Dukes vs. Hokies: The Rumble in Rocktown

by Jess Nickels ('21)

Students prepare before entering their role-play rooms.

SUMMARY: Center for Professional Sales hosts students from Virginia Tech to compete in sales competition.

The College of Business Center for Professional Sales hosted Virginia Tech students on Friday, April 8, to compete with CoB students at the Rumble in Rocktown sales competition. The competition’s corporate sponsor, ALKU, offered cash prize awards and offers for summer internships to the four top finishers. 

ALKU training and recruiting personnel played the role of “buyers” during the competition, and 24 other corporate executives, trainers and recruiters judged the individual student role-plays. Events like this create opportunities for students to interact directly with the Center for Professional Sales’ corporate partners, who may seek to hire them after graduation and further enhance students’ education and awareness. 

Professor of marketing, Andy Wood, one of the competition’s participating faculty members, said, “Professional sales is often an out of the office and solo career. The salesperson does not have many opportunities to compare their sales techniques or practices with other professionals, so these competitions often serve as the student’s early-career benchmark.”

Marketing major Preston Bagdon secured a second-place finish, winning a $750 prize. “I started by reviewing the case to get some important basic information,” he explained. “Next, I thought of some relevant questions and went over positive and negative responses to have a general idea of what my response could be. If I understand both parties and what we want to accomplish, we can find a way to make a deal. You really can’t plan out a sales call, but come researched and ready to cooperate.”

The evening concluded with a networking dinner in Hartman Hall,  to which all student competitors and corporate partners were invited. 

The Rumble in Rocktown was such a success that JMU and the student participants earned praise from Virginia Tech’s sales team coach, Steve Matuszak. He commented, “Your students were the rare and ever-sought-after combination of gracious and whip-smart. They solved every problem that came their way and there wasn’t one instance in which I wasn’t greeted with a smile and can-do attitude. From competitors to volunteers to faculty, there wasn’t a soul in the room who had individual focus. Their focus was on the quality of the competition and learning involved.”

Back to Top

Published: Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Last Updated: Monday, April 25, 2022

Related Articles