For generations, Southwestern Advantage has helped young people achieve their goals in life. Well over 100,000 college and university student students have gained valuable business and life skills that have helped them with their careers, relationships and day-to-day life. We are very proud of the legacy these men and women are building and leaving all over the world!
We would have to admit that initially we were reluctant in supporting our son in this type of working environment, but his growth and maturation over the first summer and each summer thereafter has been phenomenal. The catalyst for that change is credited to the Southwestern Advantage organization and mentoring program - which is now clear to us as parents, has helped him reach his full potential. It has molded him into the responsible, confident young man that he is now and given him the appreciation for the life and family condition he was born into. Participating in the sales and leadership program has been a very positive, life-changing decision.
Greg & Lisa Johnston
As a parent of a newly graduate high school senior, I was very skeptical of Southwestern Advantage simply because Kyle had no experience whatsoever, never wanted to leave home, and was very leery of doing things outside of his comfort zone. As the first year turned into the second year and the second into the third, all I can say is how proud I am of Kyle and all he has learned. He has become a very confident young man who can speak in public, who knows what he is talking about, and speaks in a positive, compassionate, and professional manner. Not only has my son learned from his mentors, but he’s also become one himself. He has made tons of new friends, met hundreds of people nationwide, and has made a path for himself and his future.
Lee & Cathy Shiel
The impact of Southwestern Advantage on me, and the memories for our family, are beyond any quantification or measuring. I sold three summers (79-81). We have seven children and six have sold books, five for multiple summers. The benefit for my family from selling (multiple summers) is the development of their character, doing what needed to be done whether they happened to feel like it or not, working the plan, persevering, keeping purpose, drive, push, keep going, not quitting.
Steve & Jayne Barnett
After Carolina’s first summer, she showed many signs of growth, independence, resiliency, patience, and a high level of emotional intelligence. These leadership attributes continue to improve every summer and are not commonly taught in school. This summer program is not about ‘IQ,’ but ‘I will.’”
Fabian & Candice Corzo
I personally, as well as my husband, participated in the Southwestern Advantage internship while students at Texas A&M. The program significantly impacted our direction and success in life such that two of our sons are now a part of the program. Southwestern Advantage is a solid company that builds into the lives of young college students, providing them with the skills necessary to be successful in all areas of life.
Kirk & Kendra Massey
As a parent, I was very skeptical of my son going door to door selling books for the whole summer. We struggled with how the first half of his first summer went, and I remember there was one phone conversation that we both cried on. It was a very tough process to watch but with his perseverance I started to see my son grow into a hard-working and dedicated man who wanted a real, life-altering challenge. As each summer passed, I could see my boy growing and changing and maturing into a strong man; there is nothing now that he cannot do! I have a new outlook, more understanding and appreciation on what it takes to complete this internship. I have attended several Southwestern Advantage events since Camden's first summer and the company is top notch! I am excited every summer to see the ups and downs, the challenges and relationships that are cultivated throughout the summer; I can honestly say that I now trust Southwestern Advantage with my son.
Why would you let your daughter sell books door to door? There is no easy answer to that. Her mother definitely did not want her to do it at first. The short answer is: it’s something she needed to do. It takes a special person with a courageous heart to devote their summers to rejection and a real-life changing experience. Hard work is not as common as it used to be for the younger generations, or at least it is not defined in the same way. Yet still, there are thousands of college students who choose to break away from the norm and take on a challenge. In my daughter’s case, it was running her own business selling educational products to families.
As a parent, we want to protect our children at all costs. When my son told me about a summer with Southwestern Advantage, I was very skeptical. The first few weeks were a little bit rough, but I started to notice significant changes in him. Even though he was struggling at first, his attitude was so positive! Southwestern Advantage teaches our children about “life” through selling books. I learned this through watching my son grow into a new person, better than before.
My son just turned 20 and is going on his third summer. At a very young age, he has learned problem-solving and leadership skills. Southwestern Advantage has allowed him to take over most of his expenses, which not only helps, but more importantly, teaches him what it means to be an adult who can fully support himself. I am extremely excited that my 18 year old daughter will be participating in the program this summer and learning those same life skills.
Jake & Betsy Chesney
When our son first said he wanted to do sales over the summer, I definitely had questions. I was concerned he would have to hold inventory, and I had questions about how he would get paid. A recruiter from Southwestern Advantage met with my wife and I. He answered all our questions and helped us understand the program. The experience was tremendous for our son - there was team building, great training, organization, and leadership. Our son worked his tail off that summer. While he made good money, he gained much more from the experience by finding a style of work that really connected with him.
Richard & Teresa Ignace
Southwestern Advantage... I had never heard the name until my son decided to go off for a summer.
Now I mention it to every college age student I meet. I honestly can't think of a better way for students to take control of their future. I'm of the opinion the personal growth and skills a student develops with Southwestern Advantage would take 20 years for them to develop on their own in today's workplace.
Southwestern Advantage gives me the opportunity to gain practical business skills, build life-long friendships and grow in all areas of my life. I couldn’t be more thankful for this company!
The age span of 18-24 is a crucial time where people learn about themselves and the world. I am a leader with Southwestern Advantage because it gives me the opportunity to help people gain critical skills at a crucial time in their lives. I still run my business because it forces me to be the best version of myself while impacting others at the same time!
I joined Southwestern Advantage mainly for the personal growth that comes from doing challenging things outside of my comfort zone. After two summers, I’m still choosing to grow with Southwestern for the worldwide community of great friends and mentors. Also, working off my student debts is a great motivator too.
