A team of Business Faculty students from Lingnan University led by Prof Nancy Chen Yifeng, Associate Dean of the Faculty of Business, represented Hong Kong, China in the "National Sales Challenge," the longest-running university sales competition in the US, winning the championship in the final round of competition on 17 November 2023.
The Lingnan team members included Faculty of Business students Zhao Yunying and Dai Yanyan, who won first and second place respectively in the Asian Region individual performance category. The competition, organised by the Russ Berrie Institute for Professional Sales at William Paterson University, is the oldest university sales competition in the US, and has been held for 16 years. All competition cases were provided by well-known US companies, attracting outstanding university students from around the world aspiring to develop their sales skills. In addition, Kevin M. Short, Chief Executive Officer of ORS Nasco, North America's largest wholesaler of industrial supplies, played the role of a buyer to test the teams. A group of US corporate representatives were there to observe and recruit future sales talent.
Zhao Yunying, a student of the Faculty of Business, said: "This experience gave us the opportunity to travel to the US and allowed us to experience real business scenarios and propose solutions within a limited time frame, speaking English throughout the competition. It was a valuable learning opportunity that showcased our teamwork, communication skills, and ability to make calm judgments under pressure."
Dai Yanyan, also a student of the Faculty of Business, said: "The competition was highly competitive, and it was not easy for me to represent Lingnan and attain such an honour on the international stage. This experience not only deepened my understanding of the nature of sales but also helped me master marketing strategies and present my talents in the sales field. It was an important milestone for the Lingnan team and brought me a great sense of achievement."
Prof Nancy Chen Yifeng, Associate Dean of the Faculty of Business added that she is very proud of the Lingnan team's outstanding performance, bringing glory to Hong Kong. Prof Chen also expressed her heartfelt gratitude to the competition's organiser, Professor Mike Chao, Director of Russ Barrie Institute, Prof S. Joe Qin, President of Lingnan University, for his strong support and leadership, as well as colleagues of Business Faculty. This journey to the US not only broadened students' international horizons, but also provided them with a valuable opportunity to personally experience the cultural differences between nations, truly embodying Lingnan University's core value of cultivating students to achieve holistic and comprehensive development.
“The competition also helped students and faculty members to develop networks and build new business. Their excellent performance was recognised by professors from other competing universities, and attracted the attention of US corporate representatives, who encouraged them to pursue careers as sales specialists. Lingnan University's excellent performance on the international stage also demonstrates the Business Faculty's commitment to teaching excellence, and to equipping Lingnan students with professional skills in sales, providing a solid foundation for their future academic and career development,” said Prof Chen.