of The W. A. Franke College of Business (FCB) Professional Selling Program, Kevin Trainor, associate professor of marketing, and Jennifer Mitchell, senior lecturer of marketing, created a fun and entertaining event for students to learn valuable skills directly from professionals in the trade. The FCB Undergraduate Programs office organized the event for November 17, 2015. Fifteen companies and almost 100 students attended. 

The event began with a spot-on presentation given by Jana Carpenter, a sales and marketing professional who has held senior management positions with ADP, Arthur Anderson, and FTI Consulting. Most recently, Carpenter was the managing director of the Western Region for Experis Finance. The 30-minute presentation titled, “How to Work a Room,” gave students strategies for how to approach networking functions and specific tips to make the events less stressful.

When asked what the purpose of the event was, Trainor explains,

“First and foremost the goal of the event was to give our students the opportunity to learn AND practice how to behave and engage at a professional networking event. Students learned reception etiquette and some great tips and tricks aimed at helping students feel comfortable while navigating a professional event and interacting with business professionals.

“The second purpose of the event was to help students make connections with professionals at companies that are looking to fill sales positions…whether it is an internship, a part-time job, or full-time employment after graduation. This was a setting for students to meet some interesting people, learn about their backgrounds, and find potential opportunities in their organizations.

“The third and final purpose of this event was to inform students about the FCB’s emerging sales program.”

Both the students and the business professionals seemed to enjoy each other’s company, and left the mixer richer for the experience.

“I thought it was a successful event as a prelude to the professional sales program in the FCB. I found a lot of value in getting to speak with different recruiters in a more personal setting.

“When I spoke toScott Coor(’76 MKT), I found out how friendly he was, especially when he gave me his business card to stay in contact. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the event last night and would love if Dr. Trainor and Dr. Mitchell hosted another.”
–Celeste Tuon, student, marketing and management major
“I had several emotions coming into this mixer, mainly nerves of what to talk about, how to introduce myself, and would they even be interested in talking to me.

“After the 30 minute presentation I realized I wasn't alone with these feelings. Being an HRM major I talked with people I never knew I would talk with but I learned a lot from each individual whether it was about sales, working with the students in the college, or their lack of cooking experience!”
–Jacquelyn Rozon, student, hotel and restaurant management major
“I really enjoyed the Professional Selling Networking Mixer. I was incredibly impressed with the students’ ability to participate in casual conversation with strangers as well as their ability to gracefully and politely exit the conversation as well. I found it to be one of the best networking events I have ever attended even though they were students. I really commend all those who attended them and congratulate them on how well they did. I had so many truly fascinating conversations. It was a great event.”
Kathy Thomas (‘78 MKT), president, Stowebridge Promotion Group

"How to Work a Room" presentation by Jana Carpenter: 2-part playlist

Participating Companies

Categories: professional selling networking mixer kevin trainor jennifer mitchell kathy thomas alumni faculty fall 2015 2015 students celeste tuon jacquelyn rozon stowebridge promotion group jana carpenter