Logan Gaither – University of Arizona
I first heard about the Southwestern Advantage internship through a phone call from the corporate recruiter on the University of Arizona’s campus. I knew almost right away it was what I wanted to do, because it was a chance to really prove that I could really accomplish something on my own.
This probably had a lot to do with my upbringing: my parents both have Master’s degrees and my mom is a teacher. Needless to say, getting good grades in school and going to college was NOT optional. I had a really successful high school career, graduating from a (public) college prep school and getting a full scholarship, but I was pretty sure these things weren’t going to matter once I got out of college.
As a wrestler and swimmer in high school, I was definitely a fan of sports where at the end of the day, YOU are responsible for your success or failure. Southwestern’s summer program gave me the same opportunity to be ultimately responsible for the outcome of my summer. I still remember very clearly the day we left for the Southwestern company sales school, even though it was over 8 years ago. There was about 40 first years and a dozen student managers from the U of A. It was the first time I had ever driven cross-country, and my parents were nervous!
I actually had a sale at the very first house I ever went to: they bought a $32.95 kid’s dictionary. Around the next corner, I got my truck stuck in the sticky, red, clay/mud for which Georgia is famous. A local boy they called Big Red pulled me out of the mud, and I was back on the road. I don’t remember if I had any more sales that day, but at the end of my first week, I had amassed just over $200 in profit. Woo. Hoo. Under $3 an hour! It did get better, however, and my best week my first summer, I made just over $1,000.
I worked with Southwestern Advantage for several summers, and have had several weeks where I made well over $3,000, but the money was definitely not the most important thing I gained from my Southwestern internship summers. I made some of the best friends in my life, and overcame a great challenge, just like in wrestling, mano a mano.