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How would you rate Gloria "The BookGirl" James?
In the short time I have known Gloria, she has shown a dedication to helping others through her assistance with the Office of Admissions at the University of Minnesota and as a leader on the University of Minnesota's campus. Her electric personality and work ethic are bond to lead others to achievement and personal gratification.
Since I've decided to sell books my sophomore year of college my life has been filled with like minded, ambitious friends, colleagues, and mentors as well as personal growth, overcoming fear, and challenging myself in every area of life. There are very few jobs that require you to grow as a person in every aspect of your life. Long story short.. the premise of the job is to overcome as many challenges as possible while maintaining a positive perspective while working more than most people are capable of (huge self confidence boost). Every insecurity, mental hangup, and challenge you have in your life is brought up and magnified over the summer. Since students are talking to people all day and need to maintain a positive attitude, they learn how to see the obstacles in their life in a more positive way and students are left with what truly, truly matters in life (people, experiences, impact). Sales is not about getting people to buy the next new vacuum cleaner or pest control, but instead, making a genuine connection with people and helping them in an authentic way. I would not be doing this job if I didn't believe in the impact our books bring to families and the inspiration college students bring to families. My favorite part of every summer is inspiring high schoolers to go to college- since everything is more valid coming from a cool college kid. 10/10 would recommend this job to anyone that genuinely wants to learn how to LIVE better and make a better impact on everyone they meet for the rest of their life.
I grew up with these products and now I work with the company and this experience has changed my life. Not only was I able to pay off all my student loans, but my experience selling books with Southwestern helped improve my confidence, communication skills, attitude, and countless other life skills. I love the people I work with and the people that lead me. I’m so grateful for my time in Southwestern.
100% the best decision I've ever made was to sell books. This program is definitely tough but that is part of why it is great. SW and its leaders have helped shaped me into who I am today (as well as pay for school and a million other fun trips/cool things along the way.) Would recommend to anyone who is willing to work hard, think outside the box, fight the status quo, is down for adventures and making great friends!
My experience with has allowed me to develop immense confidence in myself and has developed me into a leader that puts the needs of others before my own. I have been blessed with friendships and relationships with incredible people and mentors that I would have never been exposed to otherwise.
Through Southwestern Advantage, I have proven how strong of a woman I am, and that I can accomplish anything I set out to do. It has helped me reveal my character – a character that is built on not quitting in the face of adversity.
This experience is particularly good for women because we learn that how we feel in every moment is completely up to us. Life is not what happens to you, but what you choose to do with what happens to you. It allows for a great environment to develop a healthy independence focused on leadership and confidence that enables us to hit our goals in our personal and professional lives.
St. Cloud State University
I am SO grateful that this company recruited me. As a college student, there are so many companies that have reached out looking for interns. I turned them down because I couldn't see myself really benefitting from most of them. Once I caught sight of this opportunity, it was one I was sure I couldn't pass up. It has taught me so much about hard work, integrity, independence, self-reliance, choosing to have a positive frame of mind, and to LOVE my job! I have grown in so many ways over the course of a SUMMER & have made more than enough money to support me through the school year. This is such a great opportunity for anyone that's looking to grow in their character, gain experience, and work their way through school. I honestly can't imagine what my life would look like if I hadn't been recruited by this company. I have taken away so much from just my first summer, and I'm so excited to do this again next summer:) It is very team-oriented as well, so you never feel like you're on your own, even through your days of working on your own. I have also made friends with so many families that I have made an life-lasting impact on, because the products we have to offer are so beneficial... my family even uses them! Crazy, amazing experience that you CAN'T pass up.
I've been working with Southwestern Advantage as part of the GLADIATORS organization! It's been such an awesome experience with the best people ever! 5 years of growth and personal development mentored by some of the best managers in the country.
It's been exciting helping families with education and getting to know the American culture as part of my summer internship. We get the chance to share our knowledge and experience with students from Bulgaria..which is pretty exciting.
Very grateful for the opportunity to work with Southwestern for the last 5 summers and more coming..
Over the course of summers in the US, I've been able to help 1176 families with their educational needs and made friendships that are going to last forever.
I love that our program is a cultural exchange program, we stay with local host families and that gives students a chance to share our culture and learn about the US. Several host families have been inviting me back to their homes and I've had a chance to visit them again in Texas and Mississippi.
