Ivan Sola

Describe the steps you took to obtain your internship/research opportunity/fellowship.

Describe the steps you took to obtain your internship/research opportunity/fellowship. I filled out a survey in my macroeconomics class and then I received a call from a recruiter inviting me to an info session. There was then a three-day interview process and I was selected to be a part of the team on the third interview.

How far in advance did you prepare and begin applying for your experiential learning opportunity?

I did not know about the program before I was given the survey and went to the info session. After I was selected, I was trained throughout the semester for the internship.

If you used any Career Center services, resources, or events to obtain your internship/research opportunity/fellowship, what were they? How did they support your application process?

I did not use any career center services for this internship but I found the company on Handshake which, helped me to verify the legitimacy of the company.

Describe some of your responsibilities or duties during your experiential learning opportunity.

During the internship, I was responsible for prospecting clients, networking to build client-base, managing business accounting and expenses, and delivering the products on the last week while giving the customers a detailed tutorial.

What was a typical day like "on the job?"

I woke up at 5:59 a.m. from Monday-Saturday, and began working by 7:59 a.m. every day. My job was to find prospects by knocking on doors in the community and networking. I presented the products to at least 30 families per day and didn't stop working until at least 9 p.m.

What are some major takeaways from your experience? How will these help prepare you for the next step after graduation?

One of the biggest takeaways from this program was the emotional strength it gave me. Before the summer, I had a speech impediment and the thought of going to a place I had never been to before and knocking on doors, selling educational products frightened me. But I knew if I was successful that it would give me positive momentum for the rest of my life. I'm now confident when it comes to public speaking and communicating with people in general. Over the summer I was able to find strengths and weaknesses I didn't know I had. I learned how to listen to people to understand rather than to just reply. After graduation I can say that in just one summer I averaged working over 80 hours a week and spoke to 3,000 families in a place I had never been before. That statement alone separates me from my peers and stands out on my resume. Not only did I gain professional experience, but I grew as a person.

Did this experience help clarify your career path? If yes, how so?

Yes, after the summer I realized that I'm most likely going to stay with Southwestern Advantage long-term. I was an exploratory major my freshman year and just didn't know what the exact career was for me. All I've known is that I've always wanted to have a job that impacts people while being able to substantially provide for myself and others. Southwestern has a family of companies that all accomplish that same criteria. Southwestern also invests in interns to run their own business and even start their own company. After seeing what it has to offer, I'm confident I want to be a part of this company for the foreseeable future.

David Schoenberger

Ivan Sola

"Not only did I gain professional experience, but I grew as a person."

Major: Business Management, Class of 2021
Company/Organization: Southwestern Advantage