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Passionate, Purposeful, Profitable - A Different Kind of Business Course

May 18, 2011

Baylor University's Center for Professional Selling will offer a new course in Fall 2011 called Sales for Social Impact. This course comes on the heels of a generous grant from 3M, which encourages business schools to make a social difference in an area of need. Baylor undergraduate students with a wide variety of majors will be spending their class time developing sustainable marketing and sales models around this year's area of focus - personal water purification systems in developing countries.

"The students will get a great practical learning opportunity," said Andrea Dixon, the executive director of Baylor's Center for Professional Selling and a marketing professor in the Hankamer School of Business. "Students will develop a business model and a sales and marketing plan that in-country entrepreneurs can use to launch a sustainable business."

"Upon receiving the Sales for Social Impact grant, the call went out for qualified, interested participants," Dixon said. "Baylor students didn't disappoint. The impressive candidate pool forced a rigorous selection process including an application and interview. In the end, twelve deserving students remained." The students have expertise ranging from sales and marketing to economics, engineering and journalism:

• Andy Anderson

• Ryan Anderson

• Austin Barnes

• Jonathan Berry

• Alana Dodson

• Anna Hoglund

• Chase Kanaly

• Emily Kirwan

• Hannah Kroening

• Jeb Phillips

• Isaac Valadez

• JR Weaver

"Baylor's Center for Professional Selling is pleased to have the opportunity to partner with 3M on this unique learning opportunity for our students. This is not a 'normal class' as students will be challenged to engage with people and a culture at the bottom of the economic pyramid. Financial support from the 3M company will allow representatives of the class to gather primary research first-hand in the marketplace, thereby enhancing their research skills and creating real insights for meaningful marketing and sales planning," said Dixon.

The course is being team-taught by marketing professors Dr. Jeff Tanner and Dr. Chris Blocker.

"I'm really excited about this opportunity and especially appreciative of 3M's commitment," said Tanner, who is the associate dean for Research and Faculty Development at the Business School. "Our students have the chance to learn in a way that few can - by actually doing something that has potential to improve the quality of life for many. They'll also have the chance to see the universality of what they are learning here - that what they learn can be applied to solve wide-ranging challenges."

Blocker added, "The Sales for Social Impact course is a wonderful opportunity that tangibly reflects Baylor's values for experiential learning, a global perspective, and social impact. We are very grateful for 3M's vision and support for this project, and we anticipate that the experience will further promote our students' abilities to make an impact for social good while they are gaining hands-on work experience."

Baylor University's Center for Professional Selling is dedicated to excellence in sales education. Based in the university's Hankamer School of Business, the sales center is recognized as one of the premier information and leadership resources for collegiate students and sales professionals in the nation.

For more information on Baylor's Center for Professional Selling, please visit:

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