Coming from a small town, Southwestern experience helped me to tremendously improve my leadership, communication skills and confidence. The work can be very challenging, students have to face adversity and rejection, but looking back, I wouldn't trade it for anything. I'm glad that I've been able to build work ethic and character that brings me closer to becoming the person I want to be.
Experience for lifetime!
Very pushy sales people....door to door... First he stops thru when I'm at work when its just my girls and wife. He decides his agenda is more important than ours and my wife is trying to be polite and get him to leave, but he decides she needs to see all the other people that he has persuaded to buy from him and makes himself at home and sits down at a picnic table and wont leave. My wife finally gets him to leave by telling him that she wont make a decision with out me and he sets a time to be back about 9pm even though she tells him that I wont be pleased. Then this joker comes back after 10pm and pretends that I am NOT asking him, why is he harassing my family. I started polite and reminded him that while applaud his effort, that stops when you start infringing on my right not to be harassed. He then noded his head and proceeds to open that binder to show me what he is peddling and that I don't have to buy anything and look who else has bought from me. He just wants to show me. I finally told him he needed to leave and he just stood there talking as walked back inside and slammed the door. What kind of training are you doing? These door to door people are pushy and they are taught not to give any consideration to your opinion or your rights. They pry and manipulate you until you give up. They are there for you money, nothing more. They don't care about anything that comes out of your mouth. My door to door idiots name was John Dunn.
A man by the name of Austin Heron came to my door, he was polite at first but when I stepped outside he persisted he wanted in. I politely said no and he tried to make his way in but I stopped him. He started by asking how old my kids were, which, btw I'm 14, so I shouldn't have kids, and I don't, and offered me a book for almost $800 dollars. I work a side job for a guy. that's a whole week of pay. like I'm gonna pay a week's salary for a book when my program offers me 4 text books, and few extra since I'm in honors classes, beta club, and GT. He kind of creeped me out. I felt like I should use my right to the 2nd amendment, which is to bear arms. I didn't, and after another 5 minutes he left with a card. Now tell me why the heck he A: tried to barge into an empty house, that was obviously empty because all the cars were gone, and a short kid was standing on the porch. B: Why he thinks I at my age am gonna pay almost $800 dollars on a book and C: Why he infringed my rights. I might have forgot but there is a No Trespassing sign on the mailbox, on the chain link fence surrounding our drive, and on a post on the way down the drive. He wasn't at least legally blind either because he rode in a car. Your sales reps need to learn what a kid looks like and how to read.
What appealed to me when I first learned about southwestern advantage was the fact that it was a summer internship like no other or that’s what my friend said. I had no idea what I was getting involved into even if my student manager told me what was coming. My initial fears was not knowing what I was getting into but I was excited to do it. I was also worried and scared that I would not job properly. I got past those concerns and issues by learning that the only way to learn is by failing and I am not afraid of failing anymore and learning that all I needed was a positive attitude and to be committed to this internship no matter how hard it gets. I gained things as a person that I wouldn’t have gotten anywhere else, such as what kind of parent I want to be one day, knowing what I need to do to be happy in life, how to motivate myself, a little about how to read people and money.
When I first heard about the internship, I could not imagine what I would be in for. I gained more experience in one summer than I had for most of my life leading up to the summer. The hardest but one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done.
The first thing that caught my attention about the program was the chance to gain professional work experience before graduating. I was nervous about how I would do since I had never had a sales job before. My coach asked me to trust the 150 year old system, and told me if I followed their best practices, things would work out in the end. It was tough but I stuck with it, got the experience I wanted, and so much more. The friendships I've made have been incredible.
If you are the owner/responder, please reply here with your home address. I would like to come by your house and sell my services. I would also like the names of your children, your neighbors, and your neighbors' children.. Also, please give me the ages of those children. If you are not willing to provide that here, please do not instruct your sales reps to do it! Yes, you would not like it, nor be comfortable with it, and neither does anyone else!
Southwestern Advantage is an awesome internship that everyone should do if they want to work hard, make friends, and learn awesome things about yourself and others!
