I first learned about Southwestern from my father, who completed the program in the 70’s while he was in college. He worked with the company for seven years so I heard many stories growing up about his experiences and what he learned on the “bookfield”. Hearing the good, the bad, and the ugly, I knew very well that the program was going to be a lot of work. I considered my first summer after my senior year of high school and quite honestly, I didn’t want to spend my summer working hard. I knew I would grow a lot but I thought I would rather spend my summer sitting on the beach and hanging out with my friends.
Quite frankly, I grew up. I realized that in order to achieve the things I wanted to achieve in life, I needed to form the habit of making decisions based on what would benefit me in the long run over what I wanted in the moment (one of the principles Southwestern instills). Indeed my first summer was very challenging. I had to form the aforementioned discipline in even the most minute aspects of my life. It was definitely one of the most, if not the most rewarding experience of my life. I learned how to coach myself as well as others. I learned the discipline that would later help me achieve greater things in my career. I also developed strong relationships with extraordinary college students who push me and will be lifelong friends. I am grateful for everything that Southwestern has taught me and if you are considering the program, I challenge you to take the time to hear more about it. It might not be right for you, but don’t allow fear of something challenging to hold you back from learning more.
Lots of work. Lots.
The leadership has been incredible. I have learned so much and continue to each year.
We have monthly meetings and/or events that we travel to. It’s a college atmosphere; very laid back but productive.
Don’t let the fear of the challenges hold you back from the opportunities it offers.