March 13, 2009
Abbott Nutrition sales competition at Purdue draws 23 studentsWEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - A team of four students won $5,000 in scholarship money and an interview with Abbott Laboratories in the inaugural Abbott Nutrition sales competition at Purdue University.
The February event was designed to give students an opportunity to experience a simulated sales call and to learn the science of enteral nutrition. Abbott Laboratories, which partnered with the Department of Consumer Sciences and Retailing and the Department of Foods and Nutrition, sponsored the competition.
Seven teams, each with 2-4 members, had 15 minutes to sell Glucerna 1.2, an Abbott nutritional enteral product designed for patients with diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance. Their customers were dietitians in either an acute or long-term care setting.
The contestants were judged on their opening, their ability to probe the customer for needs, use of sales materials, objection handling and closing.
Winning first place was the team of Laura Griggs, a junior in Foods and Nutrition; Michelle Bojrab, a junior in Foods and Nutrition; Stephanie Martinez, a junior in Consumer Sciences and Retailing; and Alli Parker, a junior in Consumer Sciences and Retailing.
Second place, and $3,000 in scholarship money, went to the team of Lauren Sramek, a senior in Consumer Sciences and Retailing; Sarah Bradbury, a senior in Consumer Sciences and Retailing; Darcy Ralls, a senior in Consumer Sciences and Retailing; and Antonio Lerma, a senior in Consumer Sciences and Retailing.
Finishing third was the team of Sara Pierle, a senior in Foods and Nutrition; Trent Wisehart, a senior in Foods and Nutrition; Cassondra Desmonds, a senior in Consumer Sciences and Retailing; and Bee Ai Lee, in Consumer Sciences and Retailing.
Brian Rutherford, an assistant professor in Consumer Sciences and Retailing, and three executives from Abbott, judged the competition.
Students were trained by two Abbott representatives prior to the competition. The training included a background on diabetes, tube-feeding basics and Abbott's selling philosophy.
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