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Center for Professional Selling

Abby Haan and Rebeka Shols Win the Sales Education Foundation Scholarship for Female Sales Students

Jan. 7, 2021

Abby Haan

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Rebeka Shols

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The Sales Education Foundation (SEF)’s Barbara Giamanco Memorial Scholarship Committee selected Abby Haan and Rebeka Shols for their 2020-2021 scholarship. Applicants for this scholarship must be female students enrolled in the study of Professional Selling, where the awards committee expressed particular interest in U.S. students who have completed two sales courses, competed in a sales competition, and participated in a sales club.

Baylor ProSales Senior Abby Haan notes that through her sales classes, she has “learned that it takes a team of people, with a variety of skillsets and personalities, to make a sales team operate efficiently.” Through her scholarship application, she emphasized the need to develop a mindset of listening and learning the needs of others before looking for ways to provide solutions. According to Abby, “When I think about what makes a great salesperson now, I see someone with the ability to see others first, listen well, speak clearly and honestly, respond quickly and thoroughly, and humbly work alongside his or her team. Selling competitions also helped me gain a new outlook on professional selling by teaching me that there is always more to learn from those more experienced than you, and it is okay to take calculated risks.”

Also a Senior in the Professional Selling program, Rebeka Shols notes that “ProSales has taught me not to underestimate myself. During my first year in the program, I discovered a Type-A version of myself that's driven, ambitious, and knows how to get what she wants. I've learned to believe in myself and not doubt my own ability.” The results of this mindset: top placement in several competitions. But for Rebeka, ProSales goes well beyond competitions because the heart of ProSales is its community. “I love to community we have in the program. We really all do know and care for one another and that can be seen through the lengths we will go to see each other succeed.”

The Baylor ProSales program is built a competency-based model that includes a number of development strategies, including the assignment of two mentors to each student. One mentor, the ProSales Big, helps the new student learn the ropes of the program. The other mentor, an executive from industry, provides broader input and impact on the student’s development. Abby commented on the importance of her executive mentor, Pierce Miner (also an alumnus of the ProSales program) in her application for this scholarship:

“When I first joined the ProSales program my sophomore year, I was paired with a professional mentor…. and we set up bi-weekly meetings to learn the basics: how to interview, sharpen a resume, explore different industries, role play, process offers, and more. He taught me how to push my limits, step into uncomfortable situations, and seek constant learning. It’s funny, in our first conversation, I told him that I would never follow his footsteps into technology sales. Truthfully, it frightened me. Despite my vocal rejection of technology, he somehow convinced me during the fall of my junior year to take a risk and sign my internship offer from Cisco Systems to work with application performance monitoring. I had no idea how I would make it through the summer, but I was okay with saying yes to the challenge. That summer, Pierce helped me navigate the battle of a quick ramping up period by teaching me software terminology, how to conduct discovery calls with IT and DevOps executives, and encouraging me to confidently contribute to my male-dominated team…Without Pierce’s influence on my life, I wouldn’t be the saleswoman I am today. He helped me grow in my confidence, knowledge, and skills; he patiently pushed me to excel; and he empowered me to showcase my abilities as a woman in an industry learning how to appreciate my skillset,” Abby noted.

Abby and Rebeka will apply this $1,000 scholarship toward their final semester’s tuition and books as they will graduate with their BBA majoring in Professional Selling in May 2021.

About the Center for Professional Selling

Dedicated to excellence in sales education and based in the university's Hankamer School of Business, the Center for Professional Selling is recognized as one of the premier global information resources for the sales profession. For more information on the Center for Professional Selling, visit https://www.baylor.edu/business/selling

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