Pullman Sales Program Acquires New Assistant Professor Alec Pappas

By Sue McMurray

When the Carson College of Business developed a new sales program and began recruiting faculty, Alec Pappas took note from over 2,000 miles away in Tallahassee, Florida. His doctoral work at Florida State University focused on intraorganizational networks, business-to-business strategy, and sales. And he was heavily involved in the university sales program and had other professional sales experience.

His interest grew as he got to know some of the Carson faculty and staff and learn more about the long-term strategy of the college.

“I saw it as an exciting chance to increase the corporate engagement, develop students professionally, and place them in great jobs out of college,” he says.

Soon he had a bird’s eye view of a new geographic panhandle when flying into the Pullman-Moscow airport. This fall, he launched his career as a tenure-track assistant professor in the Carson College’s Department of Marketing and International Business.

Preparing students for sales careers

Pappas is teaching Carson Cougs about the sales profession, effective sales strategies, and communication. He works with current and prospective partner companies to provide professional development and job opportunities for Carson students and graduates. He also plans to continue producing high-quality sales research to further elevate the WSU brand.

“The most rewarding part of my job is working with students in such a critical point in their lives,” he says. “Many of my students are seniors, so they’re less than a year away from beginning their careers and facing so much uncertainty. I find it rewarding to discuss this next stage of their lives.”

”We are very pleased to have Alec join our department,” says Jeff Joireman, professor and chair of the Department of Marketing and International Business. “He is engaged in cutting-edge research, and he brings energy, vision, and a dedication to advancing our students’ careers via opportunities in sales.”

Growth trajectory for sales program

Given this is a relatively new program at the Pullman campus, efforts over the next five years will focus on growing the program and demonstrating the value to students, partners, and the college, Pappas says.

The Pullman sales faculty will also create a student sales club and work on increasing the size and quality of the sales team to compete in regional, national, and international sales competitions. Growing relationships with companies interested in sponsoring the program is also on the agenda.

The college is also developing a new professional sales center on the Pullman and Vancouver campuses that will focus on academic research and strengthening industry engagement.