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I was recruited to be part of the Southwestern Advantage internship my sophomore year of college at the University of Kentucky. I've completed three years of the program now, and I am coming back for a fourth year. As a young and eager Marketing/Creative Advertising major, I had a colorful dream of going into ‘Big League’ advertising. When I first learned about the Southwestern Advantage program, I viewed it as a great stepping stone to get the sales, communication and entrepreneurial experience I wanted. Needless to say, I got all of that and more out of this experience. I have learned so much about myself, realistic life lessons, the power of persistence, determination, dedication and attitude along with being mentored by some of the most caring and inspiring individuals I've yet to meet.

I could write paragraphs about how much this program has had a positive impact on my life and outlook on life in general. The Southwestern Advantage internship is one of the hardest and most challenging things I've ever done. Period. In turn, it has helped me grow immensely as a person and improve my weaknesses. The reason I keep coming back summer after hot summer is not because I love working 6 days a week in Virginia humidity, but because I believe that Southwestern Advantage and its leaders completely and fully embody their mission statement of striving “ be the best organization in the world at helping young people develop the skills and character they need to achieve their goals in life.” So one day I’ll be in my “Big League” market with the support of the friends and family I've made along the way at Southwestern Advantage (but for now, I like it here).

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