Southwestern Advantage Reviews | Glassdoor

Southwestern Advantage Reviews

Updated August 16, 2017
142 reviews

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142 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • You learn a lot about people skills, communication and sales (in 16 reviews)

  • I enjoyed working about 13 hours a day and made a lot of money in 3 months (in 9 reviews)

Cons
  • pyramid scheme feel, long hours (in 37 reviews)

  • Pitched to be a great paying job, but instead its just a door to door sales job where you MIGHT make UP TO (in 16 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "The hardest, and best, leap you can take"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Campus Leader in Minneapolis, MN
    Current Employee - Campus Leader in Minneapolis, MN
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Southwestern Advantage full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Getting paid for how hard you work, the leadership and training, a risk free way to learn how to run a business, the opportunity to fail forward, the foundation of skills it develops in you that transfer across any field.

    Cons

    It will push you to your limits, and help you grow past them.


  2. Helpful (4)

    "Be Wary of Company-Fabricated Reviews"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Business Expansion Coordinator in Norman, OK
    Former Employee - Business Expansion Coordinator in Norman, OK
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Southwestern Advantage full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    You get to see other states and regions, and you build relationships with the people who are sharing your misery

    Cons

    Cult-like, resembles a pyramid scheme, dangerous, expensive to work for, deceptive

    Advice to Management

    Be well-practiced for your sales pitch when you're knocking door-to-door in Hell. Remember, you get out of the experience everything that you put in.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Working"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Builds character but can be dangerous for workers

    Cons

    - Long hours
    - A lot of uncertainty
    - Pay is not good

    Advice to Management

    N/A


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Working with Southwestern"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Independent Contractor in Raleigh, NC
    Former Employee - Independent Contractor in Raleigh, NC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Incredible leadership and mentorship, complete autonomy over your schedule (you get how much you put in), opportunities for advancement, very supportive culture.

    Cons

    Lack of structure for some of their full time opportunities.

    Advice to Management

    Give first-time full timers a little more guidance on the front end, especially if they are opening a new campus!


  5. "YOU GET OUT WHAT YOU PUT IN"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Salesperson in Las Vegas, NV
    Former Employee - Salesperson in Las Vegas, NV
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Southwestern Advantage (Less than a year)

    Pros

    A lot of growth and lessons learned. The experience is priceless

    Cons

    A lot of difficulties and challenges that come along throughout the experience, however every lesson is worth it


  6. "Best "Coming of Age" Program Out There"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - All Things Sales in Nashville, TN
    Former Employee - All Things Sales in Nashville, TN
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    As a college student, it is hard to find a job that will push you as much as Southwestern. As an 18-21 year old, it is the best experience you can get as far as pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and having your success be 100% dependent on yourself. When/If you do succeed, the pride and confidence will follow you a long time.

    Cons

    They take pride in not providing you with the resources you need to sell in a digital world.... You are given a backpack full of books, a sales talk, a place to live, and a manager to help you along the way.... but everything else you are on your own... even in selling a website, you are expected to provide your own technology or to ask to use customer's computers.... as college students, Southwestern really tows the line between promoting growth and providing you the materials you need to be successful.


  7. "Great opportunity"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Corporate Recruiter in Nashville, TN
    Former Employee - Corporate Recruiter in Nashville, TN
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Southwestern Advantage full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    I loved working with SW! Without ever having taken a business course in school, southwestern provided me all of the tools necessary for me to be successful in future jobs/business endeavors. Absolutely, being a direct sales person was challenging and tough, but being able to learn about overcoming rejection, frustration, challenge and loss of motivation are priceless.

    Cons

    Travel was a huge perk for me in this job. However, after a couple years, it was hard to have to uproot several times each year to relocate for work.

    Advice to Management

    Keep treating your top producers like they are valued and genuinely cared for. It makes a difference! I had the opportunity to work with great managers who made a positive impact on my time with the company.

  8. "Sales Represetnative"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Tucson, AZ
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Tucson, AZ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Southwestern Advantage part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    +The company offered complex sales training.
    +Upon quitting the internship, the company helped look for another job

    Cons

    - Only performance based pay
    - You get assigned to a random location meaning you can easily end up working 14 hours a day in Arizona desert.
    - If you quit the internship midway through, you will almost certainly pay the company back for the extra transport costs of the products sold.

    Advice to Management

    Be real and open rather than promising riches.

    Southwestern Advantage Response

    May 23, 2016 – Director of Communications

    We would love to discuss this with you in detail as to what your expectations were versus when reality was as you attended the five days of training prior to starting your business. Trey Campbell... More


  9. Helpful (25)

    "The Absolute Worst Working Experience of my Life"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Hermann, MO
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Hermann, MO

    I worked at Southwestern Advantage (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Your fellow students/suckers are generally good people and fun to be with. The shared misery bonds you.

    Cons

    Where do I even begin. First, the important thing to realize is that you are an independent contractor to them. You are not an employee. They owe you nothing beyond a cut of what you sold at the end of the season. Their "managers" and company employees are master salespeople...they could sell ice in Siberia so your average inexperienced college student is at a major disadvantage. They basically try to indoctrinate you. They sell you on the fact that if you are successful in this endeavor, you can basically be the CEO of any company out there and if you fail...well, you're a failure who will be derelict drain on society for the rest of your life.

