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May 18, 2020

Beginning in the fall 2020 semester, Susquehanna University will offer a minor in professional sales.

“Professional selling and the skills attached to this minor are beneficial for any student across the university because the skills gained can be used in business, in the nonprofit sector, government and more,” said Emma Fleck, associate professor and head of the Department of Management and Marketing in the Sigmund Weis School of Business.

The interdisciplinary minor requires courses from the Department of Communications and the Sigmund Weis School of Business.

Courses will be taught by Michele Welliver, an assistant professor of communications at Susquehanna who has more than a decade of professional sales experience in radio and television, and Darrell Wilson ’78, an adjunct professor of marketing at Susquehanna with more than 40 years of sales experience.

“Students minoring in professional sales will gain vital business and communication skills that will help them build their portfolio to pursue a career in a variety of sales roles,” Welliver said.

Prior to his retirement, Wilson spent his 40-year career in professional sales at companies such as Energizer and Troy-Bilt, eventually rising to vice president of sales at Yuasa Battery Inc. He earned his master’s in business administration from Golden Gate University in 1992 and is also an adjunct professor of marketing at Salisbury University where he helped to launch the Mid Atlantic Sales and Marketing Institute (MASMI).

“Many employers expect sales skills to be developed before students graduate and enter the work force so that they can ‘hit the ground running’ from Day One of their employment,” Wilson said. “Professional selling not only benefits salespeople in selling to customers, but also benefits them when presenting internally to senior management and boards of directors.”

Welliver and Wilson will also train selected sales students to successfully compete in national sales competitions. They also hope to develop a sales lab in which students can hone their presentation skills through role-play exercises, and where potential corporate sponsors can be involved as role-play buyers.