The material presented is a homework assignment designed to get students thinking about their career goals. In particular, the assignment encourages consideration of personal selling as a career choice relative to the student's own goals and preferred working style. It helps students analyze sales jobs and their interest in pursuing a sales career.
Type of Material:
The type of material is a drill and practice assignment.
This assignment would best be used as a homework assignment but could also be used out-of-class.
No technical requirements are needed to use the material.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
The goal for the user is to reflect on career goals and determine the appropriateness of a sales career relative to those goals. A secondary goal is to learn more about personal selling as a career choice. It helps students to understand the characteristics that are necessary in professional sales jobs, analyze want ads to understand what potential employers desire, and reflect upon their personal characteristics and preferences for their job search.
Target Student Population:
The target student population is undergraduate students in a Personal Selling course. This assignment could also be used as part of the sales module in a Principles of Marketing course.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
No prerequisite knowledge or skills is required.
Evaluation and Observation
The assignment is easy to read and understand. The author's explanation of characteristics students may possess would help students understand some of the differences among people that they may have not formally considered. Also implicit in this discussion is that the more students are aware of their own preferences, the better they will be at finding a job in which they will be happy.
The assignment of finding want ads in the paper is a bit dated for students who 1st instinct is to go the the internet. Using the internet could be an easy change to the assignment. Today's students may not be familiar with Herb Tarylk and WKRP in Cincinnati (an example referenced in the text).
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
Students are asked to reflect on their career goals, which is always a useful exercise. It requires the students to analyze real-life jobs and reflect upon their preferences and preparedness to enter the job market. Students are encourages to start thinking about their job search early in their studies as a marketing student. In addition, students will gain knowledge about career opportunities in sales.
Newspaper ads for sales jobs do not necessarily reflect the typical sales job. To some extent, these ads might reinforce the "used-car salesperson" stereotype of salespeople rather than dispel that negative image. The actual assignment could provide more direction to the students since not all ads will be equally informative. Maybe list categories of characteristics that students should consider would be helpful.