College of Business

An Athlete's Take on the SSP

“One of the best experiences of my life aside from being a student athlete. It’s given me more than I could have imagined. One of the best decisions by far I’ve made.”

Headshot of Makaela Keeve.

Meet Makaela Keeve! Makaela is a current SSP student pursuing her Professional Sales, Analytical Leadership, and Communicative Leadership Certificates while also competing in sales competitions like the Sweet 16 Sales Challenge, California State University Sales Competition, and Arizona Collegiate Sales Competition. Makaela also plays on the Chico State volleyball team and has been a part of the #wildcatfam since her freshman year. She has seamlessly blended her sports life and professional life, and we are excited to share a little bit more about her today.

Makaela has always been competitive, and it’s what drew her to Chico State to play sports---when Professor Tim Heinze spoke about the Seufferlein Sales Program, she saw it as the perfect way for her to demonstrate her competitive spirit in a business setting. She believes that healthy competition is important both within sports, and in the sales environment. Makaela spoke about how many athletes are happy with sports being their main priorities at school, but that she believes it’s possible to develop a more well-rounded identity at Chico State. She believes that it is important for student athletes to create opportunities for themselves outside of sports. She accomplished this by joining the Seufferlein Sales Program per Dr. Heinze’s recommendation.

When asked about her favorite memories in the program, Makaela was quick to answer. “Beating Tom’s team,” was her answer; Tom Villa is our Executive Director and is notorious for constantly encouraging healthy competition (AKA talking a lot of smack), so when Makaela had the chance to join one of the two Chico State teams competing in the California State University Sales Competition, she was quick to accept. She joined the team coached by our very own Ryan Brumfield, while Tom coached the other team. In the end, Makaela’s team came out on top, and she is glad to remind Tom of his defeat every time she sees him. This speaks directly to the comradery and competitive spirit within our program.

Overall, Makaela has valued her time in our program. She continues to emphasize that she feels far more prepared to adventure out into the professional world not only with the skills that the SSP has provided her, but also with the connections she has gained; she spoke fondly of being able to go to class and recognize her peers from the program as well as communicate professionally with corporate partners.

Student athletes contain different characteristics than normal individuals; they are competitive and proficient at time management, which carries directly over into other areas of life. Student athletes can translate these valuable skills into other areas of their lives, like the Seufferlein Sales Program. Seufferlein Sales Program students are excellent communicators and great at prioritization, which can also carry over into other areas of their lives, such as sports. Our program prepares students for networking which is something that everyone will do, and opens you up to career opportunities while learning to market yourself.

Makaela, we are so proud to have you in our program. You are an incredible SSP student and athlete!

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Letter from the Executive Director

"We all know we have been living through exceptional times and wanted to take a moment to welcome you back for an exciting fall semester." Read the letter from the director.

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Please email completed applications to tpvilla@csuchico.eduFor assistance filling out your application, please email or visit our office once fall semester begins.

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Thomas Villa
Executive Director 

Alexandra Pomatto
Marketing Specialist

Kristen Chatham
Marketing Assistant

Emma Ritchie
Operations Specialist

Ana Flores
Operations Assistant

Jack Thobe
Operations Assistant

Mitchell Lung
Corporate Relations Specialist

Makaela Keeve
Competition Lead

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Fall 2021 Events

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