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Student sales stars are the real deal

Posted: 2nd April 2019

EDINBURGH Napier hosted rising sales stars from both sides of the Atlantic at a prestigious two-day contest.

A team from the University of Texas Dallas jetted in to take on talent from Coventry, Sheffield Hallam and the home university at the UK University Sales Competition, sponsored by Textron Aviation.

Edinburgh Napier third year student Max Hampapa emerged as the winner of the main Sales Role Play competition after two intense days of pitching to and negotiating with a panel of seasoned business professionals.

He had been inspired by the presence of Calum Hutchison, Murray Black and Niobe Derksen, Edinburgh Napier graduates who were recruited to the sponsor’s US-based Sales Development Program and subsequently full-time sales roles in Europe after impressing at last year’s event.

The capital university’s Craiglockhart-based Business School was hosting Thursday and Friday’s(March 28/9)  UK University Sales Competition (#UKsales2019) for the second consecutive year.

Max, from Stuttgart, Germany, shone in a contest which saw competitors play the role of prospective sellers of a company jet. Max narrowly beat Jordan Murphy from University of Texas Dallas, with two other Edinburgh Napier students, Martine Assen and Falk Lewedog, completing the shortlist.

Max and Martine have been selected from the UK competition to represent Edinburgh Napier’s Business School in the upcoming 6th European Sales Competition at Avans University in Den Bosch in Holland in May.

A separate quickfire Sales SpeedSell competition, which acted as a curtain raiser to the main event, was won by Tyra Banks of University of Texas Dallas.

The UK contest has become an annual offshoot of a European movement to put sales at the heart of the higher education curriculum. Edinburgh Napier’s Dr Tony Douglas, Director of the Competition, said: “The UK University Sales Competition 2019 gave students the chance to demonstrate their presentation, active listening, questioning, negotiating and closing skills.

“Once again this year, we were able to celebrate our student talent not only from Edinburgh Napier but across the UK and further afield.”

The first of the European Sales Competitions was organised in Brussels in June 2015, with the aim of addressing a lack of structured sales training and exposing participants to cross-cultural differences.

Tony added: “Sales Competitions at Business Schools showcase student talent to prospective employers like Textron Aviation, who are keen to select those with great potential for national and global Sales Graduate Programmes.

“The stats are very stark; there are many more sales opportunities than university Business Schools can currently fill. It is a huge potential win-win-win opportunity for all parties.

“Only when more of our undergraduate and postgraduate students get access to professional sales learning in the classroom, and in modules and programmes within Business Schools across the UK and Europe and the USA, can we begin to fill the pipeline with talent.”

Kaye Miller, Textron Aviation’s Manager for the Sales Development Program, said: “This was a great experience for the Textron Aviation team. I could not have asked for a better week.”


Business Comment

Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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