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Clemson University

Alex Dalpiaz

My name is Alex Dalpiaz. I have just completed my first year at Clemson University where I am studying Business Management. Nine months ago I was just your average college student, going to class, putting in late night study sessions, and counting down the days till summer. In early December I was hired by Joel Puthoff to run my own business this summer. It is only now that I truly realize the magnitude of the opportunity I was given and how much I was able to accomplish this summer. I personally hired all my employees, I marketed, estimated, sold and produced a $55,000 company this past summer and earned over $9,000. I was able to learn the inns and out of the “real world” this summer. I dealt with customers, oversaw 6 employees on a daily basis, and set up myself to be successful in the future. I never knew that I could grow so much in one summer. I am confident that this summer prepared me to be successful in the future, by propelling me past any competition in the work field, and proving to future employers that I have what it takes to start with nothing and be very successful. There is is no doubt that this internship makes me the most qualified person at what ever career path I choose. Student Painters has been the best thing I could have done for myself. With such great success this summer, I have now been given the opportunity to act as Regional Manager and oversee a $195,000 company next summer.

Hunter Freeman

YEAA is an amazing internship organization that provided me with an unparalleled experience. The opportunity to be in the YEAA internship program and have the ability to work for Student Painters has been one of the most rewarding experiences ever. It allowed me to do something I have always wanted to do, run my own business. This internship presented me with many challenges that required me to really understand what it takes to run a business. The experience was very unique and I learned so much it is unbelievable. There is truly no way to learn on this level in a classroom environment. The knowledge, connections, and networks I was able to gain through YEAA and Student Painters is invaluable. The amount I learned and grew from my involvement with this organization has really set me far above my peers. I will never forget this amazing opportunity.

Angie Culpepper

It's hard to believe that just a few short months ago I was opening up a business of my own as a Sophomore in college. Entrepreneurship has always been a passion of mine, through this internship I was able to gain the knowledge and confidence to fulfill my dream of running my own business. Throughout the course of the preseason and summer you are faced with more obstacles then you can imagine, but that is the joy of it all. Knowing day to day you are that much closer to success. The story that results from the obstacles is one not many have the chance to share, it is a story that can inspire, lead, and motivate many people to fulfill their dreams with the determination and commitment to do so. I would recommend this internship to the dedicated, the success driven entrepreneurs who are not afraid of a challenge. Being the only girl in the Carolina's was difficult but one of the most rewarding challenges. I strongly encourages the female challenge seekers to step up and overcome the  stereotypical male dominant business world. With all the challenges, and obstacles come the reward of relationships, leadership, and a business culture that cannot be topped. You are encouraged, motivated, and constantly reminded you can do this. You can run a $70,000+ business like me, but only with the support of the YEAA team surrounding you. 

Dayne Porter

So Mr. Porter, why should we hire you? I absolutely cannot wait to hear a potential employer ask that question to me after this summer! Student Painters is an experience that will give you tons of confidence over your peers because you actually run your very own business. Being your own boss is an incredible experience In the two years sitting in lecture halls at Clemson University, I never learned as much as I did in the six months that I was with Student Painters. I dealt with real customers, real money, real employees, and even real problems (imagine that). Early in my journey, I experienced very few “wins” and my business started falling behind in money terms compared to my peers. With determination, I kept on trying and doing everything I could to benefit my business. Eventually, during the middle of the summer, I caught fire and sold thousands of dollars to shoot me up to my $40,000 goal of this whole journey. I am a 20 year old college student and I ran a forty thousand dollar business! Needless to say, this has given me so much confidence and I know that if I am committed to a goal, then I can accomplish it. You have to understand that this isn't your average internship though. Your whole business's success is determined by yourself. All of the money you make is based on 100% commission. This is great because you decide how big of a business you actually want to run. Long story short, I chose Student Painters because I knew it would challenge me. That however was an understatement because this internship has tested me to the max and made me grow as a person in so many ways. I have successfully hired employees, found equipment, sold jobs, dealt with problems on a daily basis, and met tons of inspiring people along the way.  Hitting my goal of $40,000 was not only a major milestone of my internship; it was one of the greatest accomplishments of my life to be quite honest. So, if you want to take on a huge challenge and get ahead of all your peers, choose Y.E.A.A., and look forward to the journey of a lifetime!

