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 I was working all day and kept at it, even managed to have a sale.
The biggest thing I got from the Southwestern internship is that you get what you put in. I actually got off to a fast start during the first three weeks (my second best week was week 3) even though I had not been forming all of the habits I knew I should. Coming off of week three my manager pulled me aside at the Sunday meeting and told me I was on pace to make upwards of $15,000. I had not set a definite goal coming into the summer and 15k scared the crap out of me.
Not establishing the habits the first three weeks eventually came back to bite me. My early success meant nothing, because I had not formed the habits I would need the rest of the summer. Everything before this Southwestern internship had come easy to me, so I had no concept of what sort of work was required to accomplish something great. Staying consistent was a major issue for me and sometimes it was difficult to get out of the car and go knock.
Despite the inconsistency, I managed to have a decent summer but it was nothing compared to what I knew I was capable of. That was one of the main reasons I came back was to go out and do the job the way it was taught. I also came to love all of the people that I worked with and was excited to see them throughout the school year and work with them again next summer.
I can definitely say that without Southwestern Advantage, I would not be the person that I am today. Many of the issues I had with work ethic, motivation, consistency and self-accountability, probably never would have surfaced until I was in the “real world”. Not only would I never have recognized these problems, but also I would not have had a support system to make the changes I needed to be successful.