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Saint Mary’s class raises $10,000 for Bengal Bouts

| Wednesday, March 7, 2018

The Professional Sales and Management course at Saint Mary’s rallied together to donate $10,000 to Bengal Bouts, but seniors Madison Marshall and Sarah Sniegowski raised $2,000 — the most of any team in the 20-person class — and took the uppercut of the sales.

The class’s professor, Michael Montalbano, encouraged his students to engage in — rather than just read about — successful sales techniques, Marshall said.

“He wants to give us the most real-life experience in sales because you can only teach so much … from a book,” Marshall said. “He does a great job pushing us to get out there and actually do sales. That’s the best way to learn: by actually doing it.”

Selling tickets and ad space, along with soliciting donations, served as integral goals throughout the process, Marshall said, but she and Sniegowski never lost sight of the most valuable objective: helping fund children’s education.

“Working for this cause was obviously a group project, and we could have just done it for a grade, but we took away way more,” she said. “It’s easier to sell when it’s something you actually care about.”

Knowing their efforts would help others helped the class to maintain focus, Sniegowski said.

“My biggest selling point when I was asking for donations was ‘Just $15 is enough money to send a child to school, feed them and house them in Bangladesh for a month,’” Sniegowski said. “When you set a goal, and you have the right mindset and purpose and passion, you can do anything.”

The College’s fundamental ambition to cultivate generous hearts and capable minds aligns perfectly with this particular assignment, Sniegowski said.

“Saint Mary’s really empowers us women to become the best versions of ourselves, and as we go out and set the world on fire, literally, we can do anything because of what we’ve had here at Saint Mary’s,” she said.

Marshall said Montalbano served as a reliable adviser throughout the process, but ultimately, the money was for the students to raise.

“He tracked our progress and basically graded us on how much we sold, which I love because, in the real world, it’s not about effort as much as it is about results,” she said. “I’ve already learned so much from our first project, and I can’t wait to see what the other two will be.”

Sniegowski said appreciating incremental progress and trusting the process of gradual improvement made the project a meaningful and fulfilling one.

“The first thing Montalbano said at the beginning of class was ‘You’re going to fail more times than you’re going to succeed,’” Sniegowski said. “So we kind of went into it knowing that we’re not going to get every single sale, but every sale we get is going to make the biggest difference.”

The assignment sparked interest in and ignited excitement about the field of sales, Marshall said.

“I was so hesitant to be in sales in general because normally for marketing — that’s my major — you start with sales jobs, and I was so against it,” Marshall said. “I forced myself to take this class because it’s a good skill to have, and I’m learning way more than I thought I would.”

Marshall said she looks forward to applying her refined skills to a future career.

“Sales is going out of your comfort zone and talking to people, and you have to be confident,” Marshall said. “Saint Mary’s teaches women to be confident, and the sales class directly reflects that.”

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About Martha Reilly

Martha is a senior majoring in English literature and political science. She currently serves as Saint Mary's editor but still values the Oxford comma in everyday use.

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