March 29, 2017 Facebook Twitter Linkedin

By Kelsey Stanczyk, Communications Intern

King’s University College is proud to announce that Jamal Hijazi, a third year Business Management and Organizational Studies student, is one of the top five finalists in the 2017 Great Canadian Sales Competition.  More than 3000 students from 85 schools across Canada entered the competition. Hijazi is the recipient of a $1000 prize and unparalleled professional opportunities.

Hijazi first heard about the competition through his marketing professor, Dr. Jennifer Jeffrey, who invited her class to participate for extra credit. “It's great to see Jamal recognized for his strong sales talents and abilities, and also for his hard work on this contest,” says Dr. Jeffrey. 

For his first-round submission, Hijazi submitted a short video about how there is an element of sales in every interaction. He went over his script with Dr. Jeffrey and video recorded his submission over 100 times before perfecting it. The Great Canadian Sales Competition judges chose 25% of the first-round submissions to continue to the semi-final round. Hijazi, along with three other King’s students, Aahuti Sejpal, Casey Severini, and Keyue (Lilith) Tang) were selected to participate in this round. The 22 sponsors of the competition each chose a group of 20 students to work with their company moving forward in the competition.

Hijazi was chosen by Citron Hygiene and he was tasked with creating a two-minute video, pitching Citron’s products to a restaurant that was having trouble with pest control and general cleanliness. This time he only needed around 10 takes to record his pitch. Out of Citron’s 20 semi-finalists, the company chose Hijazi as their representative for the final round. This included a free trip to Toronto for two days.

In the final round, the finalists were separated into five heats. Hijazi was coached by Lianne Lynch, the VP of Regional Sales for Citron Hygiene. He and Lynch performed a 10-minute role-play scenario in which Hijazi pitched Citron Hygeine to her as if she were a client. Hijazi won his heat and moved on to the final round, competing against the four winners from the other heats.

When the judges announced the top five finalists, each competitor was taken into a separate room. At this point they could not receive any further coaching from their coaches, the judges or each other. They were given feedback from the judges and had a moment to review it, adjust their pitch and move on to the final round. Hijazi then pitched one last time in front of a panel of judges. 

“The judges in the final five room were challenging,” says Hijazi, “they gave us feedback and were drilling us on everything.” After the final round, Hijazi was taken on a tour of Google’s Toronto office while the judges made their decision. That evening he attended an awards gala of over 250 people representing organizations including IBM, Google, and Dell. “The net worth of the room was in the billions,” says Hijazi.

Following the announcement of the winner, a student from Ryerson University, the floor was opened up for networking. “The top five were very sought out by companies,” says Hijazi. “We were walking around the networking event and people were all over us. Pretty much every coach wanted to hire their respective applicant right there. I think I finished with 8 job offers by the end of it. Dell actually told me they wanted me to sign a contract right as I graduated school. It’s been crazy.”

“It has been a great experience,” says Hijazi, adding that everyone was very friendly and it was a fantastic learning environment. “A lot of us finalists became great friends after it all too.”

Going forward Hijazi plans to keep in touch with all of his new connections. With a booming LinkedIn profile and many job prospects he has a lot of decisions to make in the next year. “I’m still wrapping my head around the entire thing,” he says.

He highly recommends that students who are interested in public relations, marketing, and sales to consider entering. “The amount of networking opportunities here at King’s is great,” says Hijazi. Competitors in the competition have the opportunity to grow their network even further. “People wanted to meet you, get to know you, and hire you.”