Alecia, University of Michigan

The Bookgirl from the University of Michigan… Henry P. Tappan, the first president of the University of Michigan (U-M) envisioned an institution where education meant the “unfolding of the capacities of the mind.” U-M extended that desire to me in 1996 when I was welcome as a future wolverine. I came to U-M as a wide-eyed 17 year old from Queens, NY by … Read More

Southwestern AdvantageAlecia, University of Michigan

Selling books door-to-door. Reflecting on an adventure 20 years ago…

Phil Burgess 20 years ago (July 3, 1999), I stood outside a small, blue house in Modesto, California, a 19 year old student, 5,000 miles away from home. I remember glancing down at my watch. 07:59 am. I was bang on schedule. It was more than 100 degrees. The tarmac was shimmering and I could feel the sweat running in rivulets … Read More

Southwestern AdvantageSelling books door-to-door. Reflecting on an adventure 20 years ago…

Ron Alford: Learning to be a man

25 years ago this month, I made a choice that changed everything. June of 1994, I was about to spend another summer landscaping & partying, free golf at the course we were working, Mariners games most every day with my best buddy, Jason Bunge, pictured with me, and just a perfect season in the Pacific Northwest. A buddy then called … Read More

Southwestern AdvantageRon Alford: Learning to be a man

Lizzy Broughton – Tailored

Dear Brad Hendrixson (AKA Mr. Poof), Thank you for recruiting me 10 years ago to sell books door to door with Southwestern Advantage. It’s funny how life rolls out. It all started with you trusting a goofy blonde girl to cut your hair in a dorm room at Indiana University! If it weren’t for meeting you and talking over a … Read More

Southwestern AdvantageLizzy Broughton – Tailored

Chip Gaines – HGTV’s ‘Fixer Upper’

Chip participated in our program for two years while attending Baylor University in Waco, TX. One thing I learned from @southwestern is a cold shower does wonders when staring down the barrel of a long day. #goodDayToSellSomeBooks! — Chip Gaines (@chippergaines) October 18, 2016

Southwestern AdvantageChip Gaines – HGTV’s ‘Fixer Upper’

Congressman Marsha Blackburn – Celebrate The ‘Can-Do’ Woman

You never forget the feeling you have when you are asking someone to hire you. I remember it well.  I wanted that specific job–a job working on commission, selling educational books door-to-door. I knew I would be a hard sell to the company because they did not hire women, they just hired men. I was asking them to not only … Read More

Southwestern AdvantageCongressman Marsha Blackburn – Celebrate The ‘Can-Do’ Woman

Larry Wilmore – Host of Comedy Central’s ‘The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore’

Why I Haven’t Worked in 30 Years Mar 7, 2016 “I’m sorry, we can’t afford it.” “I know what you mean, in fact the Kinnebrews down the street were saying the same thing. But once they took a look at all the Volume Library had to offer in one book and weighed that against how important education is to them … Read More

Southwestern AdvantageLarry Wilmore – Host of Comedy Central’s ‘The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore’

G. C. Ritchie, DVM – Veterinarian

Name:  G. C. Ritchie, DVM Time with Southwestern Advantage: 4 years College: UNC Chapel Hill Current Title & Responsibility: Regional Consulting Veterinarian, Elanco Animal Health 1.)     What are the most valuable things learned from your Southwestern Advantage experience? I learned that discipline, keeping a positive mental attitude, and working together as a team are all key factors in achieving success.  The experience also helped in … Read More

Southwestern AdvantageG. C. Ritchie, DVM – Veterinarian

Dave Ramsey talks to recent SW Alum Patrick

Dave Ramsey and recent-grad Patrick from Ohio share what can be learned and gained by students working in the Southwestern Advantage program. Short-term sacrifice equals long-term reward. Don’t want student loan debt? Do Southwestern Advantage. It’s without question the hardest work option you could choose, but your future debt-free self will thank you for delaying gratification. Use your time to … Read More

