Last spring, Jared Thomas ’17 was in class when faculty member John Chapman came in to speak with the students about the North Carolina Sales Institute’s (NCSI) Student Business Group. NCSI is a program in the Bryan School that emphasizes sales education, training, and research. Thomas, a December graduate majoring in marketing, found Chapman’s pitch interesting and became involved with the club. He ended up being elected vice president and is now president for his final semester.
On Wednesdays at 5:00 pm, Thomas and the NCSI Student Business Group meet in Bryan 225. There, depending on the week, students are able do things such as ask officers about general academic issues, bring in their resumes, and practice networking. Faculty and employees from sponsor companies are often invited to speak to the students, giving students the opportunity to hear from professionals in fields that may interest them.
As president of the Student Business Group, Thomas is responsible for organizing and delegating responsibilities to the other three officers along with creating the ever-changing schedule for the semester. He also manages recruiting, often visiting classes to talk about the organization. While Thomas has benefitted from the skills taught in the meetings, being president has given him the opportunity to learn and grow in additional ways.
“I’ve been able to learn business appearance and how I want to present myself,” Thomas said. “I’ve learned how to better think through how I want to sell something and talk to people.” This includes small details such as remembering that, for some, being called ma’am or sir can be seen as rude. “I’m from Raleigh,” he said, “so that’s something I struggle to remember.”
Other skills Thomas has been able to learn and improve upon as president are emailing effectively, organization and time management, communication on various hierarchical levels, punctuality, and always being well-prepared.
This semester, the NCSI Student Business Group is holding a ticket sales competition for the Greensboro Swarm and an end-of-year event that Thomas and the officers are in the process of planning. For the future of the group, Thomas hopes that, one day soon, the group will be able to attend and participate in national sales competitions.
Thomas has high hopes for the club and its future because it operates differently than most campus groups. “Many clubs focus on what the students can bring to the table. But NCSI really wants to add value and give to the students,” he said. “The NCSI Student Business Group really appealed to me initially because of the value it adds to its students’ lives.”
If you have questions or would like to know more about joining, please contact Jared Thomas at [email protected].