Devan Dror – Macquarie University
I heard about the Southwestern Advantage program through my friend Lance. He told us all that he had “sold books” for the summer. After going on and on for what was probably close to ten minutes about what I felt was my eye-opening, life-changing cultural experience summer job, I decided I should be polite and ask how his summer went. “So, Lance. How is the “book” thing?” Lance then told me how well it had gone for him. He worked five weeks (not bad), broke his foot (definitely not good), but still managed to make $10,000 (woooah! $10,000 in 5 weeks, where do I sign?). “So… Lance…” and that was when my life changed forever.
The next morning I had a meeting scheduled on campus to hear all about the “book thing”. Needless to say I was definitely shocked when a red-headed guy in jeans, a black shirt, and a sport coat showed up and plopped down in front of me. I don’t remember much from that meeting other than being told something about him being able “to teach monkey’s how to do this job”; all I knew was that I was going to do it. I planned to study abroad in Australia that spring which was also my last semester of college, and I would need a job when I got back. I signed the papers in my next class and handed them over to Lance to turn in to the place where papers like that go.
My training consisted of Lance and I meeting for breakfast and him teaching me all the essentials of what I would need to know for the summer. I flew to Sydney and Lance and I would occasionally chat over Skype about the details of the upcoming summer. Definitely the style of training I enjoyed.
As summer began to approach, I began to worry. My semester in Sydney was not ending until the last week of June, I would not be starting my summer until 4 weeks after everyone else. I would be a month behind in training. I began to freak out a little at this point, not knowing if I should really go, or if this was really something I had fully thought though. Then, I remembered my promise to Lance and how I told him I was committed to finishing what I start. I trusted Lance and I wanted him to be able to have the same trust in me.
My unorthodox and unconventional 8-week summer began. Had it not been for my trust in Lance, an organizational freak such as myself would have probably gotten into my car, turned around and drove home. I knew that there was a long road ahead of me. I would have to work 10 times harder than everyone else just to do average and 100 times if I had wanted to hit the goals that I had set for myself. The one thing though that Lance had told me before the summer that stuck with me more than anything else was, “Devan, you need to form the right habits first and foremost. That is the only way. Go see the people, work the hours, keep a good attitude, and I promise you will do great.” So I did, and I was. In my eight-week summer I ended up in the top 100 first years in the company, hit my financial goals, made some of the best friends I will have for the rest of my life, and grew as a person more than I had ever anticipated. This crazy “book thing” ended up being the best thing I could have ever done for myself.