Gary M. Price – Gary has had two children participate in the Southwestern Advantage summer internship
I am writing this letter to any students and parents considering a first Southwestern Advantage summer internship. I am the father of three children who participated in the selling program at Southwestern, my son and one daughter for one summer, one daughter for three summers.
Whether you have ever thought about it or not, life is about trying to get the most out of life that you can. We all work at something to gain income to support our lifestyles, and we all want to improve on these lifestyles. The lifestyle that we achieve is directly proportional to our skills and our efforts. One of the most important, I happen to think that it is the most important skill of all, is that of promotion, or selling.
We all sell something. Even if you think you are not selling anything, you are. We sell ourselves every day, whether we are conscience of it or not. Of course, if you are not conscience of it, you are at a distinct disadvantage, as you will probably not be very good at it.
If you work in any sort of business of your own, or if you are an employee, you are selling yourself to either your customers and employees or to your employer and co-workers every day. When you make your boss aware of all your hard work and achieved deadlines, you are engaged in selling yourself. Even when you are angling for a date with someone to whom you are attracted, you get busy selling yourself. You put on your most flattering clothes, keep yourself clean, and make sure your hair is just right. This is a form of self-promotion, or selling!
This is where Southwestern comes in and really shines. Of course there is much more to Southwestern than selling, but as stated earlier, I regard it as the most important skill you can develop to achieve the things you want out of life, and Southwestern’s sales training program was developed over the one hundred plus years they have been in business. It must be a good one or they couldn’t have lasted so long. If you look at the Dow 30 companies from say forty or fifty years ago, most are no longer there. It’s not easy to keep a business going over a long period of time. To do so requires innovation, and more importantly, a core business that can stand the test of time. Obviously, Southwestern is doing something right.
My kids learned so much besides selling. They learned persistence, dependability, how to manage their own business, how to handle rejection and persevere, how to be a self-motivator, how to be independent, how to be responsible, and how to make money. The actual money they made selling books had the least value of all that they acquired from their time spent selling the Southwestern Advantage. If they would have had to pay Southwestern, it would have been the best money they would have spent in their lives, and I’m even putting it ahead of a college education. There aren’t too many valuable life-skills taught in colleges.
The skills they developed during those summers, will last them all their lives. They are so far ahead of kids their ages, it is incredible! In fact, they are way ahead of most people of any age. They have skills and experiences most people never develop or have in an entire lifetime. It is simple to compare them with the people they now work with (post Southwestern). Their skill level puts them head and shoulders above their competition.
Oh yeah, I didn’t mean to gloss over the income while they sold books as it was terrific. I regard it as a super bonus to such a wonderful “life success” program. Since my daughter worked for three summers, she left college with a nice fat sum in her bank account. It has been five years now since she completed her selling adventure, and that money she socked away has been added to and grown to a sum many forty or fifty year olds would be envious of. Oh, did I forget that all that hard work taught her the value of money?
In summation, I would like any perspective parent who is hesitant to enroll their children in the Southwestern Advantage internship program, to use common sense when making your decision. In any endeavor a person chooses to embark on, whether it be attending college or working with Southwestern Advantage, there will always be people who have great experiences and those that do not. Ever wonder why there are kids who speak negatively of Southwestern? How about failure and denial? Those who drop out, quit before they could learn the many benefits, and so cheated themselves out of such a tremendous opportunity. It is similar to the kid that parties too much and drops out of college. It is easy to blame someone or something else for failure. In regards to Southwestern I would ask that you research the many incredibly successful graduates who credit Southwestern for their success in all their endeavors. The proof is in the results, and I am sure if you do a little research, you can find very long lists of Southwestern success stories. Don’t let a few nay-sayers color your thinking. Get the truth. There are thousands and thousands who have made success out of themselves, and attribute those successes to their time with Southwestern.
One other thing I almost forgot. Southwestern Advantage graduates have a bond for each other, and when they run across one another out in the business world, they know the skill level the other has, and if they are in a position of hiring, they will take the Southwestern grad before others. And networking continues out in the business world as well. They continue their friendships made while selling, and it is amazing how valuable these turn out to be. After all, most of this elite fraternity achieves success early, and goes onward and upward fast. It’s nice to have friends in high places!