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Page updated 16.6.2023

Sales engineering student Jaakko Ihalmo is Europe's best seller 2023

Turku University of Applied Sciences sales engineering student Jaakko Ihalmo won the European Sales Competition 2023 (ESC23). ESC is an event aimed at higher education students focusing on business-to-business sales, which aims at both learning new things and evaluating what has already been learned through a competitive setting.

Ihalmo is the first winner of Turku UAS and the second Finnish ESC competition , as  well as the first Finnish ESC finalist in eight years. Earlier in spring 2023, Jaakko won the Turku Sales Competition organized by Turku UAS. The European Sales Competition has been organised since 2015 in its current form.

"When the opportunity to participate in the European sales competition opened up, it felt above all like an opportunity to network and take my career forward", says Ihalmo.

The competition left a great and, in its own way, energetic impression. He praises the implementation of the case situations, as the salesperson was left with a lot of responsibility for carrying out the situation. 

"In these situations, we had to think a lot about our own solutions, and we didn't give a specific offer package directly. Thinking outside my own box contributed to my  victory. In addition, my victory was certainly helped by thinking about good questions in advance and calmness in negotiation situations. Especially when preparing for the final, there wasn't much we could do, because we had been given 20 minutes to do it, so I had to rely on my own solution and situational awareness", Ihalmo continues.

Winning the European sales competition will probably help Ihalmo move into working life. He has already received interview requests from various companies.  However, according to Ihalmo, the greatest value generated by competition is certainty and knowledge of one's own actions. 

"When you know what you can and can't do, you can develop yourself better", Jaakko rejoices.

At the turn of May and June, nearly 70 students from nine European countries and the USA competed in ESC23 in the Netherlands. This year's partners were TeamViewer and Atoss.

The organizer of ESC changes every year, and the next European sales competition will be held by Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences in May 2024 in Helsinki. The competition concept is managed by the European Sales Competition Association.