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Parker College of Business students, faculty excel in virtual global competition

Students use the voice recognition function on their phones to sell to artificially intelligent animated customer bots in the RNMKRS Virtual Sales Competition. (Image provided)

Sales students in the Parker College of Business spent the fall semester communicating and making deals with a robot through the virtual RNMKRS College Sales Skills Competition. 

The students, who placed in the top 1% of more than 2,200 participants, learned and practiced selling a product by speaking virtually with Alex, a consumer bot who listens, adapts and responds as students used voice activation on their mobile phones. 

“This style of communication during the pandemic was actually very beneficial,” said Hannah Peterman, who placed third overall in the competition. “As each of us has been required to communicate online and via teleconferencing systems, RNMKRS offered coaching in many facets of this environment. This competition also gave me exposure to employers that were sponsors, which resulted in me being able to network. Many times, as a student, I am reluctant to contact these individuals, and RNMKRS allowed exposure that would have not been possible otherwise.” 

Georgia Southern was among the 59 schools that competed. Georgia Southern had the most students overall with scores in the top 30% and the eighth-highest percentage of students with scores in the top 30%.

Students are able to compete from anywhere in the world. Schools from the U.S.,Canada and Germany participated in the RNMKRS program during the fall semester. Following training, students participate in the worldwide sales competition where they are recognized for their skills. Employers like Dell, Gartner, Herc Rentals, Tom James, TTi, and YRC Worldwide select students for jobs.

“Any time you can get students to be interactive, work in teams for an end, learn and have fun learning, the activity is successful,” said Linda Mullen, Ph.D., director of the Center for Sales Excellence and associate professor of marketing. “Our partners for our Center for Sales Excellence love our sales students because the students have grit. I have been told this over and over by recruiters.”

Kasey Perks won runner-up for most persistent student, and Peterman, Perks and Alexander Wolf were recognized for making the most student practice role-plays.

Students Ty Black, Christopher Christenson, Logan Craig, Caroline Peckeroff, Shelton Quants, Kelsey Salmon, Nicolas Sanches and Morgan Sterrett were named to the RNMKRS 1% Club for being in the top 1% of students. 

Additionally, professors and faculty were recognized in the RMKRS competition for their roles in coaching their students. Mullen tied as Top Coach Advocate and was named as a member of the RNMKRS 1% Club for being one of the top 1% of coaches. 

Elmira Shahriari, Ph.D., assistant professor of marketing, was a runner-up in the category for Most Prepared Class Call. Lindsay Levine, Ph.D., associate professor of marketing, was a runner-up for Most Tenacious Coach.  

The resources provided by the Parker College of Business and access to professors like Mullen helped Peterman feel confident and prepared for the competition. 

“It was gratifying to get put in situations and then be able to draw from information and knowledge that was taught in a previous class or even in multiple classes,” she said. “When I first started the process, in all honesty, I was concerned I wasn’t prepared. As I encountered each new situation in RNMKRS, I realized just how many selling and marketing scenarios we had covered and how to respond to each.” For more information about the Parker College of Business, visit


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