Despite the economic recession, the sales profession remains one of the most lucrative jobs for recent college graduates. Even in the throes of the downturn, sales opportunities remained very consistent, declining a meager 0.5 percent in 2010. Now, with businesses looking to expand, many companies are ramping up sales hiring to facilitate this growth. According to an outlook by, some companies are even planning on bringing aboard 15 to 20 percent more sales agents.

For college students, the sales profession has typically been a very welcoming one. Many students – particularly those who are involved with their school's sales program – will even get offers before they've graduated.

One of the best ways for students to meet potential employers and develop professional acquaintances in the field is to attend networking events. Indiana State University is having one such event tonight to enable its sales students to get a better picture of the profession. Networking events help college students get their feet in the door, helping them make the transition from student to professional life.

The university hopes the "meet and greet" will introduce students to sales professionals who can act as role models, mentors, coaches and perhaps one day even employers for the undergrads. At the event, sales representatives and managers can sponsor a table. Students will then be rotated to all the tables, allowing them to meet everyone in attendance. The three-hour event will have a 15-minute welcoming session, followed by a one-hour dinner. Then the table rotation will begin.

A number of prominent brands in the sales industry will be featured, representing a broad field of sectors and job types. Everything from insurance (Aflac) to agriculture (Corn Flour Producers) will be represented at the show. Canidium's Doug Erb, co-founder and managing director, and Charlie Madere, vice president of sales, will also be in attendance.

Students completing their college careers should always be on the lookout for ways to transition into the professional world. By attending networking events and other meet and greets, they can establish the connections they need to make that leap.