Sales fraternity places second in country

Despite only existing for seven years, the Zeta Nu chapter of Pi Sigma Epsilon took second in the country out of 60 chapters at the Pi Sigma Epsilon National Convention. 

Six students in the chapter were named finalists for the Pro Am sales competition, out of 275 students that started the competition in the fall.

Awards won by Pi Sigma Epsilon

1st place: Top Sales Project (TOMM)
1st place: Top Project Manager (Jake Mitchell)
2nd place: Top Professional Development Program
2nd place: Top Promotional Campaign
6 students in the Pro-Am Sell-a-thon sales competition final including Nick Warner (top 10) and Jake Mitchell (3rd place)
Sustained Chapter Excellence Award
$1,500 MultiView Scholarship-Ross Allen

$1,500 Western and Southern Life Scholarship-Katimae Bosscher

The chapter competed against larger schools, including Ohio State University, Michigan State University and Georgia University.

“I like to tell the students ‘Hey, we can beat these people’ because I don’t think they’re used to hearing that at CMU. Even though we’re smaller, we are just as good. That’s why they’re willing to work so hard,” said the chapter's adviser, Kenneth Cherry.

Nationals is a convention held in Wisconsin for all PSE chapters across the nation. Business fraternities competed against other chapters to be the top gold chapter, bronze or silver chapter, depending on success throughout the year.

The event, which occurred March 21-26, included sales competitions like Pro-Am Sell-A-Thon, where students, using a sales case, sell a real product to real sales managers and buyers, on why they should use their product. 

The event also provided professional development opportunities and competitions for Top Chapter, Top Sales Project and Top Public Relations.

“It was humbling to know if you put in the time and effort and set a goal and work your butt off, anything is possible,” said Alto junior Jake Mitchell.

Mitchell won first place for top project manager for The Taste of Mid-Michigan, an event hosted in September where vendors sampled food to students and Mount Pleasant residents at Island Park.

He was a finalist for the Pro-Am Sell-a-thon, including Nick Statly, Nick Warner, Ross Allen, Lindsey Apostol and Dre Artis.

“I put so much blood, sweat and tears into that -- and I do mean tears. I cried a couple times from stress, so winning was awesome to me,” Mitchell said. “I truly think that our ceremony day was the best days of my life.”

Grand Rapids senior Tyler DesSaint won the regionals speaker competition in the fall before being selected to host the nationals awards ceremony.

Throughout dinner, he would go on stage and introduce members in front of an audience of about 500 people, he said.

“It was really great opportunity because I got to introduce new board members and announce where nationals will be next year," DesSaint said. "It was great to get myself out there in front of a group of people and really make everyone laugh and have a good time.”

PSE won second place in both Top Professional Development program and Top Promotional program, as well as the sustained chapter excellence award for being a top ten chapter for four years straight.

The taste of Mid-Michigan event placed first place for sales projects. Ross Allen received a $1,500 MultiView scholarship and Katimae Bosscher received a $1,500 Western and Southern Life scholarship.

“We are already figuring out what we can do differently to set us up as the best in the nation next year,” Mitchell said. “It’s a year-long process. We don’t just show up and expect to win, we work our butts off all year and then all of our projects are put into one.”

The PSE competitors practiced three filmed role plays at CMU before the event with their adviser so they could prepare to win.

More than 40 hours were put into preparations, Cherry said.

“We have students who put their hearts into it and think and are smart. That’s how we’re successful. It sounds boring when your parents say if you work hard, things will pay off, but that’s exactly what happens. They worked really hard and deserved all of it.”