Southeastern students compete in Bayou Sales Challenge

Members of the Southeastern Louisiana University student sales team recently competed in the Bayou Sales Challenge. Overall Southeastern earned three of the top five spots after the first round of competition and four of the top 10 spots after the wildcard round against seven other universities. From left, are Tara Lopez, associate professor of marketing, sales team members India Williams, Danyl James, Mary Graves, Alee Hess, Austin Rogers, Garrett Buras, Taylor Windom, and April Kemp, marketing and sales instructor.

A team of seven Southeastern Louisiana University students successfully competed in the Bayou Sales Challenge, a role-play competition held recently at Nicholls State University.

Members of the sales team included Denham Springs native Austin Rogers, along with Mary Graves of Kentwood, Alee Hess of Belle Chasse, India Williams of Baton Rouge, and Garrett Buras, Danyel James, and Taylor Windom, all of Covington.

In only Southeastern’s second time participating in the competition, Hess won the Individual Sales Competition, the highest honor of the sales challenge, while Buras and Graves won the Team Selling Competition, said April Kemp, marketing and sales instructor and professional sales program coach.

Overall, Southeastern earned three of the top five spots after the first round of competition and four of the top 10 spots after the wildcard round against six other universities, including Florida State, LSU, Nicholls, Southern, University of Louisiana - Lafayette, and Xavier.

“I am so proud of our students’ performance at the Bayou Sales Challenge,” Kemp said. “Their hard work and preparation did not go unnoticed. Having success in these competitions brings recognition to what we are doing at Southeastern to prepare students for sales careers.”

During the competition, the participants gain real-world sales experience through complex role-play scenarios, Kemp said.

“It encourages the students to develop essential sales skills and business acumen, while interacting with business professionals who sponsor and judge the event,” she said. “It also gives them an opportunity to interview with companies who are looking to hire graduates to work in sales.”

Kemp said 44 students competed in the event. Students engaged in a series of 15-minute sales calls, taking on the role of sales personnel for Gartner, the world’s leading information technology research and advisory company. Participants advanced through a series of three rounds of role-playing, each increasing in difficulty and competition.

For more information about the professional sales program, visit

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