MIDDLETOWN, Pa. — Penn State Harrisburg’s School of Business Administration will hold its inaugural professional sales competition Oct. 13-14 in the Capital Union Building on campus.
Students from William Paterson University, Temple University, Virginia Commonwealth University, Shippensburg University, Penn State Berks and Penn State Harrisburg will participate in the event, which will feature a sales role play competition and elevator pitch competition, as well as career and networking opportunities.
“We are excited to be able to host the Penn State Harrisburg Sales Competition sponsored by D&H Distributing,” said Darrell Bartholomew, associate professor of marketing at Penn State and organizer of the competition. “Our students attend sales competitions at other universities and have been asking for us to host a competition since 2021. Now with the support of business partners, Penn State Harrisburg will be able to host this event.”
The D&H Distributing case is a business-to-business case role play that allows student competitors to practice their sales skills by acting the part of a D&H sales professional, pitching real products and services to fictitious small and medium-sized resellers. D&H Distributing is an employee-owned company headquartered in Harrisburg and is one of the area's largest private employers and the third-largest electronics distributor in North America.
Students will also participate in an elevator pitch competition, which challenges them to deliver a two-minute pitch about themselves to prospective employers. Sales professionals from the region will serve as judges for the competitions. The elevator pitch competition will take place during a career fair featuring five regional companies.
In addition, student participants will have many networking opportunities where they will be able to learn more about local and national job opportunities at a networking dinner at the Hershey Country Club on the first evening and at company information meetings on the second day of the event. Students will also be able to learn from sales professional keynote speakers with decades of experience who will share more about opportunities in the sales profession.
Additional partners for the event are Clark Associates, Enterprise Holdings, Fastenal, Hershey Entertainment and the Sherwin-Williams Company. Other support comes from Phoenix Contact and Capital Blue Cross. Other local companies volunteering to judge include United Parcel Service and TEKsystems.
“The support from local industry partners is wonderful,” Bartholomew said. “Our partners have been generous with their time and resources growing our sales programming and providing new job opportunities for our students learning professional selling. We hope that these types of educational partnerships allow us to grow as a regional resource for sales training and education.”
A schedule of events is available online.