Seniors Katherine Reagan and Laura Su, who graduate from the Naveen Jindal School of Management this month, recently won the International Collegiate Sales Competition’s Sales Management Case Competition, besting teams from 30 universities around the country. This was the first time either Reagan or Su had participated in a sales management case competition. They each took home $1,000 and a video camera.
The JSOM team was given a hypothetical case on the first night of the Orlando, Fla., competition and 36 hours to analyze it, develop a sales management strategy and prepare a presentation to deliver to a board of executive judges. Proceeding to the finals round, Reagan and Su were given a second case at 8 p.m. on a Friday night and had only until 8 a.m. the following morning — Nov. 7 — to create a second presentation for judges.
“These two are absolutely amazing — the dynamic duo,” says Dr. Howard Dover, a clinical professor of marketing and director of JSOM’s Professional Sales Concentration. “I can’t think of a better end to their collegiate sales careers than with our program’s first national win at a sales competition. We knew they were winners; now the nation knows they are winners.”
Reagan and Su spent about two months preparing for the competition, often spending more than 10 hours together a week.
“Winning the competition was unreal,” says Reagan. “We directly competed against so many large schools with programs that have been around much longer than ours. Beating out 60 other sharp minds was something neither of us imagined. However, I think the best part of winning the competition was that Laura and I proved to ourselves that we were capable.”
“Winning the competition was such a rewarding moment because we had put in so much time and effort,” Su says. “Since this was a team effort, Kate and I had basically been in a room together for over 40 hours brainstorming and executing our presentations. Seeing both of our efforts amount to a first-place win put so much joy into our hearts because it showed us that we were able to not only perform at our highest potential, but also to beat out every school that was there. It means a lot to me because it shows that I have learned very valuable information in college, and that I am able to apply it to real-word situations.”
Both Reagan and Su already have full-time jobs awaiting them upon graduation at companies where they interned while at JSOM. Su, who is in the Davidson Management Honors Program and majoring in marketing, will work as a solution sales specialist in IBM’s New York City offices, starting in summer 2016. She plans to attend a semester of graduate school at JSOM before then. Reagan, who has a double major in marketing and accounting, has accepted a position with Texas Capital Bank.
“Kate is an accounting major and is such a fun-loving, out-of-the-box thinker,” Dover says. “Laura is one of our Davidson Honors scholars and a veteran of our sales program. I would say these two represent the core of our veteran talent in the sales program this fall. They approached me in the summer and asked to be allowed to represent JSOM in the case competition. It was obviously a winning combination.”
Su, who grew up in Plano, Texas, chose UT Dallas because both her parents and older brother are alumni. Her parents, Eric H. Su, MS in MIS and MS in MAS ’83, and Shuhui D. (Daisy) Su, MS ’85, earned degrees after moving from Taiwan. Her brother, Patrick, graduated with a BS in Finance degree in 2009.
“The growth of the Jindal School also was a huge factor in my decision,” she says. “The JSOM had growing recognition nationally and offered great learning opportunities. I decided to get involved with the sales program because as a marketing major, I wanted to explore what other career opportunities I might have. I really liked that the program provided hands-on training and could easily show the application of what I was learning. It was really one of the best decisions of my college career, because through it I have developed a lot of necessary skills and also have gotten multiple internship and job offers.”
Born in Ohio, Reagan moved to Colleyville at age 12. She originally chose UT Dallas as a means to eventually transfer to UT Austin. However, after a year at UT Dallas, she said. “I couldn’t bring myself to leave. I loved it too much.”
Reagan also has high praise for JSOM’s sales program.
“To students who are unsure of what they want to do, I cannot convey enough just how much of an impact the sales program can make on your life,” Reagan says. “Before becoming involved with the program, I struggled to find an internship and dreaded the notorious after-college job search grind. Through the sales program, I locked down an incredible internship and accepted a job offer with a wonderful company five months before graduation.”