Five years after stepping foot onto Truett McConnell University’s (TMU) campus, alumnus Josh Johnston works as an Advertising Sales Director at Professional Sports Publications, America’s largest publisher of gameday programs, souvenir magazines, and yearbooks. Johnston’s experience both as a business student inside the classroom as well as a baseball player on the field paved the way for his success in the field of sales.

A College Experience that Prepared for the Real World

Johnston said that his undergrad studies at TMU prepared him for real life business scenarios because “TMU did a really good job of bringing in professors who had real-world experience.”  He enjoyed the smaller class size at TMU because it allowed time for each student to obtain hands-on experience.

He recalled a salesmanship class he took while studying for his general business degree where Professor Don Tatum, a salesman by trade, lectured on a topic once a week, then allowed his students to pitch a product or service during the next two class times. Johnston said, “That class gave me a lot of confidence in how to present and sell something. I learned skills that I still use today to be successful in sales.”

From Baseball to Business

While earning his bachelor’s degree, Johnston also played baseball for TMU. The former college athlete said, “I was able to take the work ethic that college athletics taught me and apply that mindset to my current job.”

Today, Johnston works as an Advertising Sales Director at Professional Sports Publications where he reaches out companies to sell them advertising spaces in the sports publications his company produces.  The salesman said the job requires both confidence and humbleness.

Currently, Johnston is working on selling ad space for the official team yearbook of the Atlanta Braves. He said, “It’s a really fun project. Anytime you reach out to a company and mention the Braves, people get excited and want to know all about it.”

Johnston plays with the TMU Bears.

Johnston believes that his experience playing baseball directly translates to his job in sales today. He said, “Baseball is one of the only sports in the world where you can fail more than you succeed, and still be considered a great player. If you strike out seven out of ten times, you’re at a batting average of 300 and you’re known as a great baseball player even though you failed seven times. It definitely relates to sales, where you can work so hard to achieve success only a few of the times—but that’s all you need.”

Pursuing an MBA

Today, Johnston is continuing his education by pursuing a Master of Business Administration online through TMU. He believes this will help him open even more doors of opportunity as he continues through his career. His goal is to be able to give generously to the Church as well as back to the people and places that have given to him. Johnston said, “I never want to settle. I always want to do the next best thing.”


Anna is a Truett McConnell senior English major and content writer for TMU’s Marketing and Communications.

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