Noah Kramer

Before I joined this company, I thought I was pretty much set in what I wanted to do in life. I was a Bio-Engineering major, but always took a fond interest in business. One day my freshman year at Clemson University I walked into my dorm and noticed a flyer promoting an internship. I discovered that a program known as YEAA was on campus for one final time and they were looking for one last round of new hires to run their very own business. I instantly became interested. Long story short, this program completely changed my life. I was hoping to gain business experience in every facet of life, and I did. I developed exceptionally in the areas of communication and organization. This program, overall, has presented me with a whole other direction with which I can pursue a career. I feel like I can now go into any situation and confidently organize and execute a plan of action with which I may help or better the situation. I would recommend this opportunity to anyone willing to try it. Even if you do not end up pursuing a business career path, this experience will give you tools that you will be able to apply to any field of work or problem you may encounter. And these tools will last you a lifetime. You will experience exceptional and overwhelming challenges including unhappy customers, bad employees, long work weeks, pressure from executives, loss of drive, and a host of others. However, despite the hardships you will endure, you will emerge a stronger, more motivated individual hungry for success in every aspect of life. You will not accept anything less than the absolute best from yourself moving forward. Whether you barely scrape by the minimum standards of business production, or push the bar to a level not seen before, you will know that you are prepared for anything life can throw at you.

Chase Lawson

I wanted to be a manager with Young Entrepreneurs Across America (YEAA) because I saw it as an opportunity to make some great money and further develop my business skills.  I knew it would be challenging, but I felt I was up for the task and knew I would be successful at this.  This experience was really going to show my abilities as a person.  Through this experience, I was hoping to improve upon time management, organization, ability to manage peers in my age range and to deal with customer relations.  I developed the most in time management and communication.  I now map out my days each day so I stay on task and get all of my work done as needed.  YEAA helped me with my future career path because my business skills were brought to a whole new level.  This program forces you to grow up fast.  I know I can handle any task I’m faced with now, which will help me tremendously in my business career.  Managing my own employees helped develop me because I was not only responsible for myself and my actions, but also had employees depending on me to line up work and to keep them happy and working hard.  Running my business has taught me so much.  I learned more through this than anything I’ve learned in the classroom.  Entrepreneurship is certainly tough, but so rewarding.  Your efforts directly correlate to how successful you and your business will be.  I truly enjoyed helping out customers and seeing them happy with our work, along with allowing employees to make some money to help put towards tuition.  I joined YEAA to show that I can be successful at anything I set my mind to.  I got a rewarding experience and really proved to myself and all of those around me of what I am capable of.  I would recommend YEAA to anyone who is driven, committed, and willing and able to stay positive and keep working through the toughest of times.  I met some awesome people, made some great memories and now have a remarkable story to tell all because I took the opportunity and went with it and invested my all into the program. 



