Professional sales students leave mark on Northeast Intercollegiate Sales Competition


By Kathryn Henriksen, Marketing and Communications Assistant

A team of professional sales and marketing students from Commonwealth University-Bloomsburg left their mark on the 2023 Northeast Intercollegiate Sales Competition at Bryant University, R.I., advancing deep in two of the four competitions.

Kade Simononis, Mike Schwab, and Olivia Baldwin worked together to reach the semifinals of the Role Play Competition, while Alyssa Barnes and Simononis paired up as finalists in the Speed Sell Competition.

“Sales competitions give us real-life experiences with intense scenarios,” Barnes said. “I got to meet many wonderful employers such as Insight Global, Sherwin Williams, AWS, and so many more companies that without NISC I wouldn't have connected with.”

In addition to networking and leaving an impression on potential employers, Barnes made an impression in speed selling with Simononis — the competition featuring a 60-second introductory elevator pitch you give to company representatives.

“When you have 157 students to compete against, you really must stand out,” Barnes said. “I did my speed sell talking about my many accomplishments at Bloomsburg including my executive standing as head of public relations in Pi Sigma Epsilon, my work study as a content marketer for Bloomsburg’s Intramural Sports Department while being a full-time student.”

She added, “I also discussed my activities outside of school like my passion for sports and that I work as a waitress. I stressed how this made me a hardworking individual and reflected I do all this while maintaining a 3.56 GPA and have gotten on the dean's list for the past five consecutive semesters.”

Professional sales students leave mark on Northeast Intercollegiate Sales Competition

This ... all in under 60 seconds.

Yet, according to Barnes, the most rewarding part of the NISC experience was seeing three Bloomsburg students standing proudly in the crowd of participants from larger Division I schools as semifinalists in the Role Play Competition.

“After all our hard work!,” Barnes said. “The most challenging was not being a part of those three. That didn't matter in the moment I was so proud of my fellow Huskies. But I buckled down and worked hard and redeemed myself in the Speed Sell Competition!”

It was a very memorable first-ever sales competition experience for Lillie Corino, a dual communication studies and professional sales and marketing major at Bloomsburg.

“From waking up at 5 a.m. on Thursday morning to not coming home until 11 p.m. Saturday night, I had a whirlwind of a trip. We stopped at the Mansions in Newport, went shopping, had dinners, went to a networking party, and really bonded as a team. I made really great connections I hope to have for a very long time.”

She added, “I met competitors from all over the country, representatives from different sales organizations who already started reaching out to me, and different coaches from universities. After the competition, I realized sales is the right career path for me, and I am looking forward to more opportunities like NISC to help me throughout my career.”

There were many impactful takeaways, according to Corino.

“I learned how to network, navigate talking to different people from across the country, and compete in different sales competitions,” Corino said. “It took a lot of preparation before competing at NISC to be successful. I learned a lot about myself on a personal and professional level and what a sales position entails. After college, I intend to pursue a career in sales, specifically in the sports industry.”

Barnes also acknowledged the lasting impact the NISC experience will have on her.

“After this experience, I’ll walk tall and always remember to never give up and work to the best of our abilities,” Barnes said. “This competition also had so many networking opportunities that those connections I made will last well past college.”