KSU senior ‘raises the bar’ for sales program
(Jul 23, 2019) — Knowing that she wanted to pursue a business degree, Megan Colapinto dropped by the
Burruss Building one day during her freshman year to learn more about the Michael J. Coles College of Business. That visit set the course for her college and professional careers.
She picked up literature about the Coles College’s Center for Professional Selling, sparking an interest that developed into a passion for that field. Colapinto captained Kennesaw State’s sales team, won the KSU Sales Cup competition four consecutive times,and this week will receive her professional sales degree with a 4.0 grade point average.
“I cannot believe how blessed I am to have had a college career like this,” Colapinto said. “I couldn’t have asked for or imagined a better experience.”
Colapinto credits much of her success to the Center for Professional Selling and her mentor, Terry Loe, co-director of the Center and a professor of marketing and professional sales. The Coles College’s program is unique in that fewer than 5 percent of universities in the United States offer a professional sales degree program. Also, the annual National Collegiate Sales Competition hosted by Kennesaw State is the largest and oldest collegiate sales competition in the world.
“I saw the Center for Professional Selling as a place with endless amounts of opportunity for students, so I dove in my freshman year,” Colapinto said. “As the semesters progressed, I started advancing my skills and building deeper relationships, and it became a community that continued to challenge me and help me develop professionally.”
Colapinto joined the sales competition team as an alternate as a freshman, became a fixture on the team the following year and then was voted by her peers to be team captain. She was a four-time winner of the Sales Cup, a competition every semester in which KSU students earn points through participating in sales competitions, demonstrating leadership in the sales program and being involved in the Sales Club – an organization Colapinto co-founded and served as president.
“Megan is one of the most dedicated individuals I have had the pleasure to work with in my 27 years in academe,” Loe said. “She exemplifies the ideal student and will be a valuable asset to any organization with whom she is affiliated. Megan has raised the bar for our current and future sales program students.”
Colapinto also is in the Coles College Scholars Program for KSU’s top business students. Coles Scholars earn a minor in the two-year program that focuses on leadership development, integrated and international studies, community engagement and mentorship.
Colapinto traveled with her Coles Scholars cohort to the Dominican Republic last year
on a social entrepreneurship trip, during which the students assessed needs in the
communities they visited and proposed solutions. She took a second education abroad trip this spring, to Greece to experience the culture and study international sales
“Being part of both the Center for Professional Sellingand the Coles Scholars Program completely shaped not only my college experience, but who I am as a person – because of the people I met and the experiences, challenges and opportunities I had,” Colapinto said. “Those programs changed the trajectory of how I spent these four years and where I will go from here.”
Not surprisingly, Colapinto already has a full-time job lined up prior to receiving her degree from Kennesaw State. In June, she began a 12-month training program with Ciena, a networking systems, services and software company. Colapinto will become a sales engineer, designing and creating networks to meet clients’ needs in response to constantly changing demands and advancements.
“I love opportunities that challenge me and help me grow my skill set, capabilities and critical thinking,” Colapinto said. “I have learned that hard work is fun when you are passionate.”
— Paul Floeckher
Photography by Jason Getz
A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 41,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the second-largest university in the state. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the region and from 126 countries across the globe. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.