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(Tori Waltz)

Students in the Weber State University Department of Professional Sales learned to promote a different type product at this year’s Speed Interviewing event: themselves.

Graduating seniors gathered on Oct. 7 in the Shepherd Union Ballroom for the chance to interview with, and possibly be recruited by, local employers seeking sales talent.

“It’s a really great opportunity for us to showcase what it is that Weber State has taught us,” participant Landon Street said.

Inspired by speed dating, the educational event was organized to give seniors the opportunity to initiate contact with as many employers as possible before graduation. Getting their names out there in a short period of time both shows off their professional skills and allows for some quick networking.

Students had four minutes to advertise their strengths to each company. Company representatives then decided if they wanted to continue the recruitment process with a second interview.

“For a student to walk away tonight with 8 or 9 appointments is very common,” said Steve Eichmeier, a professor of professional sales for WSU.

Before suiting up on the night of the event, students spend months workshopping their resumes, perfecting their interviewing skills and building social media profiles under the instruction of WSU professors.

In Sales Career Seminar (PS 4993), a course exclusive to seniors, students receive instruction on sales- and service-related dilemmas while simultaneously preparing for the job market and potential career opportunities.

“Any aspect as far as the interview process goes, this class prepares for. It all leads up to this moment today,” Street said.

One of the class’s many requirements is student participation in the Speed Interviewing event, ultimately contributing to the sales department’s track record regarding student success.

Known for its successful job placement of 99 percent of students, over 150 graduates per year and over 60 partnered sales companies, the program has helped numerous students jump-start their careers following graduation.

“My wife got hired through this exact same program last year, and she loves her job,” Street said. “For students who are looking to see what’s out there career-wise, this is a great way to network and get your name out there.”

In addition to providing an outlet for connecting with some of Utah’s prominent businesses and companies, the event also allowed graduating seniors to develop their communicative abilities for future professions.

“It’s always good to have these skills,” Street said. “If I can sell myself to companies, then I can sell myself to my customers.”

Speed Interviewing is held twice every academic year at WSU, with the next event set to occur in the spring of 2019.

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