Southwestern Advantage Internship Program
For over 140 years, college and university students from all over the world have participated in the Southwestern Advantage legendary summer sales and leadership program. Southwestern Advantage serves as the core company of the Southwestern Family of Companies. It’s in this program in which students are trained in life skills such as independence, confidence, self-motivation and goal-setting. They run their own business selling an integrated learning system to families throughout North America.
Several summers running a business selling Southwestern Advantage products allows students opportunities beyond financial success. In addition to building their resume and practicing skills needed in the work place, the students learn how to run a business and are, essentially, paving the path for their future.
Additional opportunities have been created for the independent student sales force, as companies have been established using the capital, support and resources of the Southwestern Advantage business incubator. There are over a dozen companies in diverse industries, most of which are sales-based including financial services, insurance, fundraising, publishing, consulting, executive search and personal coaching to name a few.
Southwestern Advantage was established as a publisher in 1855 by Reverend J. R. Graves in Nashville, Tennessee. Originally called the Southwestern Publishing House, Southwestern Advantage has persisted through time to become one of the most respected names in the direct selling industry.
Today, Southwestern Advantage is recognized as the oldest direct selling company in the United States, helping young people build character, gain life skills and reach their goals through the summer sales program for college and university students.
Origin of the Southwestern Advantage Internship Program
Following the end of Civil War, a change was set forth in the Southwestern Advantage business model that would play a crucial role in the birth of modern day direct selling. The company moved from mail order sales to direct selling as a result of Rev. Graves’ observations of college students not being able to afford tuition due to the local economy being in ruins from the ravages of war. In 1868, Southwestern Advantage began offering young men a new lease on life by participating in an entrepreneurial endeavor which consisted of running their own business selling products to families face-to-face.
This change, as it turned out, formed the basis of today’s Southwestern Advantage internship program. In time, Southwestern Advantage expanded beyond the United States and students all over the world are able to take advantage of the opportunity to make money for their educations and build their resumes. In addition to helping students make money, the internship program gives them valuable exposure in the form of an experiential education and an opportunity to enhance their skill sets to set them apart from their peers upon graduation.
The Spirit of Southwestern Advantage Remains Unchanged
Advantage has adapted over time to meet student and consumer needs, the
company consistently remains true to their roots. As the product offerings have
changed, the students still run their summer businesses utilizing one of the
most effective business models: face-to-face sales.
Each summer, approximately 3,000 students take on the challenge to
become independent contractors and learn all aspects of running a business.
Students come from over 340 colleges and universities and nearly 30 countries
to gain the skills and knowledge so many before them have received.
Since 1970, nearly 100,000 students have
participated in the internship. Many former Southwestern Advantage internship student dealers
now hold distinguished positions in their respective fields. U.S. Congresswoman
Marsha Blackburn was part of the Southwestern Advantage internship program, as was Rick Perry, the Governor of Texas. In fact, there are thousands of doctors,
lawyers, authors, pastors, teachers, entrepreneurs, and homemakers who have had