Third BASE Sales Summit and Career Expo is Biggest Yet

The third annual Business Analytics, Sales and Supply Chain, or BASE, Summit and Career Expo, hosted by the University of Mississippi School of Business Administration, brought together a record number of students with potential employers in the field.

The event, held March 5 in the Paul B. Johnson Commons, featured numerous employees from 49 Financial, AT&T, Dell Technologies, Harrah’s Gulf Coast, Insight Global, Modern Woodmen of America, Mylo, Rezult Group, Strategic Financial Partners and Trane.

“Our career and networking events are great learning opportunities for students interested in sales, supply chain or business analytics careers, and we continue to gain traction every semester,” said Matt Shaner, director of the BASE program and assistant professor of marketing. “We had a record student turnout last fall, and we more than doubled our fall attendance this spring.”

Mary Katherine Womack, business development partner at Rezult Group, and Morgan Ball, the firm’s director of business operations, discussed the early phases of their careers and what they have learned. They emphasized that sales is more than finance; it also includes a focus on building relationships and connections with clients.

“Ole Miss builds people up to be social people, work a room and apply knowledge learned in the classroom for the real world,” said Womack, A Nashville, Tennessee, resident who earned her degree in integrated marketing communications at Ole Miss. “Sales is a people-oriented job and you learn quickly.”

Serving your community is another important consideration, said Laura Avant, representing Modern Woodmen, a holistic financial service company. Modern Woodmen handles everything from life insurance and investment funds to retirement planning to even estate planning. But more importantly, the client-owned company focuses on giving back to communities across the country, she said.

“The difference between us is that we are a fraternal based company which just means that we are not owned by stockholders,” Avant said. “So, we are owned by our members and by our clients, which allows us to do more for them.

“Like last year, we put $1.2 million back into the state of Mississippi.”

The company also has been assisting with the rebuilding efforts in the Monroe County town of Amory, following a destructive tornado last year.

The large number of companies represented allowed students to talk one-on-one with employees and understand more about each company and what hiring managers look for in prospective employees.

“We want students to have every opportunity to succeed in their careers, including developing both analytical acumen as well as effective communication skills,” Shaner said. “These events are designed to give them exposure to industry recruiters, as well as the practice and polish they need to develop the kind of executive presence that will serve them well long after they’ve graduated.”

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