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Thursday, February 20, 2020

Academics & Research

Sales academy launches at Bauer to solve Houston’s ‘tech problem’


There were over 120 applicants to The Bauer Sales Academy, but only 30 were admitted.

There were over 120 applicants to The Sales Academy, but only 30 were admitted. | Kathryn Lenihan/The Cougar

The Sales Academy at UH began in January as a program a part of the Stephen Stagner Sales Excellence Institute in the C. T. Bauer College of Business to train students to get jobs in the technology industry. 

The Sales Academy accepted applicants back in September and is an eight-week certification course that is open to any graduate student or those about to graduate.

The Sales Academy came into fruition because Houston has a tech problem,” said Sales Academy Program Manager Jennifer Herrera.

Houston was not in the top-20 list for the new headquarters for Amazon, Herrera said, and that was one of the reasons the Sales Academy launched at UH. 

“We aim to create a workforce that is equipped to build out the startup community in Houston,” Herrera said.

There were over 120 applicants to the Sales Academy, but only 30 were admitted. The 30 students began their certification Jan. 21.

The payment to be in the program is deferred tuition set up through TDECU, Herrera said. There is no upfront cost, but the payment of $5,000 comes after the student gets a job that pays more than $50,000. There will be no cost to students who fail to get a job. 

“We are working very close with the City of Houston as well as incubators around the Houston area,” Herrera said. 

Students in the academy are exposed to the trials of selling an actual product as well as networking events to immerse themselves in Houston’s tech industry.

The Stephen Stagner Sales Excellence Institute was established in 1996 as a part of the C. T. Bauer College of Business.

“What we’re finding is that there is such a shortage in Houston and in the nation for highly trained business development representative positions that there is an endless demand and definitely not enough supply,” Director of Corporate Relations for the Stagner Sales Excellence Institute John Pingel said in a September news release.

A goal of the academy, Pingel said, is for the graduates to leave the program equipped to take on a sales role as a business development representative for emerging startups.

“The City of Houston wants to attract more tech companies,” Herrera said. “Therefore, we are creating a workforce that is equipped to build these companies out which are for the most part startups.”

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