I first heard about Southwestern Advantage when I was very young because I actually grew up using the books! My Mom and Dad did this exact same internship when they were college students at Texas A&M in ‘89-‘91. What appealed to me initially was the financial opportunity and growth. This was the best option for a college student to earn a large amount of money in a short time which is perfect to help pay for tuition. What concerned me at first was being away from my family, friends, and girlfriend for so long, because it is an all summer commitment. However, once I started training and got out and talked to families in Michigan, all my concerns were gone. The joy of serving families and helping them with their education was much more of a big picture. This was a challenge for me because it tested my integrity, confidence, and courage more than anything else before. There are long hours, but you get to create your own schedule. Being away from loved ones was a challenge but in the end it was really rewarding because I gained valuable communication skills and problem solving skills. I got to basically run my own business and physically see the impact that the products have on the families who decided to buy them. Well worth the experience and I’m excited to do it again next summer!
Best summer ever !!! - When I first heard about Southwestern Advantage 3 years ago, I was a freshman at the University of Texas at SA. I was in the middle of the business involvement fair when I saw my (now) student leader, and she told me "I want to work with you this summer". She told me she moved to a different state, with people she didn't really know and that she worked 80 hours a week. It shocked me at first, but after I saw her confidence and the joy she had while talking about the program, I decided to do it. I am happy to say that I am going into my fourth year of working with southwestern, and plan to do it for many more. Best decision I ever made.
I heard about Southwestern Advantage through a corporate recruiter at my university. Initially, the high potential to earn good money and gain new skills is what appealed to me. My first concern was being away from my friends and family for the summer time. I was able to get past that concern through talking to Alumni of the company who are successful in their fields now. This experience was tough for me because I worked harder than I have before.
Overall, this experience has impacted every area of my life. My confidence and belief in myself has increased dramatically and I have made some life long friends. I would recommend learning about this opportunity if you have a hunger to learn, earn, and grow.
Southwestern Advantage is the Most Amazing Opportunity for College Students!!!
I heard about Southwestern Advantage from a good friend who I am on a sports team with at my University. She explained how this company was doing amazing things by teaching college students how to be the best version of themselves that they can be and giving them the tools they will need to succeed later on in life. I was instantly attracted to an opportunity that would help me go further in life and have a different experience than other college students. At first, I was concerned with what people would think of me selling "door to door" and my safety. I was able to get past that concern when a student who had done this program for 5 years sat down with me and was able to give me a a good and legitimately thought out answer for every question I asked. Also, I was able to understand that if this is a program that will help me to grow, why wouldn't I participate? This experience of moving to a new state for the entire summer and working over 80 hours a week was difficult. Meeting people from all walks of life that you knew nothing about was also a difficulty. However, I feel rewarded from my experience in the way that I was able to meet people from all walks of life. I also was able to see how hard I am able to push myself and see what I am capable of. I was able to spend my summer doing something that other college students would never even dream of. I was able to work hard and push myself, causing me to grow in more areas of my life than I ever could have imagined. I feel that this internship was worth it for me because I have made friends in a completely different state, earned my own money that will help pay for the things that I want and give me opportunities that I never could have imagined! I vote everyone who ever has a chance to do this internship does it!!!
I first heard about Southwestern Advantage in my first semester at UCF. I filled out a survey about being interested in summer work in one of my classes and was later called and invited to an informational session. I was initially interested in having the ability to travel and make money during my undergraduate summers. I was concerned a little about the sales aspect, but in my interview process I was informed about the extensive week long sales training in Nashville before the summer. The experience was extremely challenging in the way of learning to solely rely on myself without distractions and maintain emotional consistency. I was rewarded with learning self motivation, the ability to problem solve, keeping a positive attitude, and leading others. I also gained an immeasurable amount of peer support by networking with like minded students across the nation who I now call my family.
Have you heard of southwestern?
Yes, just finished my second summer in the internship program.
How did it appeal to you?
I liked how I could run my own business from the ground up.
What concerned me?
I was mostly concerned about being good at selling books and less concerned about actually finishing the summer.
What got me past that concern?
I just put in the effort initially and the skill came soon thereafter when it came to selling books for me.
Why the experience was a challenge for me?
I found it difficult at first to be away from home and friends but in terms of challenges, I'd say being mentally focused all day became really hard to do.
Why it was rewarding?
Once you finish your summer it's surreal by itself, the best feeling ever is accomplishing such a difficult experience and walking away with a nice check. That's the best thing about southwestern is the delayed gratification one gets from a summer.