Nick Dalpiaz

I joined Young Entrepreneurs Across America because I have seen what this internship has done for my brother who experienced it. I wanted to personally go through growth as a business man and a person like he did. I had to overcome being ill experienced with planning and time management. I have never had to depend on a schedule as much as I did through this business. I had to learn how to plan the right amount of work each week while planning 2 weeks ahead, and while balancing my personal time with family and friends. That’s a huge take away that I’m very thankful that I learned. I enjoyed having such a solid group of guys that were a part of my paint team. They respected me above all else, but we became really great friends and a couple of them possible business partners in the near future. I learned that the old saying that you’re only as successful as the people you surround yourself with was completely true. I hired successful people, and they in return helped me and my business become successful. My strength was being able to lead and motivate a team. I was able to create a great culture for my team that translated into superior production. I developed the most with being able to handle problematic situations. Whether it was dealing with a customer concern or a painter problem, I developed the ability to stay composed and deal with difficulties appropriately. This was important to my success because I believe in order to become successful, you have to overcome adversity.  How you handle it can mean the difference in great leaders and average leaders. I have future goals with being an entrepreneur. This business helped me develop great team building skills that will be necessary in both those types of work. You cannot achieve the success you want to unless you are with a team that is bought in. I had personal goals of being one of the top managers in the internship. I was able to finish as a top ten manager in the nation thanks to selfless leaders who poured wisdom and time into me to give me all the tools I needed for success, all it took was me giving my full effort. 

Will McLaughlin

I first heard about Young Entrepreneurs Across America from an email sent to me around the same time I was searching for paid engineering internships available to freshman students. The email talked about how the Student Painters internship was the best way to develop vital skills in communication, management, and many other traits desired by somebody with aspirations of owning their own company one day. Although I had always had the idea of being a business owner in the back of my mind, I had never really thought about the benefits of being my own boss until I attended an info session at Clemson University.  Since that meeting, my mindset has never returned to that of an employee. Running my own branch of Student Painters from the ground up was an exhilarating, challenging, and immensely beneficial experience for my personal life and professional career.  I grew into a confident speaker, problem solver, and overall manager while constantly pushing myself past my comfort point and forcing myself to absorb every ounce of knowledge that came from my successes and more commonly my failures. I was so inspired by the amount of knowledge gained through my first year that I absolutely could not reject the opportunity to do it a second year in the executive position. I have never been so financially secure in my life and look forward to the next year of growing closer towards the man I wish to become. 

Kayla Jackson

As a first year Branch Manager with Student Painters this year, I was able to grow in so many ways. This was one of the hardest but most rewarding summers that I have ever had. Throughout this experience I have learned so much about myself all while learning how to market myself and my business, sell jobs to homeowners, trying to outdo other painting companies, hire my own employees, run my own crew, and please homeowners throughout production. There were a few times that I wanted to quit because I ran into a difficult situation but I took a step back and evaluated all of the possibilities that could get me through the struggle to make it work. During the interview process I told the executives that ‘I am not a quitter’ and I was not going to let these small struggles overcome me. These difficult times only made me a stronger entrepreneur and made myself realize that I can do things that I never imagined doing as a college student. This internship has been great for networking in my hometown. So much fun was packed into one summer and every single day I learned something new. I am so thankful for the opportunity that I was given to be a part of the 2016 Stu-Paint team! I am very grateful that I joined this team under a great executive that stayed positive, always believed in me and kept me strong with his leadership throughout the summer. I have met so many people who are just as driven as I am to push ourselves to the next level and to better ourselves. I have made many lifelong friends throughout this experience. This experience has definitely been one that I will cherish forever!

Preston Graczyk

As an incoming freshman at Clemson University I found myself looking for any opportunity to get myself ahead of my peers.  When I saw the email about the information session for this unique opportunity one of my close friends and I were ecstatic.  After visiting the session and going through three interviews I found myself in one of the most unique and difficult situations I have ever put myself into.  Throughout the pre-season during the second semester of my freshman year I had to make serious time management changes in order to get all of my school work and Student Painters work done. These changes are some of the most beneficial changes that I have ever made in my life, coming second only to the growth and development that took place throughout the summer while producing all of my sold work.  I had to learn to deal with customers, motivate employees, problem solve at a new level, as well as manage my personal life.  Throughout these past months while working with Student Painters I have achieved personal growth at a level that I didn’t know was possible as a freshman in college.  The lessons I learned throughout this process will stick with me the rest of my life.  

