UBC students encouraged to take part in Great Canadian Sales Competition

UBC students have the chance to participate in a national marketing challenge called the Great Canadian Sales Competition.

The Great Canadian Sales Competition is a three-round competition sponsored by several billion-dollar companies, such as Google and IBM. The idea of the challenge is to give students the chance to gain hands-on experience in marketing that could lead to an actual job.

“Some people might get misinformed that this is just some kind … of cheesy marketing job,” said Gabriela Angel, one of the UBC campus ambassadors for this competition. “There are actually some really good opportunities [with] the big sponsors behind it.”

Last year, the competition attracted over 200 participants from different universities and colleges across Canada. This year, the number of participants is already at 500 and still increasing. According to Angel, if an application is chosen as one of the top 25, the sponsors will offer a paid trip to the headquarters of Google Canada in Toronto.

“Google is a sponsor. There are also other sponsors like Dell, IBM and Air Canada,” said Angel. “[The sponsors] tend to offer a lot of the contestants internships and job placements. I think about 25 per cent of the people who competed last year ended up getting some sort of contact from these companies.”

To enter the competition, a student needs to submit a 30 to 90 second video of themself pitching something they are passionate about. If they are picked, they will get the opportunity to learn how to pitch the product or service from some of the biggest corporations in Canada.

“It can be absolutely anything. The girl who won last year did it on [a] grilled cheese [sandwich],” said Angel. “She [advertised that] it’s really easy to make and you can add to it…. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy.”

Although past videos ranged from “favourite TV show” to “why you should join a finance club,” Angel encouraged UBC students to speak to a topic with which they genuinely connect. “The more you are interested in the thing, the easier it is to do and better it is to sell the [ideas].”

In the final round, the remaining competitors will manage a sales meeting and the five winners will be selected by the sponsors.

“The opportunity really goes overlooked ... the judges and the companies they are from aren’t just random people, but VP sales and VP marketing from huge companies,” said Angel.

The first round of the competition will take applications from now until Jan 30.