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

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

Rose Sheen – Los Angeles Girl Arrives in Pennsylvania for Her Southwestern Internship

All of our authors would love comments on their stories!  So take a minute and add your thoughts. Los Angeles Girl Arrives in Pennsylvania Rose Sheen – Notre Dame I was born and raised in a little place called Los Angeles my entire life and I’m a city girl through and through. When my roommates and I arrived in our … Read More

Southwestern AdvantageRose Sheen – Los Angeles Girl Arrives in Pennsylvania for Her Southwestern Internship

Zac DeVries – Make lemonade out of your summer!

Zac DeVries – Grand Valley State University I think one of the funniest and most endearing things about your first Southwestern Advantage summer is not only what it reveals about you, but also WHEN it reveals it. My first summer I was working in North Branch, MN a town only slightly larger than your high school. I remember that week I … Read More

Southwestern AdvantageZac DeVries – Make lemonade out of your summer!

Nate Wolverton – A Problem Solving Mindset

Nate Wolverton – Michigan State University Oh first summer. I’m writing this at 7:45 am in a Starbucks in downtown Chicago before I go into work for a company I just started with and love so far! “You can’t always get what you want” by the Rolling Stones is playing and I can’t help but laugh because of how relevant … Read More

Southwestern AdvantageNate Wolverton – A Problem Solving Mindset

Ashley Zandbergen – Growth and perspective

Ashley Zandbergen – Grand Valley State University My recruitment was a little unorthodox . I first heard about the Southwestern Advantage when my twin sister first participated. I thought she was crazy at first when she said she would be moving to Minnesota for the entire summer to sell books to families! Then, as she was telling me about it, … Read More

Southwestern AdvantageAshley Zandbergen – Growth and perspective

Matt Baumgartner – A shy kid breaks out

Matt Baumgartner – University of Maryland I heard about Southwestern Advantage at the University of Maryland.  I grew up in an over-protective environment.  Part of this was due to my parents, but part of it was also self-imposed.  I was definitely the quiet/shy kid, never quite fitting in nor able to get comfortable.  I had always gotten straight A’s, but … Read More

Southwestern AdvantageMatt Baumgartner – A shy kid breaks out

Danielle Roos – Extraordinarily difficult, extraordinarily rewarding

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 … Read More

Southwestern AdvantageDanielle Roos – Extraordinarily difficult, extraordinarily rewarding

Josh Falkiewicz – Willing to pay a price

Josh Falkiewicz – Michigan State University I heard about Southwestern Advantage at Michigan State.  During the interview process I was never really skeptical, although my Dad seemed to have reserved enough skepticism for the two of us.  I remember my first day like it was yesterday.  My roommate Maurice dropped me off and screamed “IT’S GONNA BE A GREAT DAY” and … Read More

Southwestern AdvantageJosh Falkiewicz – Willing to pay a price

Will Hemmert – Not exactly by the book!

Will Hemmert – Central Michigan University It was the career fair at Central Michigan University in the spring of 2010. That’s where I met Maurice Howell, a corporate recruiter for Southwestern, and we talked for a few minutes. He told me about the program and offered me a chance to interview. After meeting with him a few times, I decided … Read More

Southwestern AdvantageWill Hemmert – Not exactly by the book!

Antoinette Sedillo – Getting REAL experience

Antoinette Sedillo – New Mexico State University When I was in high school I was the type of person who never tried anything new unless I knew for sure that I was going to be good at it. As you can imagine, that attitude kept me from trying out many new things. A week after my 19th birthday, I got … Read More

Southwestern AdvantageAntoinette Sedillo – Getting REAL experience

Haley Price – Today is the Best Day of My Life

Haley Price – University of Texas When asked about my proudest accomplishment or my most valuable experience – at the top of my list, no doubt about it, is “selling books door-to-door in the Southwestern Advantage Internship”.  There is no better way to catapult oneself into emotional and mental maturity than through going door-to-door. Right around Spring Break of my freshman … Read More

Southwestern AdvantageHaley Price – Today is the Best Day of My Life

Daniel Cumming – Coachability

Daniel Cumming – University of Richmond Everyone has a different experience working with Southwestern Advantage, and I think it has everything to do with who the student manager they work with is. I had one of the most eccentric and without a doubt the most caring student manager in Chris Sica. When I was a sophomore at University of Richmond … Read More

Southwestern AdvantageDaniel Cumming – Coachability

Jill Poston – Set yourself apart

Jill Poston – Clemson University I first heard about Southwestern Advantage when I was growing up, because my dad actually sold books in 1979-1982.  I heard stories of him selling in Nebraska, Iowa, and Texas, and thought, “That sounds interesting/slightly weird.”  I met Spencer Hays, the Executive Chairman of the Board for Southwestern, at one of my dad’s national meetings … Read More

Southwestern AdvantageJill Poston – Set yourself apart

Morgan Franke – A new way of thinking

Morgan Franke – Michigan State University I always knew that after I graduated high school that I would never spend another summer in Canton, Michigan. So when I got the opportunity to work with Southwestern Advantage, I didn’t think twice. Little did I know that what I would experience would change my outlook on everything in my life. The things … Read More

Southwestern AdvantageMorgan Franke – A new way of thinking

Beatrix Tam – The last minute decision

Beatrix Tam – University of British Columbia I was sitting in the library studying for my very last final during the second last week of finals when someone (I forgot who) handed me a summer work questionnaire. And that was the beginning of my Southwestern Advantage summer experience. I am truly grateful that I filled out that survey and Niv, … Read More

Southwestern AdvantageBeatrix Tam – The last minute decision

Nancy Davidson – It’s all about people!