Southwestern AdvantageDave Ramsey talks to recent SW Alum Patrick

Chris White – CFP®, ChFC® Southwestern Investment Group / Raymond James

Chris White is a CFP® and a ChFC® (financial planning’s highest standard of knowledge and trust) with Southwestern Investment Group / Raymond James. He started as a Bookman with Southwestern Advantage. Recently, Chris shared his simple steps for financial stability with our Student Reps and a powerful story of how his experience with Southwestern Advantage changed his life. WATCH:   … Read More

Southwestern AdvantageChris White – CFP®, ChFC® Southwestern Investment Group / Raymond James

Tim Kniffin – Edge Foundation

Name:  Tim Kniffin College Attended: Wheaton College Current Title & Responsibility:  Program Director, Edge Foundation 1.) What are a couple of most valuable things learned from your Southwestern Advantage experience? Persistence Positive attitude Keep knocking; don’t get down Keep it simple, stupid! It’s about the simple stuff; don’t over-think yourself Learn to love an adventure Selling is not something you do … Read More

Southwestern AdvantageTim Kniffin – Edge Foundation

Amber Thomas (Bragg) – Surrounded By Amazing People

Through the Southwestern Advantage program, I have learned to never take the easy way out and to always push myself. Although I found each year to be very challenging, it’s also the most rewarding – both financially and spiritually. I have learned when things get tough to never ever give up on myself even though I really, really want to at times. … Read More

Southwestern AdvantageAmber Thomas (Bragg) – Surrounded By Amazing People

Jeremy Kleiber – 8 years

Being involved with the Southwestern Advantage summer program for 8 years radically changed my life for the better. Not only did I develop the skills and character needed to build a life of value, but I was blessed enough to share that journey with the most dynamic, motivated, and positively hard working college students on the planet. If you’re a student … Read More

Southwestern AdvantageJeremy Kleiber – 8 years

Chris Bowers – Northwestern Univ. Football

Name: Chris Bowers – ​Director of Player Personnel, Northwestern University Football College: Wittenberg University 1.) What are a couple of most valuable things learned from your ​Southwestern Advantage experience? The most important thing I learned from selling books, that ultimately enabled me to be successful in this field was the confidence to know that I could work extremely hard in the face of … Read More

Southwestern AdvantageChris Bowers – Northwestern Univ. Football

Judge Lawton Stephens

Lawton Stephens – Judge of Superior Court College: UNC Chapel Hill 1.) What are the most valuable things learned from your Southwestern Advantage experience? I learned more about human nature than in any other time of my life. I learned that human nature is the same everywhere you go regardless of one’s race, religion, finances, or circumstances. 2.) What was the most difficult … Read More

Southwestern AdvantageJudge Lawton Stephens

Rick Meier – Accounts Manager for Rite In The Rain

Interview with Rick Meier – Accounts Manager for Rite In The Rain   What are some of the most valuable things gained from your experience in the Southwestern Advantage sales & leadership program?    Wow- what didn’t I learn? First of all I learned that I am not so tough, not so popular, and that no one cares that I was a good athlete, … Read More

Southwestern AdvantageRick Meier – Accounts Manager for Rite In The Rain

Jim Potts – Founder of Lewis and Clark Outfitters

Interview with Jim Potts – Founder of Lewis and Clark Outfitters What are some of the most valuable things you gained from your experience in the Southwestern Advantage sales and leadership program? There were so many it is hard to say exactly but I would list the following but not in any particular order. How to overcome adversity in life How to develop a habit … Read More

Southwestern AdvantageJim Potts – Founder of Lewis and Clark Outfitters

Mandi Seitz – Registered Nurse

So proud to be able to say that I not only survived, but was successful selling educational BOOKS door-to-door with Southwestern Advantage. To this day, it’s the best decision I’ve ever made! Not only did it teach me all the foundational success principles I would need professionally, but it’s also where I met the love of my life!    

