Danielle Roos – Dordt College
I was a sophomore at Dordt College when I first heard about Southwestern Advantage. A girl I knew, Jessi Rieken, mentioned to me that she had a job the past summer where she had made $10,000. I was immediately intrigued, as I had to pay my own way through private college and had made, let alone saved, much less than that working 3 jobs the summer before. I asked her what she did, and she to an info session on campus. I came to meet with her and her sales manager, Brandon Devlin. The money she made had piqued my interest, but once I heard about the way she had a chance to get out of Iowa, meet new people, and help kids with education, I was even more interested. I was nervous because I’d never sold anything. I felt like I should be trying to get a job in my major. Brandon told me, “If you can do this, you can do anything,” I knew I had to try.
I trained over the rest of the semester, and by the time we left for Sales School in Nashville I was getting excited. Sales School was amazing. I was so impressed by the training we received and the enthusiasm everyone had for their summer. The attitude was infectious and although still nervous about selling, I was ready to go try it for myself. We left for Dallas, Texas, and moved in with the most incredible host family, Harley and Georjean.
I still remember that first house I knocked on; my legs shaking as I stood at the door. To my amazement, the lady who came out was super nice, and as I went to each home my nervousness slowly faded away. I ended the day with two sales and a huge smile. I knew I had a long way to go, but like I told Brandon when I left for Texas, “I know I can work hard, if nothing else!” Hard work proved to serve me well, and my competitive nature drove me to outwork my organization that summer. It paid off when the summer ended, and I had made $16,000.
The money was great, but there were so many moments in the summer where I did not care how much I made. The job was so difficult that a pay check is not what kept me going. It was my desire to see what I could accomplish, and my commitment to doing what I said I would do that kept me going. At the end of the summer, and still today, that is what sticks with me.
The money I made that summer quickly disappeared in school bills and travel, but I still have the knowledge that I can do whatever I decide to do. I know people always say that, but I never felt like I heard anyone say it and actually mean it before I worked with Southwestern Advantage. Suddenly I was surrounded by motivated college students who believed that to such a degree that they give up a summer of hanging out by the pool and mentally checking-out to instead go do something they know is going to be extraordinarily difficult yet extraordinarily rewarding. Those college kids became some of my best friends, and those experiences have been the times I have grown the most in my faith, my confidence, and my love of people.