My first summer was about proving I could conquer the toughest college program and building my resume. I am so thankful for the mentors I had and the 150+ year old system that gave me the support and accountability I needed to become successful. I ended up not just confident in myself but having stretched my mental fortitude, discipline, servant leadership and lots of character traits that would have taken me years to develop in a normal work environment.
I’m building a business through Southwestern Advantage because I’ve only got one life, so I might as well fight to become the best version of myself through continuous challenge and education.
I decided to do this to gain confidence and become the future husband and father I want to be. I’ve learned how to overcome adversity, see every situation in a positive light and learn how to stay calm, cool and collected in leadership roles.
I have participated in the Southwestern Advantage sales and leadership program for multiple years because I want to set myself up for my future to have the skills and confidence to succeed at whatever I want and to trust myself that I can work when I don’t feel like it.
People will truly amaze you in this internship. My first summer was truly life-changing in the sense that I learned more about myself and dealing with other people than in my four year degree studying Psychology. I learned that emotions are only as deep and honest as you let them be, people want to yearn and interact with positive, enthusiastic people, and last but most importantly, your summer and your life can be bad ass if you want it to be!
I am so thankful for Southwestern that they decided to expand out of the States and allow students from Europe to go through the program to experience the challenges and rewards that come from it. Little did I realize as a freshman in college I would find my wife, have a family, and now run a business through Southwestern Advantage. Dreams do come true – if you put forth the effort to see them to reality.
Selling with Southwestern Advantage is not easy, and it’s not for everyone. But there is a reason it has been around for over 150 years (think about that for a minute). There is a population of young people that have a desire to see what they are made of and step outside the box. I looked at it like this… was there any job experience in Nebraska that I could learn or earn as much as I could over a 12-week summer? Not that I knew of.
Some of the most valuable things I learned while with Southwestern were how to overcome adversity in life, how to develop a habit of doing those things required for success that most people don’t do, the effectiveness in valuing others, how to lead and how to help others find purpose in life.
My Southwestern experience separated me from thousands of other medical school applicants. Most med school hopefuls do pretty much the same thing during their summer breaks, their GPQAs are generally good, and, if they want to get into a good program, they score high on their MCAT exams. The problem? Every resume looks the same. My resume looked vastly different from other applicants. I now run the most profitable walk-in clinic in Vanderbilt’s array of health services. My six summers with Southwestern was a great way to prepare for a medical career.
This intense “non-engineering” experience made me such an intriguing graduate that I never applied for a single job but was approached and offered numerous engineering management jobs.
I believe that the multitude of students who are successful at selling Southwestern Advantage products each year also succeed in their career endeavors throughout life. The discipline they gain, the work ethic they practice and attitude they maintain takes them far. Perhaps, more importantly in my role as a career center director, I also believe strongly that students who may not have gained the measure of financial success that they sought have had a significant learning and life enrichment experience.
I am very confident that Southwestern is an effective employment and internship option for the right students seeking summer employment because of my exposure to Southwestern Sales School and through discussions with students who have both succeeded and failed to meet their goals during the internship experience. Even in failure, there were amazing skills and stories that were brought back with these students.
Southwestern Advantage teaches students not only such valuable skills like leadership, communications skills, planning and work ethic, but also values that are fundamental for every successful person and lead to a better, fulfilled life.
The students I met and spoke with one-on-one, who had at least one summer sales opportunity under their belts, could not say enough
about the quality of the experience and the personal growth they experienced as a result. As a career counselor, this is what working and learning is all about!
…Southwestern teams have proven to be responsive employer partners. As a higher education professional for 20+ years I perhaps have a unique background having worked in direct sales while in college and in my first careers. There is no doubt such positions are not for every student, but the types of opportunities Southwestern offers can be a strong fit for a portion of our student body. I appreciate the ways in which the Southwestern team seeks to find students who are a good fit for their program and then provides intentional structures which support the students’ success.
This is not an opportunity that will appeal to every student nor can every student succeed selling educational systems in an area far from home, but for the students each summer who are recruited, trained and who stick it out, the results have been very positive, both in terms of financial reward and personal growth. We believe that the company’s recruiters provide full disclosure and education as part of their recruiting process.
Southwestern Advantage prepares young college students for success in a number of career fields, but most importantly, it develops their work ethic, motivation levels, and professionalism in any field they choose.
Gaining experience is a key determinant to future success in any competitive field, developing confidence that you can overcome obstacles and build the discipline necessary to adapt to changing situations is imperative to professional and personal success. Southwestern Advantage offers those types of experiences.
Students are told honestly about the challenges facing them, are provided with effective sales strategies, have practice sessions with feedback, and develop supportive relationships with their peers and leaders.
Running a business through Southwestern Advantage completely changed my life. It’s been a gift to be able to experience the amount of personal and professional growth I have to this point.
One of the reasons I participated my first summer was because the leaders seemed extremely qualified. I’ve been back subsequent years because the leaders have maintained a high level of care and knowledge to mentor me in both business and life.
Applying and practicing the abundance mentality is the greatest testament of my success and will be for my future. It has the unlocked door to happiness, where the only thing we have/need to do is choose what we want in life. Thank you Southwestern Advantage for providing me the environment where I was able to teach myself such a glorious concept.
I would definitely recommend this internship to anybody who likes challenges and who is willing to work hard and learn. Is it easy? No. Is it worth it? Absolutely. It’s okay if you are scared or unsure. I was too. But you’ll be fine. Tens of thousands of people have already been successful at it. You can do it too!
I have gained extraordinary interpersonal communication skills and ability to express myself – which would not be possible without multiple summers in the program.
Apply now to interview with America’s oldest entrepreneurial program for young people.