Matt Quantrille

The moment I saw the email for the info sessions I knew Young Entrepreneurs was something I wanted to do.  Entrepreneurship has always intrigued me.  One thing about that I believe is a characteristic of entrepreneurship is not knowing exactly what you’re getting into.  Most of what will happen is a mystery.  I have a life motto, and something that I repeatedly told myself through the program: “You aren’t a quitter, don’t quit.”  I never told anyone explicitly that I wanted to quit, but I showed it when I doubted myself.  I told Joel and Alex I was afraid I wasn’t going to open my business.  But these two men told me to shut my doubt up.  I opened and finished at $47,700.  Napoleon Hill is huge on the whole mentality is everything idea.  And I’ve come to believe this on a deep, deep level.  The biggest things I learned in this program were management, and mentality.  Management is hard.  And if you’re anything less than a great manager, you’ll have less than great results. The first time I had to force myself to think positive was in April, it was what I think the worst month of my life.  End of school stress + family/personal issues + trying to sell business= feeling overwhelmed and like you will fail.  It’s all about putting one foot in front of the other.  That’s almost all you need to be successful.  Just don’t quit and believe you will be successful.  Your mind is a crazy thing, and the smallest fears may hold you back from doing something incredible.  Before the lake day on Lake Lanier, I had two of my best painters quit in the middle of a job.  I had no idea how I was going to come out alive.  But all I did was keep going and tell myself I was going to succeed.  (Special thanks my colleagues for telling me to strap my boots on and not play the victim, that helped me the most that day).  Sure enough, within two days I had even better painters than before. This program was an incredible experience and I met people who will be extraordinarily successful one day.  I know what I learned will pay dividends beyond what it has already given me.

Jared Adams

Young Entrepreneurs Across America has truly shaped me. Not only as an entrepreneur, but also as a person. Time management was one of my weakest points as a person, but through YEAA, I have learned time management on a whole new level while also learning to budget myself and prioritize my time better. The whole reason I took on this internship was only for time management enhancement though. I took this on so that I may learn how to run a business and to gain valuable experience doing so. With that, I can easily say that the experience has proved to be valuable indeed. I am a true believer that you can only learn to do so much from books or professors. No one can fully show you how to be an entrepreneur without doing it yourself, and Student Painters provided the opportunity for me to get out there and make that happen. Through this, I also learned that what makes an effective and successful entrepreneur isn’t what you have accomplished particularly, but it’s about the failures that you have overcome on the journey to get to your accomplishments that defines you. It’s all about the grind getting to your goals. Nothing worthwhile is ever easy in life, and neither is running your own business. However, I can easily say that through the connections I have made, business practices I have learned, and invaluable skills that I have picked up through Student Painters- that it is something I will always be able to benefit from for years to come.

Carson McCraw

Through this summer internship I have learned a lot about business structure and I have personally developed into a better person. I worked on 25 jobs that I lined up for my branch of Student Painters in Greenville this summer to sell around $43,000. I was able to improve my skills in customer relations through working closely with homeowners to better their homes and provide what they wanted. This internship taught me some of the necessary principles for starting a business and new venture after college. I gained experience in sales, marketing, HR through payroll and employee relations, and customer service. I am confident that I will be able

to use these skills that I have gained for many years to come.I grew as a person through being held accountable to goals that I set and through overcoming adversity in my summer. This summer helped me grow myself through many high and low points of running a business that I’m sure I will encounter again in future ventures. I was able to deal with painters being fired and items being damaged and replaced. I am glad to gain management experience with a group of guys that I hired and to see them develop over the summer as they stood with my business. I was pushed out of my comfort zone through the summer but learned that being pushed outside of your comfort zone can help you grow as an individual. You can see things that you wouldn’t otherwise do or see while being in your comfort zone. I grew closer to my executive as I had to rely on him to help grow my business and get through the tougher times. I learned persistence is key as well through pushing through the tough times in order to keep my business open all summer. I have gained a lot through this

experience and I am very grateful for it. Thanks for everything!

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