Image of Chris Wilkey's students standing together at the Selling with the Bulls intercollegiate competition at University of South Florida.
Screen capture from Chris Wilkey's course of a comment from Brendon Binkley:

this class was by far the most fun I had in the first week out of all of my classes. I believe it's because Chris made us get acclimated with each other. On Monday, we were given instructions to meet as many people as possible. What he didn't tell us was that he was testing us on how many names we could remember. Well, he then instructed us to do it again, only this time we knew we were being tested. I went from memorizing 6 names to memorizing about 20 names. This exercise was fun, but it was also a great way to get everyone somewhat familiar with each other, bring up the energy in the class, and test our sales skills. I liked this exercise because we immediately rid of that first-day awkwardness. On Tuesday, we got to listen to Chris' life story. There was quite a bit to it, and I'm sure a lot more. After Monday, I knew Chris was going to test us on how much we could remember. So, I listened very intently. It turned out that he was testing us, and I think I was prepared for it as I filled out the entire sheet with information. Again, this was another fun and challenging way to test our listening and memorization skills. Lastly, on Friday, we did the Spaghetti Tower Marshmallow Challenge. This challenge was my favorite thing we did over the first 3 days of class. The challenge made us work together and problem-solve without really knowing each other. This felt like a good way to get a good judge of character on our peers. On top of that, it challenged each individual student's ability to think critically and problem solve under pressure, as a group. Of course, my team won, but who really cares anyway?

Overall, the first week of class was by far the best out of all my classes. It wasn't just another corny "everyone say one cool thing about themselves." Chris got us engaged with each other which is ultimately what matters in the world of sales.
Screen capture from Chris Wilkey's course of a comment from Holden Robinson:

the first week of classes was unlike any other. The biggest thing I learned is to look for opportunities to learn and gain experience wherever you may be. There are always things you need to pay attention to even if it may seem unimportant at the time. Train your memory, observational, and problem-solving skills to become as attentive as possible. This will allow you to become highly effective and efficient no matter what you are doing in your career.

Forming relationships is the most significant part of sales. You are always pitching and connecting with your client whether you realize it or not. they notice that you might not remember their names or spouse's name even if you think you do a good job of covering it up.

On top of that, I also learned a lot about Professor Wilkey himself. Basically his entire autobiography. I've had him in class before and have not known a lot that he shared this week, as he has lived a very eventful and interesting life! I've also learned a lot about my classmates already, and even have formed new friendships and even tightened old friendships with people I haven't seen in forever.

The most interesting thing was definitely the spaghetti challenge. Seeing different forms of the ways people attach problem-solving and treat their teammates is fascinating and really eye-opening. It shows what kind of person they are and how they react to high-pressure situations. If I ever own a business or run a conference/classroom, I will definitely be using this activity in the future.

I wouldn't change much from the first week. Usually, the first week of classes is "syllabus week." and they are terrible. Basically pointless and provide no value to the student or the teacher. This was much better as we learned about each other and did fun activities to break the ice and prepare us for the semester's work that is ahead. I look forward to it and feel the coming weeks and role plays will provide enormous value to our skills as future sales professionals.
Screen capture from Chris Wilkey's course of a comment from Makenna Fredericksen:

I really enjoy how interactive the class has been so far. I like how we were introduced to different activities before knowing the meaning behind the exercise. This really helped get the point of the lesson across. The first day I practiced getting to know my classmates' names which was fun yet educational. It was a good way to test myself and my memory. I knew I'd have a decent memory with the names, but it did show me the importance of talking. It's easier to remember someone's name when I can put their face with a piece of information to help me remember who they are. When I had a memorable conversation with someone else in class, I had an easier time remembering their name. It was a great exercise to get everyone involved while still learning our classmates' names along with a valuable lesson.

I also really enjoyed the second day of class because of the twist at the end with the pop quiz. It was a great lesson on the importance of active listening. A lot of people will engage in conversations without actively remembering or processing what they're being told. This exercise taught me that moving forward I should always remember to write notes or a recap after meeting a client. There were multiple facts that I probably would have forgotten about Professor Wilkey if he would have tested us the following week rather than right after speaking. It really showed me how much you can gain and remember from a conversation especially if you go back over it in your head after which is why jotting notes down are so important. Since this class I have been aware of whether I'm activity listening and have been working on it while I'm at work.

I had a lot of fun Friday and found it very interesting that were given string, uncooked noodles, and a marshmallow. At first, I couldn't figure out why we were given this task until we watched the TED talk. The Ted talk opened my mind and I learned it's important to always check your progress as you go along. Overall, the first week of classes went great and I wouldn't change any of the exercises because I think they did a great job serving its' purpose. If anything, I would have added more random information not regarding yourself to see if people were able to remember it.
Screen capture from Chris Wilkey's course of a comment from Anna Bragg:

Thus far, the activities that I have learned in class have taught me a couple lessons. On the first day of class, we were given 30 minutes to introduce ourselves to everyone in the class, and learn their names as well. This activity showed the importance of listening. Many times, we introduce ourselves so quickly and focus on the next thing that we don't even remember who we are talking to and what their name is. This activity allowed me to interact with all of my classmates and learn something unique about them that will help me remember them.

On Wednesday, we listened to our professor tell us all about himself and how he got to where he is today. After he finished, we were instructed to pull out a piece of paper and write down everything we remembered about him. For those who were distracted and not paying much attention, this was a rather difficult activity. For the students who were listening, there were quite a few things that could be written down. This was another activity that showed the importance of listening. When you are trying to sell a product, it is important for you to figure out what the customer's issues are, and how that product can solve them. This takes active listening skills.

Today in class, we participate din the marshmallow activity. This activity prompted us to work collectively with a group. In order to be successful in this activity, we had to communicate and agree on a strategy. These communication skills and the ability to work with others are important skills in any career, and life in general.

I really enjoyed these three activities because they were more hands-on that just a lesson on communication and listening would have been. The activities were fun and made the class more enjoyable. I look forward to the rest of the semester because our professor takes a different approach on teaching that makes it easier for students to get involved and be more interactive, which will better prepare us for future careers.