Named a top university sales program in its first year!

The Ivy Sales Program prepares undergraduate business students so they are ready for a career in professional sales as soon as they graduate.


Sucess at the highest level

There are more than 4,800 colleges and universities in the United States and less than 3 percent currently host academic sales programs. Only a handful, including Iowa State, are Research 1 institutions, which is the highest level of Carnegie Classification.

The Ivy Sales Program, developed under the leadership of Raj Agnihotri, the Mary Warner Fellow in Marketing and director of the Ivy Sales Forum, was started in spring of 2019. Before entering academia, Agnihotri held a number of sales and marketing positions, from startup ventures to major corporations, and currently serves on the advisory boards of startups based in the US, Europe, and India.

David Spalding, Raisbeck Endowed Dean of the Ivy College of Business

Sales is at the heart of most business enterprises. Creating a new sales program for students is an example that shows how we are setting our students up for success. We already have real strength in this area and we are building on it. Ours will be the strongest program of its kind in Iowa and in the region.

David Spalding, Raisbeck Endowed Dean, Ivy College of Business

Professional Sales Certificate

The Ivy Sales Program, part of the Department of Marketing, offers an undergraduate Professional Sales Certificate. The sales certificate coursework includes role-play exercises, sales presentations, industry-based case studies, team projects, and other directions of study. It is open to all students at the university, regardless of their major.

The new program is off to a great start. For example:

  • The Foundations of Personal Selling, a required course for sales certificate students has witnessed over 300 percent growth in enrollment between fall 2018 and spring 2022.
  • Sales Education Foundation, a non-profit organization that elevates the sales profession through college and university programs, has been listing the Ivy program as a “Top University Sales Program” since 2019.
  • The Ivy sales program has four tenure/tenure-eligible faculty members as well as industry practitioners who teach sales classes.

Top: Mike Gassman, associate professor of practice in marketing. Left-center: Interview rooms in the Houston Sales Suite. Right-bottom: Professional Sales Certificate scholarship recipients, 2023.

Get involved

  • Networking

    Connect with sales professionals

    The Ivy Sales Day and Meet the Forum networking opportunities at the Ivy College of Business allow students to connect with sales leaders from partner companies for mentorship, internship, and job opportunities. Over 300 students taking different sales classes and more than 40 business executives attend these events every semester. Each student participates in multiple, two-minute-long elevator pitches. The topic is “Introduce Yourself” in a professional setting.

    • Student levels and majors are mixed.
    • Executives provide live feedback to students.
    • Professional relationships get built!


  • Ashley-and-group-at-Athene

    Build leadership skills

    The Iowa State University Sales Club (ISUSC) is dedicated to the professional development of students interested in pursuing a career in sales. The ISUSC helps build community among sales students. It provides opportunities to learn from and network with industry professionals, build leadership skills, and socialize with students with similar academic interests and career goals.

    Ashley Goreczny serves as the faculty advisor for the Iowa State University Sales Club. She is an assistant professor of marketing with a focus on sales and sales management.

Houston Sales Suite

Houston Sales Suite

The Ivy Sales Program is housed in the Houston Professional Sales Suite. This state-of-the-art sales suite offers students experiential learning opportunities in such a way that the business sales process in real life is brought into the classroom. Students’ role play-based presentations are recorded so their work can be reviewed and critiqued later. Students participate in sales case studies and competitions and are evaluated by actual executives.

Connect with us

Department of Marketing

Ivy College of Business
2341 Gerdin Business Building
2167 Union Drive
Ames, Iowa 50011

Raj Agnihotri

Executive Director of Industry Engagement
Director of Sales Forum, Mary Warner Fellow
Professor of marketing
318 Gerdin Business Building
Ivy College of Business