Kyle Peters – Michigan State University
My first summer in the Southwestern Advantage internship took place after I finished my freshman year at Michigan State University. I was kind of nervous that I would be leaving home in a program with no guaranteed income, but I knew that I was an above average individual that had the ability to work really hard. So, putting my confidence in those things, and being that I was excited to see a new part of the country, I went to St. Louis to sell books.
I did not do very well my first week. I worked very hard to see the recommended 30 families a day the first two days. Usually if a Southwestern student dealer accomplishes this, they run into at least somebody who needs the product, or just loves to buy books. I had zero sales through two days. I think I was talking too much and not asking enough questions. Regardless of what my problem was, I followed a student manager the third day to see how the job was supposed to be done (so another day without sales because I was watching). The fourth day, I made one small sale and then Friday and Saturday of the first week I also made a couple sales. It still wasn’t much; I had racked up $250 profit for the week. But then again I had about the same amount in expenses up until that point, so I was still basically at zero in net earnings. My Southwestern internship was currently an unpaid one!
I think it would have been easy to start freaking out at that point. However, I was not that discouraged. Now that I look back to this moment, I am proud of the emotional stability that I had. I had been working hard all week to see 30 families a day and doing what I was taught. So I knew that it would click for me if I kept learning and kept pushing. My parents were very encouraging as well. So after the Sunday meeting, I started week 2 and tripled my sales that week. From then on, I slowly got better each week and by the end of the summer internship I was making about $1,500-2,000 per week. When most students completed the Southwestern summer program after 12 weeks in sales, I stayed in Missouri for an extra week to make some more money. I outlasted some of the other students in my group and was the top first year dealer making about $17,000 that summer. Coming back to school in the fall of 2007, I was excited to have financial security, looking forward to adding that accomplishment to my resume, and I was pumped to go on the Sizzler trip! I made some great friends during that summer as well. I spent six years with Southwestern Advantage. It was well worth it!