I heard about Southwestern Advantage through a large lecture hall. At the beginning of my lecture, a young woman came in and said if you’re interested in a summer opportunity leave your name and number and I signed up not thinking much of it. I liked how it was considered very challenging and allowed you to travel. I didn’t know what to expect but I was definitely concerned about affordability coming from a lower income family and safety. After calling previous alum of the company and finding out it had been in operation for 160 years, I was confident that a young woman such as myself could do this. The biggest challenge I actually faced during the job was myself, because this internship can bring up your mental blockages and that is why it is so challenging. But come to find at the end of it all, I started on a path to overcome them. I found a way to empower myself and surround myself with like minded people. This is really a family and a great summer opportunity.
Southwestern Advantage is an entrepreneurial program that I was introduced to my Freshmen year of undergrad. A student rep from Southwestern surveyed a class of mine looking for potential candidates. At first I was skeptical because their recruiting process was different from other companies. However, once I completed the interview process it became apparent to me that this was a rigorous opportunity that would stretch me as a person professionally and give me a foundation to build successful habits. Looking back after four years with this company, I am so grateful I ventured outside my comfort zone. The challenges of being completely independent and running my own business has helped me develop skills that will profoundly impact every aspect of my life.
As a freshman in university, I heard about this crazy sounding, book selling deal in the USA, during the summer break. Company’s name is Southwestern Advantage, and they have been in business since 1855. Sounded old and legit.
They told me I could earn money, travel around the world, learn how to sell and make lots of friends, during the summer. Pretty exciting! The thing I liked the most was, that I would get paid exactly how much I’m worth. Because it’s a sales job, I was going to be paid on commissions. No set salary. Pretty risky, however I realized that if I want to be a business owner in the future, this is exactly how I will be making my money. Based on my results. I was sold! I set a pretty big goal for myself - I wanted to be the best rookie that year!
At that time I had no idea, that this crazy sounding job will turn into a career, where I will meet my best friends, my partner and a whole lot of amazing young leaders. Looking back now, I’m thankful to my younger self, for being that brave.
This album shows the story, my achievements and my travels over the past 4 years! Looking forward to adding a lot more!
Southwestern Advantage has helped me realize that I am able to push past my belief barriers and it continues to help me grow in areas of my life that I've struggled with like public speaking and being a leader. Running your own business for a summer and bringing out a team has placed me in positions to get better in those two aspects as well as many others so that one day I can be the person I am one day meant to become.
I am glad that i chose southwestern because none of the internship would teach me success principles and how to carry out my own business. Southwestern taught me to know my qualities, my mess and my emotions and embrace it.
I am working on my vision board and 30 years business plan.
My dad appreciates southwestern so much. He says I have grown the most during three months of summer.
We made a friend for life in the young lady who sold us our books. We love Southwestern Advantage and Mariam! They provide a wonderful opportunity for young people as well as fantastic learning tools at decent prices. We are very pleased with our purchase.
I was in my Econ 201 class my freshman year at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville when I first heard about Southwestern Advantage. I was attracted to the income opportunity where I could challenge myself and gain real world experience early on in my college career because most internships I could have done as a freshman included carrying coffee for executives and filing papers. I wanted to do something much more fun that would be better for me in my future. So I decided to do Southwestern Advantage. It was the hardest summer program I've ever done, but that's what keeps me coming back because I have learned through Southwestern that challenges and hard work help me become a better person and a better professional.
My experience with Southwestern Advantage started off when i was an immature freshman, who thought he knew everything. It took me a bit of time for me to get past my initial fears and ego, but I knew I was up for some adventure. Now 5 years later, having traveled and worked everywhere in the US, Mexico, and Europe, I’m proud to serve families and change the lives of my peers. I’m excited to see what the future has in store for me.
First time I heard about Southwestern was 2 years ago from my old friend from high school. Even though she did not go to USA and did not participate in this program, I decided to try it out. Firstly, I was really afraid of travel to the other side of the world. Secondly, I’ve never done sales and even my relatives thought I could not succeed in this program. However, turned out to be the best experience in my life! Even though it was really hard to work crazy hours and to deal with all the No’s, I would not trade it for the world. This program is not for someone who gives up easily. But it gave me friends, confidence, life-time experiences. It’s the best thing that college kid can do in the summer time. I’ll do it again next summer.
