I went to a Marketing lecture as a non-business major
Not even all of my years of watching The Office could prepare me for this
Coming into MSU a few years ago, I had no idea what I was going into. Being totally lost, I followed my dad’s footsteps and set out on a business path. But before I even took my first class my freshman year, I ended up switching majors. I am now an Environmental Studies and Sustainability major. To take a peek at what I have been missing, I sat in on my friend’s Marketing 313 class. If I learned anything, it is that I am not missing much.
2:49pm: I show up at my friend Matt’s apartment. He is sprawled out on his couch, even though this class starts in 11 minutes. Apparently people who major in this don’t even take it all that seriously.
3:00pm: Fun fact: this class is held in the same classroom that I took Calc III in last semester. If that is not a bad omen, I don’t know what is.
3:03pm: Turns out today is guest speaker day! That sounds exciting.
3:04pm: The guest speakers from Gannett begin asking trivia questions and passing out prizes. So far this is more exciting than any of my science or environmental classes.
3:05pm: Question 1: What is the biggest newspaper in Michigan? Your girl actually knew this one: Detroit Freepress. Maybe I should have stuck with business.
3:07pm: First thing I learned: print is not dead… slightly ironic to learn considering that I write for an online paper and am majoring in a field that bases almost all of its opinions on the fact that we need to cut back on our paper usage…3:09pm: I have been listening to this presentation for about 10 minutes and I am lost at what they do. Apparently sales? and they can apparently “Sell to anyone.” This group works with the Lansing State Journal mainly… I’ll piece these clues together eventually.
3:12pm: Figured it out! Selling ads!
3:13pm: Some of them do it over the phone and some do it in person. Ooooooh this is kinda like The Office. How neat! I could have totally been the next Jim Halpert had I stuck with this.
3:14pm: There are lots of different kinds of sales. Territory Outside Sales, Key Outside Sales, etc. What these terms mean, I am not sure. Slightly confusing.
3:15pm: There are 5 main traits of sales people. Results, strategy, sales skills, communication, and collaboration. I am learning so much, I could totally get hired as a sales rep.
3:16pm: I have been in this class for 16 minutes, and so far I have taken better notes to base this article off of than I do in my own classes. So there’s that.
3:18pm: Wait apparently they sell products too. I guess my 3:12 revelation may not be entirely true?? I am not sure if I just wasn’t paying attention or if this is something that business students are just expected to know.
3:20pm: Sales jobs are different everyday. You gotta roll with the punches. That sounds fun:)
3:21pm: As a sales rep, you have to enter everything you do into this program called “Salesforce.” Including your leads, or else someone else in the office could swipe one. This is “the devil” to some of their employees. They had to take a weekly 6 month course on how to use it. Totally sounds like The Office. Pretty much the same as the program Ryan cooked up while he was in corporate.
3:23pm: This is so much information being thrown at you. And I have a lot of questions. Is this always relevant? Or just to this company?? Are you expected to understand all of this before you’re even hired??? I really feel like this would be better learned on the fly???? And basically no one else is taking notes, so maybe they feel the same way?????
3:25pm: No commission caps!!! Jim would be hella excited to hear this.
3:26pm: If you’re a traveling salesman, you sometimes don’t even have to come into work. Just like Packer (of The Office).
3:28pm: “Challenges = Opportunities” That’s just a good life tip. Writing that one down.
3:30pm: Now they are discussing how to get a ~paid~ internship with them. That’s such a nice gesture. No guest speaker in any of my classes has ever offered me employment.
3:32pm: We are now on to a new guest speaker. She does not have a visual presentation. Interestingggg. She works for a company called Tom James that makes custom dress clothing for men. Neattttt.
3:33pm: They’re a “people business.” Is that just a term she made up? Or is that something that I am supposed to know?
3:36pm: They “deal with a lot of rejection.” Relatable.
3:38pm: She is a business person that does business for business people. Business-ception.
3:40pm: To work here you have to go to sales school for a few weeks. Like didn’t you just go to school for four years? That doesn’t sound fun, but it does kind of back up my theory that it is better to learn this stuff on the job.
3:41pm: Oh and then you have to go through training, and then back to sales school for another few weeks! Lots of extra school. Is this how all business jobs are?? Cuz ew.
3:44pm: You need to be comfortable with public speaking. Nope. Not the right major for me.
3:45pm: “Every rejection is like a breakup, but you learn to get over it just like you get over a guy.” THIS CHICK IS RELATABLE AF.
3:49pm: Now we are just throwing around business lingo. Dividend, job fluidity, pay shares. No clue. Need a dictionary.
3:51pm: “We don’t do cold calling, we do warm calling!” That literally sounds like a Michael Scott quote.
3:52pm: She’s a “lifer.” That sounds daunting. Apparently she “just loves it!” ehhhh…..
3:54pm: “And the best memory of my job: I got a hug from the president (***longgggg pause***) of the company.” Well that was a bit of a bait and switch. (Is that a business term??? I’m a pro now)
4:03pm: Class is over! We got out 17 minutes early!! Great way to end the class.
Overall, I learned that there is a lot of stuff that you are expected to just know as a business student. They just had guest speakers today, not even a real lesson, and I was still partially lost.
Verdict: I am not cut out for business school. Too much public speaking, training and lack of structure for me to handle.
Main take away: Real life sales offices sound just like The Office.