2011 sales graduates find workforce hungry for their skills

Natalie Morton has accepted a job with Henry Schein, Inc. in Los Angeles.

June 3, 2011

Every sales major in Bradley’s class of 2011 has something important in common: they’ve all accepted jobs.

“This year’s job market was a very successful one for our sales students. At our senior party, we announced that all graduating sales students had accepted jobs and we were still getting inquiries from companies looking for our students,” said Ed Bond, chairman of the Department of Marketing.

Students who had experience in internships or work got the most offers. The most successful students also spent a lot of time on their job searches. “A little focus and discipline in that area can really pay off,” Bond said.

So what else makes Bradley sales students so special to the job market? The individual experience that they receive at Bradley has a big impact.

“Sales is an in-demand area. Our employers specifically mention the individual attention we can give our students,” said Jason Garrett, assistant professor of marketing. “This means they have a great idea of professional selling and the ways to understand the needs of individuals.”

Natalie Morton is one recent graduate reaping great rewards from her marketing degree. Before she even accepted her diploma at graduation, she had already received ten job offers. She moved to Los Angeles and works for Henry Schein, Inc., a company that provides health care products and services to office-based practitioners.

“I sell dental products and services directly to the office. I also play a role as a consultant to help the dentist and owners reach business goals of theirs, whether it is to increase the number of new patients or retain new customers,” Morton said.

Morton came to Bradley from Carefree, Arizona. She was born in Illinois and lived in a Chicago suburb until she was 10 years old. She visited a total of 11 colleges before falling in love with Bradley’s campus and community.

“I could see it as a home away from home and that is exactly what it was for me the four years I went to school there,” Morton said. Each marketing class she took gave her something necessary for the “real world.”

She also knew that applying for jobs and getting interviews might not be easy.

“A lot of my success with finding a job offer was because I worked my butt off to get interviews,” Morton said. “I must have applied to 50 or more positions. I applied to 26 jobs on the West Coast in one evening because I couldn’t fall asleep at 2 a.m., so I was awake until 4 a.m. just applying like a mad lady. I even applied to some where I didn’t quite meet the qualifications, because you just never know.”

Developing skills in selling and participation in sales competitions enhance transferrable skills. For example, Morton’s business plan group, Kollecto, was a finalist in the Project Springboard business plan competition.

“Our students benefit from our ongoing good showings at the National Collegiate Sales Competition. Students who appear at the competition are recruited by a variety of companies that have representatives at the competition looking for talent,” Bond said.

Most importantly, with a degree in sales from Bradley, Morton and her cohorts have had no problem selling themselves. Other students in the sales program placed at MSDSOnline, AgCo, ConAgra, Liberty Mutual, HON Company, CH Robinson, among others.

“Bradley gave me the right tools to find and get jobs,” Morton said.