Yasser Khan, a top IBM sales executive, appointed Executive in Residence at Eastern Michigan University

Khan to direct new Sales Management Institute that will help students develop crucial skills selling in a competitive environment

YPSILANTI – Yasser Khan, Executive Vice President & Chief Sales Officer at IBM Miraclesoft, has been appointed Executive Director of the Sales Management Institute at Eastern Michigan University.

Khan, who leads a global team of more than 250 professionals, and previously received the IBM Eminence and Excellence Award as the top IBM sales representative in the United States, will serve as Executive in Residence at the EMU College of Business.

The purpose of the institute is to provide students with exposure to corporate sales as a career and to assist leading corporations in recruiting top EMU students.


Yasser Khan, right, with marketing department head Lewis Hershey in the atrium of the EMU College of Business. "It is a privilege to help our students launch their careers," Khan says. "As a hiring manager, I know firsthand how deep the talent pool on this campus is.”

Khan will also serve as head coach of the EMU Eagles in various sales competitions around the country.

Valuable selling experience

“Sales competitions are a perfect complement to classroom learning,” said Lewis Hershey, department head and professor of marketing at EMU. “They provide a venue where students can practice their skills in real time in a competitive environment.  Partners who support us with funding create the opportunity for sales students to get valuable selling experience."

Hershey said that starting a sales management program was a top priority for him when he became the department head in July of 2015, with a key element being the sales concentration that exists within the marketing major at EMU. Eastern teaches more than 400 students in sales courses each year, Hershey said.

“It is an honor to join the EMU community and a privilege to help our students launch their careers,” Khan said. “As a hiring manager, I know firsthand how deep the talent pool on this campus is.”

Hershey ultimately hopes to field three or four sales competition teams for sales students each semester.  Thus, a sales student competitor might have 32-40 competitive events on her/his resume, along with a sales concentration.

“Recruiters look for those kinds of students, who have gone the extra mile to enhance their academic study with competitive learning beyond the classroom experiences,” Hershey says.

Sales events open to all majors

Hershey adds that participation in sales competitions will be open to all majors across campus. “So a student in communications, health care management or psychology can still benefit from extra-curricular competitive experiences that recruiters want and notice,” he said.

Khan earned a BA in economics from Florida State University and an MBA from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, where he served as President of the Wolverine Sales Club.

Prior to joining IBM, he held a series of Fortune 500 roles in sales, marketing and business development across the United States, Europe, and Asia.

He sits on the Board of Directors of the March of Dimes, Founders Junior Council at the Detroit Institute of Arts, and the Oakland County Business Roundtable.

At EMU, Khan will be teaching MBA courses in sales management and customer relationship management, and has accepted a position on Hershey’s board of advisors.

For further information about partnering with the EMU Sales Management Institute, please call the Marketing Department at 734.487.4358 or email the institute at cob_sales@emich.edu.

About Eastern Michigan University

Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest university in Michigan. It serves 22,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. More than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Health and Human Services; Technology, and its graduate school. EMU is recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information, visit the University's website.

October 10, 2016

Written by:
Geoff Larcom

Geoff Larcom