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Parker College of Business students gain real-world experience through networking events

Steve Lopez, right, winner of the Parker Regional Sales Competition, stands with the other top competitors, Joe Armenta, center, from Georgia Southern and Luke Eyrich from Augusta University.

Georgia Southern University senior marketing major Steve Lopez was able to see his skills gained in the classroom come full circle when he placed first in the second annual Parker Regional Sales Competition (PRSC). 

“This competition gave me so many new opportunities and skills that I don’t think I could have gained any other way,” Lopez said. “From learning how to prepare for these kinds of events with my team to executing them to the best of my ability, I got a chance to apply the sales strategies I learned in both of my sales classes, which I think is very important to do if you want to actually master these skills.” 

The competition, hosted by the Parker College of Business’s Center for Sales Excellence, is a developmental event, providing sales students with the opportunity to demonstrate their selling skills through simulated sales role-play. It also gives students the chance to hone their skills prior to national competitions. The event drew sales teams from around the region including Augusta University, Georgia College and State University, Georgia Gwinnett College and University of South Carolina Beaufort.

“The skills I gained from competing made me realize the importance of everything our professors teach us,” Lopez said. “I benefited by getting some real practice and seeing what things I do great but also what things I need to work on. It also gave me a platform where I could show what kind of salesperson I am capable of being for all of the companies that attended.”

In addition to Lopez, Georgia Southern student Joe Armenta placed second, while Luke Eyrich from Augusta University placed third. As the top three finishers in the competition, they won prize money and clothing from custom suit company Tom James.

The Center for Sales Excellence also hosted its Eagle Sales Showcase Boot Camp (ESSBC), where employers and sales students participated in a speed networking event that allows students to hone their interviewing skills.

The PRSC and ESSBC also provide an opportunity for students to gain individual feedback from industry experts and network with sponsoring companies. The companies in attendance were able to observe students engaging in real-life, role-play scenarios and recruit them for current or future sales openings or internships. Both events were held in conjunction with the University’s Eagle Expo Career Fair.

Georgia Southern University, a public Carnegie Doctoral/R2 institution founded in 1906, offers 141 degree programs serving more than 26,000 students through nine colleges on three campuses in Statesboro, Savannah, Hinesville and online instruction. A leader in higher education in southeast Georgia, the University provides a diverse student population with expert faculty, world-class scholarship and hands-on learning opportunities. Georgia Southern creates lifelong learners who serve as responsible scholars, leaders and stewards in their communities. Visit


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