I spent the last 3 years of my undergraduate years at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley participating in the Southwestern Advantage summer work program. Southwestern Advantage gave me the opportunity to relocate, responsibility to run my own business, and to develop the skill sets that are not taught in the classroom setting. Thank you southwestern advantage for helping me face my fears, the diligent leadership, and allowing me to graduate debt-free. I highly recommend it to any student that understands the value of short-term sacrifices for long-term benefits.
I spent half of my undergrad years at University of Florida participating in this entrepreneurial program. It helped me gain skills, a caliber of friends I'm proud to associate with, and see more of our country (and other countries) than I ever expected. It's as fun as it is tough, and I recommend it to any student who understands the value and long-term reward of self-discipline.
I would say that this program was the hardest thing that i have ever done but also the most rewarding! I am college students from Poland and I have never saw this kind opportunity before.
At the begginning of course I was totally afraid what can happen, I had never worked in sale field before, but what I liked is those training which I got before going to US which gave me confidence.
Summer was challenging for me, I got lots of rejections from people but in the same time I became more stronger as a person. Now I am more independent, more brave, I was traveling a lot and I found my best friends here!
Company that actually develops young people and leaders. I heard about on my freshman year in college and I was afraid since I had never done any sales before. But I knew I could work hard and learn fast. I never been more proud of myself than when I finished my first summer. Now I have participated for 3 summer and last summer had opportunity to lead 11 students in my organisation. I love working with people and especially help people around me achieve their goals. Southwestern has brought many good values to my life!
The college student came to my house and explained the book, she is very professional, helpful and friendly. She spent hours explain to my high school kid about the book, she shared her college experience. She work so hard, really represent company very well.
Rachel was awesome! Loved her energy and her spirit. She was really fun!
The gentleman who visited was very knowledgeable about the online programs, as I had explained I purchased a set of the books already in the past but was interested in the in the go program. I love the book set. And am excited for my children to grow through the easy apps. Our 2 older Children were at bible school and the guy who stopped was so good with our 2 year old, that alone could sell its weight in Gold. He was patient with me and my "not so savvy" technology ways. It was a great experience. Thank you!
Wyatt came over and engaged so well with my children. He showed us what books would be best for them as we are on a tight budget. He showed me that we could use a payment plan and all the websites that they would be able to use to help them learn. I am very excited to start these books with my children.
Kristin Seemen was my rep today and she was AMAZING. She knew the products so well and actually cared about what MY family needed and could use. I love the online programs and the fact there are hard copies as well. My kids use both. Thank you Kristin you rock.
Very nice and informative! Georgi was super sweet and didn’t pressure me into buying anything if I didn’t want to. My boys loved him and thought he was so cool.
Jan Muur was my rep - he is so knowledgeable, kind, and focused. I have had prior experience with Southwestern Advantage, having purchased their Math books a few years ago to help my stepson through High School math. They were a GODSEND! I am so glad Jan showed up at my door and I was able to get the rest of the books for my collection, as well as the online help. My kids are now set up to have every opportunity for success.
I first heard about Southwestern Advantage from one of my best friends Jackson, who did the internship last summer. I was drawn to and wanted the growth, both personal and spiritual, that Jackson said he got from last summer! I knew I could work hard, but wanted to prove to myself, that I could make it on my own. Even though you really aren't on your own, because Southwestern provides you with the best training in the WORLD! Not only do you receive invaluable training, but you also have leaders and coaches who truly care about you and your personal growth. One of the hard parts of the summer is being away from family and friends, but your org. (group) becomes your friends and family. I gained years worth of sales and communication training in one summer. I also was blessed with the chance to help families with education, and got to meet tons of interesting people. The money is also good.
This program has been one of the best things I have chosen to do with my college years. Many of my friends had participated and it seemed like an experience that was important for them. The challenge was what attracted me to it. I know that people who choose to do hard things are the ones who get ahead in life, and if this was the hardest thing a college student could choose to do, then I knew it was something I wanted to explore. I was offered a spot on the team and trained weekly before the summer. During the summer I was coached daily. It was absolutely the most difficult work experience I have had up to this point. I understood why not just persevering through the challenge but becoming skilled at something difficult had been so rewarding to my friends. For anyone considering interviewing for the program, the advice I would give is this: It takes all summer to have a great summer. Go all in, do your personal best, and don't make excuses. The friends you'll make, the confidence you'll build, the travel you'll experience, and the families you'll serve make it all worth it.
