Blog / A Southwestern Advantage Story: Martin Pilipiak

A Southwestern Advantage Story: Martin Pilipiak

Building Character and Skills to Help Young People Reach Their Goals in Life

The Southwestern Advantage team is dedicated to helping young people reach their goals in life. Whether that goal is owning their own business, leading a team within the program, or flying to the moon, a key foundation of the company is providing students with the character and skills to achieve. Over the years, Southwestern Advantage interns have gone on to become government officials, like Governor Kevin Stitt and Senator Marsha Blackburn. Others developed their own companies, like Stephen Fitzpatrick of the UK-based Ovo Energy and Larry Warren, whose philanthropic organizations provide sustainable income for families in Haiti and clean drinking water for people in India. Some, even became TV personalities like Chip Gaines of the HGTV show “Fixer Upper.” However, many interns find their dream career within the Southwestern Family of Companies. One such intern is now embarking on a new journey after completing his final summer within the program. 

Intern & Alumni Opportunities within the Southwestern Family of Companies

Participating in the Southwestern Advantage internship program for eight years, Martin Pilipiak helped over 2,396 families and mentored hundreds of college students. During his Southwestern Advantage career, Martin found great entrepreneurial success by generating over 2 million dollars in total revenue. He also built a personal team of over 35 individuals and mentored several hundred-college students. His proudest accomplishment has been winning Rookie Org Leader of the Year as becoming the leader of his group was unexpected and it was his first summer as a student manager. He led his organization to success, having all student leaders grow from their previous summers and having three top first years. Martin was ranked in the top three second-year dealers in the entire company that year as well. 

Summer 2023 marked Martin’s final summer running his own business with Southwestern Advantage. In January, Martin is joining the Thinking Ahead team as a recruiter for the Banking & Commercial Finance Team. When asked why Martin chose to complete his time with the program, he shared that, “Southwestern is a great vehicle that teaches you many things and helps shape you into the person you want to become. After eight years, I felt like I got the most out of it and I was ready for the next chapter.” One of the many reasons he chose to stay within the Southwestern Family of Companies and join Thinking Ahead is because of the positive work environment and the hardworking individuals. Not only is Martin excited to form lasting relationships with his new team members, but he is also looking forward to applying the skills he honed during his time with Southwestern Advantage to a new career opportunity.

Thinking Ahead Helps Interns & Alumni Transition into New Roles

ThinkingAhead is a boutique search firm, recruiting high-caliber candidates for a global list of client companies in a variety of specialties, including Nonprofit Leadership, Banking, Healthcare Innovation, Life Sciences, Energy, Law, Sales, IT, and Manufacturing. The team at ThinkingAhead often provide Southwestern Advantage alumni with resources for finding careers after completing the program. Often, interns can be placed in roles within the Southwestern Family of Companies, where the life skills they learned in the program are considered a valuable asset to their resume. Because Southwestern Advantage alumni typically have exceptional interpersonal skills and strong business acumen, Southwestern Family of Companies employers know they’ll be a strong addition to any team. 

We are proud of Martin’s accomplishments within our internship program and excited to see him continue to find success within the Southwestern Family of Companies as Thinking Ahead’s newest team member. Martin will continue his Southwestern Advantage legacy by helping future interns and alumni reach their goals in life though the services Thinking Ahead offers.


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