CSU welcomes professional sales center to campus

By Abigail Bickel

Established to enhance career development opportunities for students, Cleveland State University welcomes the Bernie Moreno Center for Sales Excellence to campus.

The Center, though hosted within the Monte Ahuja College of Business, aims to provide an array of professional opportunities for both business and non-business majors alike. According to the Center’s website, their mission is to “produce sales professionals who will be able to make an immediate impact on the bottom line of the organizations they serve” by providing a focused curriculum combined with a hands-on training program that cultivates skills desired by the industry. A highlight of these opportunities is the Professional Sales Certificate that is being offered for the first time this semester.

“The way we envision the Center is first and foremost as based around students,” dean of the Monte Ahuja College of Business Dr. Sanjay Putrevu said. “In the course of the certificate, not only would you be learning about sales, but it will also be about general soft skills like negotiation, communication, résumé building and interviewing.”

The certificate requires a minimum of 15 credit hours in departments ranging from marketing to psychology to communication. Business majors are required to take four marketing courses and one pre approved elective course of their choosing. Nonbusiness majors must complete three required marketing courses and two pre approved elective courses.

MKT 301 Fundamentals of Marketing is the prerequisite for admission to the certificate program for all students and is not included in the required 15 credit hours.  

“We are positioning the certificate in such a way that it’s relatively easy for students in all disciplines to take advantage of it. Our intent is to make sure that the most students have the opportunity to participate in the Center,” Dean Putrevu said.  

Regardless of their discipline, students engaged with the Center will have access to professional development opportunities that span multiple career fields. The Center will provide students with a chance to improve their résumé and hone their interview skills as well as have access to career coaching and mentoring.  

The sales program is in its pilot semester right now, but part of reaching students in multiple fields of study means expanding the program to include both a major and a minor in the future.

There are only 45 colleges in the US to date that offer a sales degree, but Cleveland State has taken its inaugural steps to develop a more comprehensive sales program with the Professional Sales Certificate.

The Center was donated by namesake and chairman of the Cleveland State University Board of Trustees, Bernie Moreno, with the intention to further sales education and research both inside and outside of the classroom. With partners ranging from Bernie Moreno Companies to Key Bank and PNC, students engaged with the Center can expect practical experience with real-world projects to aid in the transition from sales student to industry professional.

Involvement with current and future partners ensures students are put in contact with internship opportunities that would not otherwise be available without engagement with the Center.

“The students who participate in the sales certificate and the sales Center would have the first chance to participate in these exciting opportunities,” Dean Putrevu said.  

The Center will be hosting its inaugural seminar on Sept. 6 from 8 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. at the Ohio Theatre. The event is open and free to all students and will include a presentation from Dr. Robert Cialdini, the New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-selling author and expert in the fields of persuasion, compliance and negotiation. For more information about this event, visit Monte Ahuja Hall, Room 420 or call at 216-687-3786.

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