Meet the Professional Sales Organization at Temple University
Work Hard, Play Hard
Despite its business connotation, the Professional Sales Organization at Temple University is a student organization for any student, of any major, to join and become a part of. This year’s president, Maura K. Spellman, emphasizes the importance of growth in experience and confidence when it comes to networking of any field.
It was in her freshman year at Temple University when she became involved in the Professional Sales Organization. In high school, she was extremely outgoing and often found herself in leadership positions, like President of her class and captain of field hockey and lacrosse teams.
Maura’s outgoing personality thrives off of being involved and busy, so she knew once she got to Temple she needed to find her niche.
“It was my freshman year, I was in Professor Petrucci’s Human Resource and Management class and we had the president, Kevin Yang, come in and talk to us," Spellman said. "He pitched the organization to us, and then also talked about the Student Professional Organization Fair, which is something that Fox hosts in the fall.”
It was here where Spellman came in contact with the Professional Sales Organization and after hearing about them, was 100% sold on joining.
“This is a great way in which you can get involved early, you can learn a skill that will teach you how to communicate and use your personal influence, and it’s relatable to any career you want to go into," Spellman said.
Despite its intimidating structure, at first, Maura felt the need to come back meeting after meeting because of one simple, personal reason: they remembered her name.
This organization is not just a label you take on, but a family you become a part of, according to Spellman. This student organization is a place where you are encouraged, as she was in her freshman year, to just join.
Spellman says, “Our organization, I would say, as a whole, is very open and fun. Our big motto is we like to work hard, but we like to play hard at the same time too. So, some of my best friends have come from this organization. Our team culture is based off of mutual respect, listening to others, and teamwork"
The Professional Sales Organization has their speaker series on Wednesdays, which is when the corporate relations speakers, from various industries, come in and talk about their career paths, professional development, and how to get involved in an industry like theirs. On their Friday meetings, or the sales seminar, which are more relaxed, is where they go through their interactive exercises.
“Our goal is, essentially, to fill a gap that Fox currently has right now. A lot of schools don’t have a sales major, and we want to teach a skill, as well as give insight into multiple different industries," Spellman said. "I don’t think many other organizations here in Fox – there are a few, but not many – teach a skill that can be transferable into real life, into your classroom, into the business world, and that’s something that makes us unique.”
Spellman stresses that the uncomfortableness one feels during a presentation or a sales negotiation practice is actually growth, which is why they push the members to take part in things like that. Even though she was outgoing in high school, she found herself becoming introverted at college because everything was very intimidating. It’s all a matter of being pushed out of your comfort zone. She went from not being able to stand in front of a classroom, to now doing presentations in front of 300 people.
One major factor that pulled Spellman to become a part of this organization was the fact that, at the time, there were little to no females in the organization.
“We have a really unique situation where our organization has transformed over the past year. So, out first female president was Leah Baker, who had this position for last year’s term. The first time I was in this organization, I walked in and attendance was about 30 people and out of those 30 people, there were five females. Now, today on our management team, we have five females.”
Going back to the respect aspect of this organization, this is a key example where the PSO exemplifies how to change with our changing culture. Consecutively having another female as president is remarkable for this organization. Furthermore, now, 37% of PSO’s members are female. It’s amazing, especially today, where the “#MeToo” movement is dominating the media, as well as pay equality. It’s truly something special for an organization to embody a society that’s growing to empowerment of women and equality overall.
Although there are numerous organization to join on campus, PSO is truly a student organization to join this semester.
Spellman says, “Anyone who’s really interested in improving themselves and their communication skills. We are open to anyone joining the organization as we are not major specific.”
However, Spellman hopes that, in the future, the overwhelming success of this organization will inspire Temple University to create a sales major within Fox Business school. Until then, keep an eye on the Professional Sales Organization, as they have big things coming their way.