Students in Southeastern Louisiana University’s new Professional Sales Program will
soon benefit from a state-of-the-art training room thanks to a $100,000 donation from
Pending University of Louisiana System Board approval, the new Northwestern Mutual
Sales Training Room will be located in Garrett Hall on Southeastern’s campus, with
renovations to existing space set to begin in early 2019.
Steven Dugal, managing partner of the Mississippi and Louisiana offices, as well as
Paul Hodge, managing director of the Mandeville and Gulfport offices, are supporting
“We are excited to get involved in Southeastern’s Professional Sales Program. From
our experience at other universities, sales students ramp up faster than non-sales
students, have lower turnover, and are more prepared for the workforce” said Dugal,
noting that Northwestern Mutual has been instrumental in donating to other similar,
successful programs at universities.
Southeastern’s Professional Sales Program was created to draw high-ability students
toward selling as a career, better prepare those students for early success in professional
selling careers, and connect them with sales professionals in the region. According
to research conducted by the Sales Education Foundation, more than 50 percent of business
school graduates enter the workforce in a sales-oriented position.
Dean of the College of Business Toni Phillips said the core sales curriculum consists
of courses in personal selling, advanced professional selling and sales management
and is supported with other marketing courses in consumer behavior, marketing research,
and marketing strategy. With the current goal to prepare students for success in the
sales profession, the program has been developed for marketing majors with a future
goal of including those majoring in areas outside of business who wish to pursue a
“We know that professional sales is not only a starting point for careers, but is
becoming more and more important across all sectors of the economy,” said Phillips.
“The Southeastern Professional Sales Program will help train the next generation
of sales leaders and the investment that Northwestern Mutual is making demonstrates
that the program is on the right track. We are really appreciative of Northwestern
An important objective of the program, Phillips added, is to connect sales program students with sales professionals and organizations through role-play competitions, internships, guest speakers, panel discussions and career opportunities.