Building a Resume and a Newfound Confidence


Selling has been taken to a whole new level by bringing students confidence and a path to succeeding. Building confidence within selling is difficult, but has become easier, throughout the years, for students by being able to join a program that continues to grow.

Certificate in Professional Selling allows junior standing students to get hands on experiences through an extra 16 credit workload. A student must have a 2.5 GPA to join and maintain the acceptance in the program, and must complete all prerequisites before applying.

Students within the program, alumni’s who received the certificate and employers who are known to hire those with the certificate were able to discuss the multiple benefits from completing the program.

Professor Michael Krush is talked fondly by many, for he is the director of the Center for Professional Selling and Sales Technology.

Dominic Anderson| Photo Courtesy
Dominic Anderson focuses on the benefits of the program.

Dominic Anderson, a current NDSU student, majoring in Marketing and Finance is looking to complete the program and receive the certificate this Spring. Talia Lucken is a current Senior at NDSU, majoring in Marketing and looking to graduate in the Spring including her Certificate.

Through this program it is not the typical classroom, taking tests and reading the textbook environment. Instead, it is more hands on, by taking what you read in the textbook and applying it to real life situations and then applying these ideas and creating your sales presentations.

They mostly use role playing and mock interviews to build and improve selling skills.

“It really was the best – multiple courses that I decided to take throughout my time at NDSU because throughout these courses they’ve probably been the ones that I’ve learned the most from,” Anderson shared.

Although Anderson shared, “It’s very time consuming – but you learn a lot from it.”

When referring to it being time consuming, “I think the more effort you put into them the more benefits you get,” Lucken shared.

“He (Krush) basically sets the tone for what life is like outside of college and where you don’t get to get the chance to slack off whenever you want,” Anderson explained.

When referring to the role-playing exercises in the courses, “It got you comfortable with the uncomfortable,” Lucken shared.

Not only does it bring this new form of teaching in the classroom, but the program requires an internship related to sales that students must complete. While most majors within the business field do not require internships, Lucken believes, “I think getting an internship is the most valuable thing you can do in college and I wouldn’t have gotten the internship that I did without the sales center.”

Alumni from NDSU with a B.S. in Business Administration, Tyler Schnmidt, now works for GrayBar as an Outside Sales Representative. Another Alumni with a B.S. in Marketing, Annie Rohloff, works as a part of the World Wide Inside Sales Team for Microsoft.

Both alumni’s have the Certificate in Professional Selling and shared how it changed their confidence level and helped them in the workforce.

“It sounds like a lot of work – there is not a lot of work compare to the job I’m working now – it was a great prep, it got you ready for what life is going to throw at you,” Schnmidt explained.

“Any students going through (the program) I will argue can very likely get a job before the interview – because of the reputation that program is building and having a solid resume like that,” Schnmidt shared.

Schnmidt explained how most college students go into the work world with a one-page resume, but he stood out because with the certificate he was able to have a full two-page front and back resume, making him more experienced and professional.

When going into an interview most are asked “what makes you stand out,” through this program you automatically stand out. When Rohloff explained she has experience with this program and she stands out for that reason, “He (the interviewer) suggested I continue to promote this in the next two interviews because it is exactly what they were looking for from college grads,” Rohloff shared.

A huge benefit most focus on is the confidence level people gain from the program. “The certificate has also taught me how to present myself, and effectively “sell myself” in interviews,” Rohloff continued, “The courses did not only stress sales, but also personal development and the balance of the two.”

“I went out of my comfort zone – and it turned out to be one of the best things I’ve done so far,” Schnmidt shared.

“I was nervous about finding experience – and the sales center put me on the right track,” Lucken said.

The role-playing exercises give a newfound confidence in students abilities and overcome any awkwardness they may feel within an interview or workplace setting.

Monica Krenz is the Sr Human Resources Manager for PepsiCo, who is commonly known for noticing the Certificate in Professional Selling on a resume.

“We prefer students with the Professional Selling certificate because they truly understand and have a passion for sales,” Krenz explained.

This certificate is a benefit because it can represent experience, since you are learning concepts strictly geared towards selling.

“Having the certificate gives the students exposure and critical experiences they can draw from when starting a new role with any company,” Krenz shared.

Through the program many have been given employment from PepsiCo. “Since we began our partnership with NDSU in 2014 we have hired 22 interns and 11 graduates.  Of the 22 interns we have offered full time roles after graduation to over 75% of the students,” Krenz said.

Through working with PepsiCo, students have been able to move to different parts of the country and overall educate others through their skills. “They have been promoted into leadership roles are able to teach their sales teams the fundamental selling skills they learned while at NDSU,” Krenz explained.

Through the problem students can network and work to make their name known for future employers.

Talia Lucken| Photo Courtesy
Talia Lucken, Senior at NDSU shares her experiences with the program

While most are business oriented there are various majors within the program. Although it is marketing based courses, “Anybody within NDSU should consider taking it – because – when you graduate you’re still going to have to know how to sell yourself to an employer,” Lucken said.

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