Southwestern AdvantageMandi Seitz – Registered Nurse

Marsha Blackburn – Congressman (TN)

“I’ll never forget the business and interpersonal skills direct selling taught me when I began my career, and I’m excited to continue to build support for the opportunity among my colleagues on Capitol Hill.” Marsha Blackburn  Congressman (TN)

Southwestern AdvantageMarsha Blackburn – Congressman (TN)

Bo Parrish – Speaker/Author/Triathlete

What are the three most valuable things gained from your Southwestern Advantage experience? • The power of schedule • How to listen more and speak less • Turning burdens into blessings and adversity into advantages   What was the most challenging part of your experience? Learning to tune out the doubting voice inside my head and how to dismiss the urgent for the … Read More

Southwestern AdvantageBo Parrish – Speaker/Author/Triathlete

Apu Mody – President of Mars Food Americas

What are the most valuable things you learned from your Southwestern Advantage experience? I learned about the power of persistence and how to work with, manage, and motivate people. What was the most difficult part of your Southwestern Advantage experience? Seriously, the toughest, by far, is facing the rejection and then having to keep going. What are a couple pieces of advice would … Read More

Southwestern AdvantageApu Mody – President of Mars Food Americas

Cristie Rivers – 7 summers

Southwestern Advantage has been the greatest growth experience of my life. I can’t explain what these 7 summers have meant towards developing me into the person I am today. It’s where I learned about persistence, how to work through failure and pick myself up, how to connect with people, to coach myself, and to problem-solve. It’s where I met the boy … Read More

Southwestern AdvantageCristie Rivers – 7 summers

Raising Risk-Takers

This article is a re-post that was originally published in Huffington Post. The original article can be found here.  Here in the Washington, D.C., area, there’s a story that has generated a lot of attention: The case of the free-range parents. A Maryland couple has allowed their 10- and 6-year-olds to play outside and walk home from a park, unsupervised, … Read More

Southwestern AdvantageRaising Risk-Takers

Jayme Kaiser – My Life Is Mine

Southwestern Advantage has had quite the impact on my life. Sometimes it’s incredibly easy for me to forget just how much of an impact. Recently, I was asked by a good friend of mine to make a list of what exactly I felt like I got out of SWA; what I brought home with me, and why I made the … Read More

Southwestern AdvantageJayme Kaiser – My Life Is Mine

Jordan Greenberg – Calluses On My Knuckles

Wow, the summer of 2013. Some people remember it as an extremely wet summer (most rain on record for Connecticut in 100 years) some people remember it as a scorcher (also hottest on record in about 30 years). For me though, I will always remember it as the summer I earned calluses on my knuckles. The reason I say “earned” … Read More

Southwestern AdvantageJordan Greenberg – Calluses On My Knuckles

Kate Marshall – My Reason

Most people who know me know that I spent all four of my undergraduate summers running my own business, selling educational stuff door to door in different states, 80 hours a week, leaving little time for anything else but sleeping. I’m gonna estimate at least 95% of those people have come to the conclusion that I’m just an extraordinarily driven, … Read More

Southwestern AdvantageKate Marshall – My Reason

Josiah Fogle – 4 Things I Gained

My name is Josiah Fogle. That probably means nothing to you at this point, but I have told a few people about my story and if you wanna listen then read on.  Some people at my small Christian college called Calvin have listened and decided to follow suit by joining me in my second summer; so maybe you might find … Read More

Southwestern AdvantageJosiah Fogle – 4 Things I Gained

Brianna Byers – Learning Realistic Life Lessons

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 … Read More

Southwestern AdvantageBrianna Byers – Learning Realistic Life Lessons

Sarah Frank – It’s More Than Worth It

Southwestern Advantage set me up for success after college, and for that, I’m incredibly grateful. Because of a friend I made who was also part of the internship that summer, I was able to move to San Francisco and immediately get a job that I love working in executive placement downtown in the Financial District — right out of college. … Read More

Southwestern AdvantageSarah Frank – It’s More Than Worth It