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The Southwestern company
Posted by: FYI ()
Date: August 04, 2007 09:44PM

Just to throw it out there, I sold for six summers and always had a great host family to live with each summer. Every family I lived with was either a previous host family, parents of students, or alumni of the company. I also paid for college by selling books over the summer, even though my parents were very capable of doing so themselves. My experience with Southwestern taught me how to work hard and gave me confidence. I attribute much of where I am today becuase of those six summers. As for people from overseas coming to America to work with Southwestern for the summer, they should be totally aware what they are getting into. I know of several poeple from England, Scotland, France, Poland, and Estonia who have had extremely successful summers selling books.

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The Southwestern company
Posted by: kasparoja ()
Date: August 18, 2007 06:42AM

I'm a journalist from Estonia and writing an article about the darker side of this program. Most articles about this program published in my country have been so called PR articles, so many students don't realise the risks of this program. Could You contact me if you have some experiences with the program or know someone who has?

My e-mail is kaspar85@ut.ee

Thank You!

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The Southwestern company
Posted by: BADBADNEWS ()
Date: August 18, 2007 08:41AM

It is absurdly dangerous to ask young students to simply knock on doors to obtain lodging. Not only do they not know the people they are staying with, but they aren't going to know what areas are safe for them to be staying in the first place.

The two very attractive, young European girls who stayed with us were originally going to be living in an extremely dangerous, 100% black neighborhood- a neighborhood that I- a large, grown man with a concealed firearms permit- don't even enter in the daytime. Those girls wouldn't have lasted a day in that place.

The Southwestern Company, from my research, sees nothing wrong with this.

These girls were in such a precarious position that they had no choice but to accept my offer to stay in my home with me and my fiancee.
Thankfully, I'm not a murderer, a rapist or a psychotic, but they didn't know that. They simply had no choice and fortunately, wound up OK. It makes me shudder to think that girls like this are walking into the houses of strangers without any idea of what they're getting in to.

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The Southwestern company
Posted by: kansieo ()
Date: September 05, 2007 10:29PM

I'm not sure what possessed me to look up a few of my southwestern buddies from a few years ago, but I stumbled across this post.

Let me start by saying that I was only affiliated with the company for one miserable, non-profitable summer, spent in Tucson, Arizona.

I spent the majority of that summer living off of PB&J and ramen...taking 60 second cold showers in the morning and not returning "home" until well after dark.

They don't make it easy to succeed. I spent the majority of my summer touring Tucson by bike--I never quit, however, I made sales calls when I felt like it, though I wasn't close to their quota of 30 per day. It doesn't take long to fudge the numbers to make yourself look like a star performer, though (something that gets addicting, but will kill you in the end).

Anyway. I can say that I was set up in (I'm assuming my manager did this) a beautiful guest house in the foothills of Tucson with a couple of other guys. There was a nice pool just outside, and a basketball court, etc. The family I stayed with had a son who was selling books elsewhere. I did get a nice bible study lecture every so often, but I figured it came with the territory. As mentioned previously, there were a lot of kind-hearted people who would offer to provide food and other stuff, but while on the beat there really isn't a lot of time to sit and chat while eating.

In reality, it sucked--a lot. I wouldn't choose to go through it again. However, I did learn a lot about myself. I made a bunch of friends. I met a whole lot of people I wouldn't have otherwise. I learned that I'll never visit Arizona in the summer again. I learned that people will steal anything, including a beat-up 1970's era bike from goodwill (I wasn't going to buy a $10 lock for a $5 bike...).

Overall, I don't regret the decision to go.

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The Southwestern company
Posted by: dandamanjc ()
Date: October 10, 2007 12:50PM

I worked this job this past summer.

People with success will tell you it was a good experience, and to a certain extent I agree. You really are thrown out there into the wild and learn to be proactive and such about everything.

First about the housing, I was assigned to long island in ny and we my whole organization did NOT have housing once we got to the east coast. Instead once we got there we stayed in a hotel and essentially went door to door looking for housing. My roommates and I eventually found housing by going to a local church and asking the pastor to make an announcement there, which worked out fine. But that is a far cry from having big lists of past host families that we could contact.

The job itself sucked too, it's door to door sales in new york, what more do I need to say? I was thinking it would be a good learning experience, iono get out of my familiar zones at home and such and for other personal reasons... and I did learn a lot about myself and such... so in that regard I do think it was a good experience.

However... making the money isn't nearly as easy as simply sticking to 30 demos a day, having the actual sales personality obviously helps immensely... in the end I left early because I wasn't really improving or making sales (I stayed half the summer -- so I stuck it out and got the real deal, it's not like I just dipped my toes into the experience) but in the end I essentially made $0 and I can't help but feel a robbed because of that. I was adequately warned that there was potential for massive failure, but then again I was also told 30 demos a day would be the save all cure to failure. Like others were saying the southwestern company's business scheme definitely covers their ass.

It's just such a shame that I worked so hard those 5-6 weeks for virtually no monetary gain. Oh wells, that's why I'm in school so I don't have to do shit work.

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Re: The Southwestern company
Posted by: Hoster ()
Date: August 30, 2020 08:28PM

I am doing research on the Southwestern Advantage company. A female, doing door to door sales in our state, was sexually assaulted. I contacted the company to inquire how often this occurs. I read an article from Bristol, TN from 2019, where a student rep from Southwestern was abducted, tied up and had to end up jumping from a window to escape. I would love to hear from anyone who has experienced anything like this, whether as a salesperson, or happened in your area, etc.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 08/30/2020 08:49PM by Hoster.

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