Adam Lawrence – Western Michigan University
As a sales major at Western Michigan University I believe I approached the Southwestern Advantage internship a little differently than most. I came to Southwestern with the idea that I would gain the skills I needed to be successful in sales. While I did learn about these skills I learned so much more than I could have ever imagined about myself.
Going off to the Southwestern Advantage sales school right after my freshman year of college was the best thing that I could have done. I matured a lot over the course of the summer. Although it was the hardest thing I have ever done, I can honestly say I wouldn’t be the person I am today without that Southwestern summer. In order to succeed in the bookfield, it really boils down to how hard you are willing to work and the schedule you can keep. It doesn’t matter how smooth of a talker you are or how personable you may be, but simply how many doors you can knock on in a day. It was hard for me to figure this out, as I thought I could get by on my natural sales skills alone. No matter how many times at sales school they said it wouldn’t be the case I just couldn’t seem to listen.
I owe a lot of my success in school and work due to my summer with Southwestern. Besides learning how to stick to a schedule, prioritize, and essentially run a small business I also got great experience on my resume. I was offered an internship with a fortune 500 company two summers later, and they specifically told me I was chosen due to my rigorous previous sales experience. I am now hunting for my first real job after I graduate in April 2011, and it is great to be able to talk about my summer with Southwestern, as it is the target of most of the interview questions I have.
Overall, my summer with Southwestern Advantage was unforgettable and incredibly worthwhile. I would not trade the experience and life lessons learned for anything. To anyone out there thinking about coming on for your first summer, don’t be nervous. If you jump in and work as hard as you possibly can; I PROMISE good things will come of it.