Nancy Davidson – Wake Forest University My first Southwestern Advantage Summer was hands down the hardest thing I have ever done but also the most rewarding. I heard about the program from my cousin and thought “If he can be successful at a program like this, then I know I can too.” However, I already had a summer job lined … Read More

Southwestern AdvantageNancy Davidson – It’s all about people!

Jordan Roberts – The Southwestern family internship

Jordan Roberts – Auburn University My experience selling with Southwestern Advantage started off quite differently from most in that both my mom, my dad, my brother, and my cousin had sold books.  I knew it was not a scam, and that it was an experience in which a person supposedly worked their butt off, but received both monetary and character … Read More

Southwestern AdvantageJordan Roberts – The Southwestern family internship

Mark Silvestro – A parent’s concerns about the Southwestern Internship

Mark Silvestro – University of Maryland During my American Government class in the large lecture hall of Maryland’s Tydings Hall, I quickly filled out a yellow questionnaire that had something to do with hearing about summer work. Honestly, I wasn’t paying attention. My then-girlfriend at the time, Lisa, was sitting next to me. She was more interesting than class and … Read More

Southwestern AdvantageMark Silvestro – A parent’s concerns about the Southwestern Internship

Emily Griepentrog – Finding the competitor within

Emily Griepentrog – Finding the competitor within I became friends with this really cool kid, Abel Gunn, my Freshman year of college in Wisconsin. Two months into our first semester he told me about this crazy summer thing where he moved across the country, lived with some awesome college kids, and raced to the shower every morning. It sounded like … Read More

Southwestern AdvantageEmily Griepentrog – Finding the competitor within

Matt Seitz – More than the money

Matt Seitz – Asbury University I didn’t sell books with Southwestern Advantage for the same reason that all the other people at my college did. I went to a small private liberal arts college that was very expensive and so a lot of students heard you could make $8,000 in a summer and really needed to pay for school. Well … Read More

Southwestern AdvantageMatt Seitz – More than the money

Matt Benson – Tell me to suck it up!

Matt Benson – University of Nebraska My Southwestern Advantage experience started in March of 2009.  I was sitting in my dorm doing homework when I got a call from my future manager. He asked me if I would be interested in learning more about an internship where I could gain real world experience and where the average intern makes over $8,700. … Read More

Southwestern AdvantageMatt Benson – Tell me to suck it up!

Megan Baker – A simple facebook message. . .

Megan Baker – University of Nebraska-Kearney I received a Facebook message from an acquaintance, someone that lived on the same floor as I did my freshman year of college, in November of 2008, about checking out an internship with Southwestern Advantage.  Little did I know was that message would change my life… In November I was selected into the Southwestern … Read More

Southwestern AdvantageMegan Baker – A simple facebook message. . .

Julie Lavender – Fast starts in the Southwestern Internship happen too!

Julie Lavender The first time I heard about the Southwestern Advantage Internship, I nearly laughed out loud. My best friend, Nate Wolverton, of more than ten years had just finished his first summer in St. Louis and suggested that I come and give it a try the following summer. Well, at this time, I was a senior at Western Michigan University, … Read More

Southwestern AdvantageJulie Lavender – Fast starts in the Southwestern Internship happen too!

Jennifer Miedema – Controlling the controllables and letting go of the rest

Jennifer Miedema – Grand Valley State University When I first heard about the Southwestern Advantage summer internship, I remember thinking, “Who would EVER want to do this?” I mean, the results of the summer sounded great ($8,000, Resume building, Sales experience, Personal growth, etc), but… No guarantee of making money? Working 14 hours a day? Approaching people in their homes? Moving to … Read More

Southwestern AdvantageJennifer Miedema – Controlling the controllables and letting go of the rest

Alex Dawson – All that matters the first three weeks – Habits!

Alex Dawson – Michigan State University My first Southwestern Advantage summer experience was as crazy as any other. I remember being really excited coming out of sales school feeling really prepared and my first house not even getting out, “Hi are you the mom here?” before the door was shut in my face.  It was raining all day but I said … Read More

Southwestern AdvantageAlex Dawson – All that matters the first three weeks – Habits!

Garrek Stemo – Skeptic turned Bookman

Garrek Stemo – Michigan State University After receiving a seemingly random phone call from a bubbly personality named Eva I agreed to go to an information session about this company called Southwestern Advantage. There I met a very tall and smiley man with golden curly hair. His name was Aaron. Aaron’s smile was quite big and he was talking about … Read More

Southwestern AdvantageGarrek Stemo – Skeptic turned Bookman

Aaron Wolverton – A 24 year old graphic designer takes on the Southwestern Internship

Aaron Wolverton – Central Michigan University My first summer in the Southwestern Advantage program was quite comparable to most first year stories I hear about… challenging, highly rewarding, and hell at times. Funny as hell at times too. My Southwestern experience was a bit different than your average book story, especially the time leading up to my first summer. When … Read More

Southwestern AdvantageAaron Wolverton – A 24 year old graphic designer takes on the Southwestern Internship

Chris White – “The Hardest Things in Life”

Chris White – University of Tennessee I was walking across campus, my freshman year (February 2001) at The University of Tennessee, minding my own my business, and a young lady approached me and asked, “Would you like to make $7,500 this summer?”.  I said, “Hmmm…let me think about that…yes!!”.  The young lady, Erin Brooks, called me up the following Monday evening … Read More

Southwestern AdvantageChris White – “The Hardest Things in Life”

Travis Lopes – Doing my best and letting God take care of the rest

Travis Lopes – Asbury University I was a freshman at Asbury University in the spring of 2005 when my friend Simbarashe Kagoro from Zimbabwe told me about his summer job selling books with Southwestern Advantage. I remember hearing about the travel, the experience, and the money and thinking “hmm well if Simba can do it, and he doesn’t even speak … Read More

Southwestern AdvantageTravis Lopes – Doing my best and letting God take care of the rest