    Things you need to understand:
    -Your parents or some other financially stable individual has to essentially cosign for your employment. Basically, if you don't sell, you or your cosigner has to pay them back for materials (i.e. initial books, samples, training material, etc.)

    -You have to pay all your expenses out of what you earn. This includes rent, food, gas, possibly utilities (based on your situation) and other necessities. If you're only an average seller and since the company wants you to remit 75% of what you make back to them, this leaves very little with which to live.

    -If you don't have a car, God help you because you are completely at their mercy. They want you to work 12 hour days, 6 days a week. If you don't have your own transportation, you will be dropped off in your selling area and left there until they come back to get you.

    -Let's do a little math kids. Southwestern has stated that a first year students who works 20 days earn a gross (so before all those expenses I just mentioned) of $2569 a month on average . So if you're working 12 hour days that's 240 hours. $2569/240= $10.70 an hour. That's not great for the amount work you're putting in and may not even be minimum wage depending on what part of the country you live in.

    -They are less than honest. One of the major concerns of my parents was where I was going to live. My recruiter/manager assured them that they had already gotten places where we could live lined up and we would be staying with local families. This patently false. There was no such place lined for my sub-unit of three guys so we were forced to rent an apartment.

    Things that Happened to Me (These are all true!)
    -Let's talk about that apartment. My recruiter manager had 7 guys in his team after attrition throughout the training process. The team he directly led (4 guys) was based out of a pretty upscale suburb of St Louis. My team (3 guys) were sent out into central, rural Missouri. As I stated above, there was no family willing to take us in so we had to rent a one bedroom apartment over a laundromat. Luckily, it was partially furnished so we rotated sleeping arrangements: one in the bed, one on the couch, the other on the floor. We had to go buy sleeping bags so another expense! It had no tv or air conditioning but at least it had one overhead light in the kitchen and a light in the bathroom so it kind of lit the whole apartment. (For reference, the 4 guys and our manager who were living with a family...turns out they were sleeping on cots in an unfinished basement.)

    -I was struggling so they paired me up with one of the female managers to observe her techniques. On the third door we knock on, a dog comes barreling out of the backyard barking like crazy. Without a word, she turns and starts running. She ran track. She was much faster than me. Luckily, the dog lost interest after I ran through some bushes.

    -Speaking of dogs...I drove up what I thought was a dirt road but turned out to be the driveway to a farm. As I got up to the house, the three dogs roaming free surrounded my car and trapped me in it until a grump old farmer came out and told me to get off his property in no uncertain terms.

    - I knock on a trailer door and a shirtless man with nipple rings, who is obviously hungover, answers. Undeterred, I talk my way into his living room. On his coffee table are three handguns with cartridges loosely scattered across the table. He asks me to come back that evening when he is more of a frame of mind to listen to me. I agree, get out of there, and never go back. I'm not saying he was going to murder me but I can't say he wasn't.

    -I get questioned by the police as a suspicious person in the area. I am obviously the out of town stranger with my New England license plates and southern university stickers/gear. They ask me to the station and start asking me questions about some local thefts, going so far as to tell me they know I'm lying despite by professions of innocence and ignorance. This is the last straw and I start the cross country drive home that night. My manager doesn't even notice I'm gone for three days.

    -More of an observation...the easiest people to sell were the folks who could least afford it. I engaged a woman who lived in squalor, was in a motorized wheelchair and was obviously living on disability. Somehow I talked her into buying these borderline useless things but I was so desperate for a sale, I did it anyway. I am a scumbag.

    Bottom line- This is a borderline pyramid scheme. The company and managers will tell you anything to get you out there. The pay isn't worth the hassle and uncertainty for the average person. Unless you were born to sell, it's not worth the stress, hours, and expense. And above all, it's borderline dangerous. They drop you into an unknown area which they don't really know anything about and neither do you. Do yourself a favor...just stay away.


  10. "Emotional intelligence development at its finest"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Austin, TX

    I worked at Southwestern Advantage (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Southwestern Advantage has a long history of success an impressive pool of alumni. If you follow the system the works and you'll do well. If you're a student in college, there's no better way to invest your time during the summer and school year to gain more experience and emotional intelligence. As an alumni, your resume will show well in many industries. Most people who stay for 2+ summers have built an incredible network of hardworking and like-minded individuals which can be beneficial for the future.

    Cons

    Southwestern needs to progress in a few areas:

    1. In my opinion, their online product is not worth what families pay. It should be about half as much. With that said, you don't have to sell it if you don't want to.

    2. You're and independent contractor and that means you will foot the bill on everything you do. Gas to drive to meetings, hotels, business cards, brochures etc. Not necessarily a con, that's the way being an independent contractor works. My problem is that they'll charge your account, in most cases, without proper explanation of charge so going through checkout at the end of the year can be a pain.

    3. Extra compensation for full time recruiters is non-existent other than what you made off your team or from the previous summer.

    Advice to Management

    I worked with Southwestern Advantage for 5 years and I had an incredible experience. You will gain invaluable experience, but need to provide a small base for your corporate recruiters.


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