ALLIANCE, Ohio – Students in the University of Mount Union’s SLS 360: Personal Selling and Sales Management course had a record year of sales with their annual project benefitting Clean the World (CTW).
Throughout the semester, students in professor Mark McConnell’s class participate in a fundraising effort to benefit CTW, a non-profit organization that collects used soap from hotels, sanitizes/recycles it, and sends the newly-formed bars of soap to developing countries.
This opportunity provides unique, real-world sales experience to Mount Union’s marketing students. Students in this class function as a partner of the ONE project Hygiene Kit Build Project and are challenged to sell sets of hygiene kit ingredients. As a part of several small teams, students gain real experience in generating leads, engaging with clients and closing sales with businesses and organizations.
The Fall 2019 cohort broke every sales record in the course project, which is in its sixth year on campus. The class of 26 students had the most dollars sold ($12,069), the most kits built (4,023) and the highest per-student sales average ($635.21). This brought the six-year total to $52,629 and more than 17,500 kits for CTW.
“SLS 360 really challenged me as a student,” said Jim Novinc ’20, a marketing and public relations double major of Chagrin Falls, Ohio. “It forced me to reach out and meet with people I wouldn't normally interact with to try to sell a different kind of product. On top of that, this project exemplifies Mount Union's mission of instilling responsible citizenship in all students and was one in which I was proud to be involved.”
For additional funds to support its mission, CTW relies on its Hygiene Kit Build Project, through which organizations purchase ingredients for hygiene kits (consisting of soap, washcloths and assorted other toiletries), which are then assembled as a team-building activity and donated to a local charity of the organizations’ choice.
“In this class we sell real products, to real people, for real money,” said McConnell. “The best way to learn about sales is by doing it, but finding a company willing to entrust their entire sales effort to students for a single semester seemed nearly impossible — until I first heard about CTW’s Hygiene Kit Build Project.”
“SLS 360 was an experience that has grown my marketing capabilities through a challenging project,” said Abbey Spisz ’21, a marketing, finance and economics triple major of North Olmstead, Ohio. “This was done through learning the necessary selling techniques and fully applying classroom materials to receive client's acceptances, which was a valuable skill to learn. Through my personal values, on campus clubs and the University of Mount Union's mission, CTW has helped establish the necessary platform needed to fulfill community service connections and touch the hearts of those in need.”