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Students Sell Ideas, Pitch Themselves at Inaugural Selling With the Bulls

By Keith Morelli

Bulls Quick Pitch

TAMPA (April 12, 2018) -- Selling yourself to a future employer may be among the most difficult tasks for students to conquer. But this month, more than 60 University of South Florida students sat across from corporate professionals, touting strengths and pushing reasons why those companies would benefit from hiring them.

And they did it over and over again. As part of the Quick Pitch competition, students sat in front of a real-live prospective employer and gave their best pitches for three minutes. When time was up, the students moved one seat to the left and gave the spiel to another business professional. And so on.

The exercise was part of the inaugural Selling with the Bulls event held over a two-day period in which students completed in sales conversations, quick pitches and case competitions.

In all, 15 businesses were represented, featuring more than 30 individual business partners, said Rob Hammond, director of the proposed Muma College of Business's Center for Marketing and Sales Innovation.

Participating students received door prizes including signed Tampa Bay Lightning jerseys, concert tickets and other items donated by the participating businesses. Competition winners shared a pot of $2,500.

Here's a list of event winners:

Sales Conversation:

  • First place: Jozua Martins
  • Second place: Mosheh Vann
  • Third place (tied): Morgan Salmon, Brad Johnson, Aleksandar Popovic

Quick Pitch:

  • Jake Sanz
  • Morgan Salmon
  • Tyler Murphy

Case Competition: Coke Student Club

  • First place: Isaac Glener and Sabrina Laudando
  • Second place: Matthew Harvey and Anthony Soto

Case Competition: Tampa Bay Lightning Student Rush

  • First place: Tania Merunka and Sara Atta
  • Second place: Dhalia Bumbaca and Zakaria El Jbari

Hammond said participating business partners voiced enthusiasm over the community-engagement exercise that likely will become an annual affair.

"Selling with the Bulls, which was open to undergraduate USF students from any college," Hammond said, "combines employer networking with multiple go-to-market, sales and marketing student competitions. It is a way to connect some of our brightest students with companies who may become their employers after graduation."

"The students were fantastic to spend time with," said James Slagle Jr, COO of Mission Critical Solutions, "and their energy and enthusiasm is infectious."

Garrett Pepper, district marketing manager with Federated Insurance, said the Selling with the Bulls event was a unique opportunity to engage with students and to see them compete under pressure in a real-world situation.

"These students showed incredible talents and measurable skills that will translate into real results once they enter the workforce," he said. "There were also many opportunities to network with other community leaders and expand my scope within the Tampa area."

Other business representatives said they were impressed by some of the students' ideas.

"We got pages of ideas," said Kayla Levasseur, marketing manager with Tampa Bay Entertainment Properties, "many of which we can implement right now."