This is the best internship program ever!
I first heard about this opportunity from an organizational leader, Danny Johnston, that came into my university classroom. I really was captured at the opportunity to pay for my schooling and to be able to travel! As a biochemistry major, a lot of people thought that this isn’t something that would help me along the way. I was even thinking “why would I do something business-related?” However, after speaking to many past college interns with similar majors as me, I became very confident in knowing that I would grow tremendously in doing this internship. Especially considering I love challenges. While I did love the challenges, it was definitely not easy to get through. I wasn’t expecting so much rejection and opportunities to problem-solve. But everything I experienced this summer really has boosted my confidence and made me realize I can do ANYTHING I set my mind to.
To anyone considering doing this internship, just do it! It takes all summer to have a good summer, and just kill the option of quitting! You will thank yourself later!
Definitely one of the most fulfilling jobs a college student can do for the summer! I heard about the program while I was studying for a physics exam as a freshman at the University of Minnesota. A student I had never met before walked up to me, asked what I was doing for the summer (waiting tables) and asked if I’d be openminded to hearing about another option. After hearing about the company I decided to interview for a spot because I wanted something new, something different since every college student under the sun is a server and/or lifeguard at some point I figured this would help me stand out a bit more after graduation. I had never sold anything in my life, wasn’t very confident, and this was my first college summer as well as my first time away from home so I was a bit concerned going into the summer but I knew from sports in the past that I know how to be coached and follow what I’m told and that gave me a lot of confidence that I would do alright. After 150 years with thousands of students working every year I figured they knew how to train me up. The summer was definitely one of the hardest things I’ve ever done to this point in life and, if you do it right, is one of the hardest things a college student can do with their time off. It is a lot of work, you can make it fun if you know how and most days it doesn’t really feel like work but the days it does feel like work are hard to push through. Going through the struggle and the work was worth it alone for the people you’re surrounded with in this company. The most ambitious young adults you can find are here and the leadership is a step above anything I’ve encountered. This company believes in leading by example to the fullest, so much so that everyone you ever work with from the CEO all the way down at one point started as an intern in the same shoes as you. So you know if they give advice it’s from experience and reliable so follow it and you’ll do well.
I’ve never gone through such a fulfilling job!
I first heard about this internship in my Biology class freshman year and I filled out some kind of survey. I had no idea what it entitled to be honest. After that, I obviously forgot, like most humans, everything about the little survey. Eventually, I got a call from a girl, very peppy, who would soon come to be the girl who recruited me. Victoria, a dope human being. What appealed to me most about Southwestern Advantage is the opportunity to challenge myself and become the person I will eventually be today! Additionally, the chance to travel and make money to pay for school. With the program I was very nervous about leaving home and leaving all my friends and plans behind for the summer, but I’m absolutely grateful that I took the opportunity either way! The person who cleared up my concern was actually my mom. She had told me that if going through this would change my life for the better then three months did not really matter all that much. The most challenging part of the summer was coaching myself to maintain a great attitude especially in the hot Arizona summer, where I had been sent to sell. In my opinion, the biggest gain from selling over the summer is the insurmountable amount of amazing humans you will surround yourself with. Humans who want to see you succeed and will do everything in their own power to help you get there. My biggest suggestion to anyone going into the internship is GO ALL IN! It just makes sense.
On top of selling a wonderful product, Alyssa was just a wonderful young lady. She had such an upbeat attitude and an infectious smile. Although she was very respectful of our time, we were never in a hurry to see her leave and she never seemed in a hurry to leave before she answered all our questions. She really focused on our daughter and what her needs were. The day she brought the books was a real event. They sat together with my daughters class schedule and marked the sections that would be helpful. So glad our family had the opportunity to meet her.
We had a visit from a sales rep this summer and it was very enjoyable! I loved learning about his home country and giving him some teacher/parent advice on how to get more sales on his set of math books. My kiddo loved meeting him and so did our dog! I think this is a great program for young people to learn about communication and sales, as well as visiting some new places and meeting new faces!