Aug. 3, 2023

‘It’s a really unique opportunity’

NDSU business students are enhancing their classroom experience with a student-led podcast about professional selling.

The “Power to Sell” podcast started in an entrepreneurial sales course taught by NDSU marketing lecturer Eric Gjerdevig in 2022. Students in the class were tasked with creating a podcast using their skills and knowledge. The show features interviews with local professionals and focuses on mastering the skills of persuasion, leadership and sales, providing a distinctive experience for NDSU students.

Hosting the show has not only been an exciting and rewarding experience but also has helped students expand their professional network. Natalie Lemnus, a finance and marketing undergraduate and co-host of the show, said the experience has given her direct access to top industry professionals. It’s an opportunity that would be hard to come by otherwise.

"An extremely fun part is how this is expanding my network," said Lemnus. "Normally, I wouldn’t be able to schedule a 30–45-minute conversation with a criminal defense attorney or even with the president of the university. But this has facilitated those conversations taking place; it’s a really unique opportunity."

Hosting the podcast also has equipped her with valuable skills that she can leverage in the future.

"Hosting requires excellent communication, including speaking, listening and asking questions," Lemnus said. "Being a student host of this podcast has also helped me build my personal brand. This can help you stand out in a competitive job market and position yourself for success in the future."

Indio Dowd, a former NDSU marketing student and co-host of the podcast, also benefited from the experience. He said interviewing show guests has helped him apply what he learns in the classroom to real-world situations.

"We learn a lot of great skills in the classroom, and then we can talk to guests and learn more about their real-world uses," Dowd said. "Their knowledge is something that would take me years to learn by myself, so it is great to take a piece of their advice."

Additionally, he has gained valuable insights from experts in the field. This experience has helped sharpen his interview and communication skills.

"When you are talking to the guests, you have limited time to speak with them and you have to be sure to ask the best possible questions to get the answers you want," Dowd said. "I have had the opportunity to be the one being interviewed several times, but it is great to have the chance to be on the other side.”

According to Gjerdevig, the podcast is more than just a valuable tool for enhancing a student's understanding of professional selling. The show offers students an opportunity to connect with industry leaders and build crucial skills for their future careers, he said.

"Students are getting the opportunity to meet and visit with business and community leaders who they likely wouldn’t have otherwise interacted with," Gjerdevig said. "This helps them build skills, confidence and connections that extend far beyond the classroom."

Power to Sell can be found on all major podcast platforms. Episodes include interviews with NDSU president David Cook and U.S. Congressman Kelly Armstrong. More information about the NDSU College of Business can be found online.

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