FARGO – NDSU marketing students like senior Connor Laughridge have a leg up on the competition as they move into their chosen careers.
Marketing was one of the “Top growth jobs of 2021” as reported by Flexjobs.com, and an education at NDSU is designed to put him on the path to success.
“When I started college, I had no prior experience in sales and had no clue how to even go about selling to people in an effective manner,” Laughridge said. “Now as a senior ready to graduate, I feel completely confident in my sales capabilities because of all the help and opportunities I got within this program. NDSU’s marketing department and sales center have done a fantastic job preparing me to enter the workplace.”
In addition to his bachelor’s degree in marketing, Laughridge is earning a Certificate in Personal Selling offered by the NDSU Center of Professional Selling and Sales Technology in the College of Business.
“Having the ability to sell will come up time and time again in your career,” said Laughridge, who is from Prior Lake, Minnesota. “And my education at NDSU is definitely making me more in demand – employers are looking for candidates that have the ability to sell.”
The NDSU program’s curriculum is carefully designed to ensure students have a clear understanding of how to successfully manage products, price, placement and promotion. Students learn key problem-solving and communication skills.
“Students gain core marketing competencies and skills, such as understanding consumer behavior, strategy, research and analysis. Students can also hone their skills in digital marketing, marketing communications and sales,” said Rajani Ganesh Pillai, professor of marketing and sales center director. “Students not only learn the broad principles of marketing, but are able to apply them in specific marketing domains and different industries.”
NDSU’s program uses a hands-on approach that connects students with employers, who serve as trainers and mentors. In Laughridge’s case, he was a sales management intern last summer with PepsiCo, one of the program’s corporate partners.
Education, internships and opportunities to participate in sales competitions versus other universities make NDSU marketing students outstanding candidates as they join the workforce.
“Our graduates are ready from day one because of our focus is on skills that are required for employees to succeed in their jobs,” Ganesh Pillai said.
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