Alumni Mentors Prepare Senior for National Sales Competition
Taylor Geaglone ’22 recently visited Atlanta for the first time, where she competed in the National Collegiate Sports Sales Championship. She was well prepared to take part in the event, thanks, in part, to the support of several professionals who work in the field of sales – all of whom are University alumni.
March 13, 2022
By Renee Chmiel, Office of Marketing and Communications
Held as a single elimination tournament bracket, much like March Madness, the competition tasked students with “selling” tickets to a potential buyer. Students also had the opportunity to “speed sell,” developing their elevator pitches, and to attend a career fair that included more than a dozen employers in the sports sales industry. Geaglone and her fellow participants also had myriad opportunities to network as well as to attend an Atlanta Hawks game.
“This was a great opportunity because it got me out of my comfort zone,” said Geaglone, a member of the Chargers field hockey team. “I enjoyed connecting and networking because I was able to learn more about people in the industry and what employers want on their team in sales. These are connections I will have when I am looking to jump into the workforce.”
Geaglone had the support of her professors, as well as several alumni as she prepared for the competition. She and her alumni mentors met regularly via Zoom, and they helped her understand the process of a sales call, as well as the important questions to ask. The alumni served as Geaglone’s coaches, helping her to practice what she learned through role playing. She said that, with their support, she was able to become more familiar and comfortable with sales.
“It was awkward as first, but the more I practiced, I felt better about the sales call that I would be doing,” she explains. “I had to learn that in sales you have to ensure the buyer thinks they are controlling the meeting or call, although I was the one running it. The role playing helped a lot because each person was different, and I had to adapt to the answers they were giving me.”
‘A small hand in the next Charger superstar’s story’
Geaglone had the opportunity to learn from alumni such as Logan Hill ’19, an associate product manager for Acumed, a medical device company. He says he’s grateful for the mentors he had as a student and early in his professional career, and he was glad to share what he learned with Geaglone.
“I hope Taylor learned that with hard work and consistency, anything is possible,” he said. “She came such a long way from the first time we talked. I could tell she was getting more and more confident with each conversation we had. Inside sales is challenging, if it was easy then everyone would do it. There is a lot that Taylor could not control in our training sessions, and she learned quickly that the only thing she could do was show up each time we talked with a great attitude and outstanding effort. That is exactly what she did.”
Mike Scharfenberg ’20, a ticket sales account executive for the Tennessee Titans of the National Football League, also helped Geaglone prepare for the competition. He hopes she learned the importance of building relationships, problem solving, and of selling oneself – skills that he believes will be invaluable for her throughout her career.
“The experience of joining a few of my fellow alumni to offer even a small hand in Taylor’s personal and professional growth was beyond humbling,” he said. “I had so many alumni help steer my ship toward my dream career in professional sports, and to think I can play even a small hand in the next Charger superstar’s story is what makes me beyond proud to be a Charger!”
‘They were once in our shoes’
Because of her training and her experience in the competition, Geaglone says she can envision herself working in sales after she graduates. She sees parallels between the competitive environments of sales and field hockey, and she’s grateful for the support of her mentors who helped her to have such an impactful and valuable experience preparing for and taking part in the competition.
“I was shocked by how excited and willing the alumni were to help me, since they have their own lives and careers,” she said. “I was extremely grateful for all of them for making time for me to learn and to be able to take part in this competition.”
“Without their help, I don’t think I would’ve been as successful as I was in the competition,” she continued. “Alumni want to be able to give back and help students because they know they were once in that same position. It’s easier to relate to and connect with alumni because they were once in our shoes, and I think it was a great decision for me to work with them rather than prepare on my own.”