By Michela Owen
September 7, 2023

The next generation of sales talent at UCO

UCO's Professional Selling program is making an impact locally, nationally, and globally.
Bob Kaiser and Emily Goad lead the UCO sales program (Photo: Brent Fuchs)

Fourteen years ago, the University of Central Oklahoma added a sales class to help students prepare for possible roles after graduation. What began as a single class is now a full degree program, a minor, a sales competition where UCO hosts an elite sales team, and full accreditation from the Sales Education Foundation (SEF).

Bridging the gap

The Bachelor of Business Administration in Professional Selling degree at UCO’s College of Business has the goal of providing education and training for students to compete in the world of selling. The professional sales program at UCO has taken a hands-on approach to prepare its students for the real-world challenges of the sales sector.

Not only does the program instill the essentials of sales techniques and strategies, but it also offers students opportunities that bridge the gap between academia and the professional realm.

Bob Kaiser is the chair of the professional sales program, and Emily Goad teaches many of the courses.

Kaiser remarked, “Our growth over the years is a testament to the dedication of our staff and the unwavering enthusiasm of our students. We started with a simple vision: to equip our students with real-world sales skills. Today, we’re proud to say that our students not only excel in Edmond but make their mark across the nation and the world.”

He continued, “The integration of academic theory with practical sales scenarios has been a game-changer. Students leave our program with more than just knowledge; they leave with experience.”

Collaborating for success 

Kaiser and Goad in front of the wall of past competition winners (Photo: Brent Fuchs)

Central to UCO’s professional sales program’s success is its dedication to hands-on experience. The collaboration with the Oklahoma Professional Sales Association (OKPSA) provides students with a unique opportunity.

The monthly OKPSA luncheon at the Vast event center has become a breeding ground for networking, often leading to promising job prospects post-graduation.

Ryan Jacob, an alumnus of the UCO sales program and a board member of the OKPSA, shared, “The many connections and friendships I’ve developed through being part of this program and attending events like the OKPSA are invaluable. It’s not just about Edmond or Oklahoma City; we’ve had folks from Texas, Arkansas, and beyond attending and connecting.”

In fact, the UCO sales program has had a worldwide impact. Jacob explained, “The UCO sales program is a beacon for students nationwide. It’s a platform that truly propels students into the global marketplace with confidence and skills to match.”

Experience and drawing students

But the real-world experiences don’t stop there. UCO’s students regularly get to practice their skills both at the UCO Sales Lab and while participating in sales competitions with other University sales teams.

Because of the work the University of Central Oklahoma has put into this program, students are coming to Edmond to learn and get opportunities to fulfill their dreams all over the world.

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About Michela Owen

Michela Owen is an Oklahoma native and passionate wordsmith with a knack for creative problem-solving. After obtaining her associate's in business management from Baptist Bible College, she went on to receive her bachelor's of journalism with a focus in Public Relations from the University of Oklahoma. During her time at OU, she was the news lead of OU Esports.

Michela is also a Marketing Strategist at Backslash Creative, where she helps businesses and nonprofits be strategic about how and where they spend their marketing efforts.