Heather Miedema – Grand Valley State University
I heard about the Southwestern Internship when I was a Sr. in High School. My cousin had just finished working her first summer in Minnesota and she told me about it. But it wasn’t just the things she told me about the job that caught my attention, I noticed that she was a different person. She was confident, happy, successful, driven and a fun person to hang out with. I was really impressed, what kind of job can change a person in one summer? My cousin invited me to check it out and come to an interview at her campus. I was really excited because I was looking for a summer job to help me get a head start for college. After I heard all about the Southwestern Advantage Internship; the challenges, the growth, the opportunities, and the money, I was ready to sign up. My parents however were not real excited. I was only 17, and they weren’t sure that they wanted me half-way across the country the summer before I went to college. After a lot of talking, and question answering my parents gave me the go-ahead.
My first day on the job I was terrified! I had never had a “real” job before and was starting to wonder why I was in Minnesota at all, but I did what I had been taught and started knocking on doors. It was rough at first (I was really nervous!) but by the end of the summer I had it figured out. There were definitely challenges, and it was anything but easy, but when I returned to Nashville at the end of the summer for my $9,000 dollar check I felt amazing! I even signed up to work again this past summer.
Most people would expect the second year on the job to be a breeze, but with this internship there is always room to grow and new challenges to face, so I learned (and earned) even more, I was even able to pay for my first two years of college!
Now I’m coming back for my third summer, excited about the opportunities I’ll have to grow, the challenges I know I will conquer, the money I will make, and the friends I will meet. This has been an amazing opportunity for me and I am thankful for every second!