Jeremy Locklear – Taking on the Southwestern summer program challenge

Jeremy Locklear

Jeremy Locklear - Southwestern Internship Experience

231 cities in 13 countries.  Scuba diving in Cancun, skydiving over Texas and Oklahoma, snorkeling in the Bahamas, wake boarding in Argentina, climbing mountains in Peru, playing soccer on the beach in Chile…  I’m not bragging, this is what I want everyone to have the option of doing.  The life I’ve lived so far in my 23 years has been so extraordinary, and I want to share it with everyone.

Four years ago: I am a freshman at North Carolina State University in Business, working at the on-campus convenient store (C-Store) and have no direction except that I want to do well, be successful, have lots of extra income, have awesome friends and see the world.

John Carey came into the C-Store and handed me a survey.  I filled it out, gave it back, was given a call that night and heard about Southwestern’s super-hard summer program.  My only other option was $8.55 an hour stocking the dairy section at the Lowe’s foods grocery store.  It sounded really hard, but John is an awesome guy, and had a spark in his eyes that I wanted.  He told me it would be tough, but if I worked hard and didn’t quit, I would do well.

He was right.  It was ridiculously challenging.  The most challenging thing I’ve ever done.  But I didn’t quit, and I did work hard, very hard.  And I did do well.  I worked for 7 weeks in the Southwestern Advantage summer program, and after, I left for a 5 month study abroad in Argentina I had already planned.  I made just over $10,500 in those 7 weeks.

Why is it so hard?  It is hard because I have always been good at things I’ve done.  I have always had good grades and with 7 brothers and sisters I’ve always been a decent communicator.  So being very, very bad at something I’ve never done before, and even more, being bad in front of moms and dads I just met was embarrassing at first, and terrifying.  Waking up and knowing that you’re going to be very bad all day isn’t fun at first.

But it gets better.  That’s what John told me, and after a week or two of being really bad (albeit still making a few hundred dollars) it did get better.  My best week my first summer I made over $3,000.  I was disappointed when I had to leave for Argentina and not keep going.  But it’s Argentina, so I wasn’t too disappointed.

4 years later.  I just finished my 4th summer, graduated from NC State, have a killer resume (I put my resume on monster for giggles and received 7 calls in 3 days for interviews), and have the complete confidence that I can do anything I want with my life, because even though failure is inevitable, it won’t stop me.  I’ll just get back up and keep going and learn from my mistakes to get better and better.

Last summer, as a senior in college, I led 22 students across the country, taught them how to run their own businesses, coached them throughout the summer, trained them and motivated them weekly, and lead by example.  Seventeen of those students finished the summer, ran over a quarter million dollar business in total in 12 weeks, and made over $150,000 for themselves.  Half of those 17 won an all-inclusive 5 day vacation to Puerto Vallarta over Thanksgiving break.  That is confidence-building.

Is this program for you?  I have no idea.  I do know that if you love challenge, are committed to things when they get hard, and want to get paid for your results, then it is.  If not, go do something else this summer that is challenging.  You won’t regret the results.

Southwestern AdvantageJeremy Locklear – Taking on the Southwestern summer program challenge

10 Comments on “Jeremy Locklear – Taking on the Southwestern summer program challenge”

  1. Christie bradley

    Wow. This is awsome. I completely agree. This just resold me on selling books and I’ve already sold for two summers. The work is worth the pay off!

  2. Brendan Meyer

    Holy Crap! I want to be running a 250,000 business when I graduate and have 7 companies call me for an interview in 7 days!

  3. Kate Marshall

    I think you laid it out perfectly, Jeremy. It is hard at first, but so worth it when you get that spark in your own eye, and get to travel, and be fiscally independent. This is inspiring.

  4. Liz Miedema

    This is awesome jeremy! You just voiced so many of mine and many other book peoples feelings that are hard to describe. The opportunity and confidence is amazing. Your awesome!

  5. Danielle Roos

    I love what you said about failure being inevitable, but you learn to just get back up and keep going. Such good lessons for anything in life!

  6. Maurice Howell

    I enjoyed the fact that you were once working in a convenient store one minute not using your talents that you were given and then all of a sudden some guys comes in hands you a sheet of opportunity and you were open-minded enough to hear about this life-changing experience. Thanks for working your tail off and earning your pay so that you can do and go wherever you want in this world. This story will impact a ton of people who are in the same situation that if they are bad at first will it get better and what will happen to my resume if I do!

  7. Mary Lee Holmes

    I really enjoyed reading this Jeremy! It’s great! I’m also the type of person who’s used to being pretty great at most things I do and I think most of us are, but what we do is not something that you can say you’re naturally amazing at. It takes hard work and really believing in yourself along with utilizing the advice that we’re given from others. I’m usually the person that doesn’t take advice well because I like to believe that I can do it on my own without the help of anyone else. I learned not to be so stubborn really quick on the book field. Also I had a short summer so when I finally felt like I was really getting the hang of things, it was time to go home. I can’t wait to have a full summer this year! Thanks for writing this! It really inspired me! There are a ton of great things to come in the near and far future! Can’t wait!

  8. Dawn Marie Locklear

    I love you Jeremy & I’m so thankful that you chose me to work with you last summer & how you helped me & continue help me to grow and become a better person. :)

  9. Ryan Davis

    I like how you pointed out the challenge that this job requires you to be awkwardly bad at something publicly over and over again until you’re good, then great. That’s such an advantage for people like you who stick through it. What an incredible amount of confidence you build by persistantly working through that and keeping yourself outside of your comfort zone. Proud of you, Jeremy!

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