University of Georgia

Hunter Carson

I sought out an internship with Young Entrepreneurs Across America over the past year because I wanted to get my feet wet running a business and having management experience. Now that I have finished my first year, I can say that I have exceeded all of the goals and expectations I set for myself with this program. I was successfully able to run a $90,000 business and earn $16,000 personally. Dealing with a variety of customers, managing over ten employees, and being able to resolve any issues that come up on a daily basis is something that you just cannot learn in a classroom; you have to experience it. Although the summer was challenging, it was far more rewarding and the opportunities that it has and will open up for me in the future is irreplaceable.

 

The cool thing about being a Branch Manager is that you are in charge of all aspects of your business—marketing, recruiting, selling, and managing— so that you are really building a business from the ground up. I don’t know of any other internship that can offer you all of that while still making a good amount of money over the summer. This summer has also taught me so many other skills that can be applied in other areas of my life. I have no regrets about this past year and I am now tremendously more confident about running my next business venture. 

Leah Larson

It’s hard to put into words all that Young Entrepreneurs Across America has given and taught me. I started out with YEAA as a Marketing Manager, then a painter, and finally this past summer I was able to run a $50,000 business as a Branch Manager. This internship really gave me the chance to know what it takes to be an entrepreneur. I was able to learn and live all aspects of marketing, sales, management, customer relations, and everything in between. This gave me the opportunity to know my strengths and weaknesses in areas in which I never had previous experience. It is no lie that entrepreneurship is a roller coaster, and I was able to experience all of those ups and downs this past year. The incredible thing about being a part of this organization is that through all of those ups and downs, I had an amazing support system there to guide me, help me learn from my mistakes, and improve myself in the process. What I am most excited to take away from this experience is the confidence I have found in myself and my abilities. I can look back and think of all of the sacrifices I made for this internship, all of the long days and late nights, and all of the difficult times when I had to take a deep breath and remind myself of the invaluable lessons I was learning. But far more than the challenging times, I remember the highlights of my year that will remain high points for the rest of my life: my first sale, the excellent, heartfelt reviews from my customers that made me excited to wake up every day, and meeting some of my greatest friends and mentors that I will have now for years to come. Looking back over the past couple of years, it’s incredible to see the transformation in myself, and I attribute it, with all the gratitude in the world, to Young Entrepreneurs.

Mitch Parkes

Never running a business before this internship I didn’t know what to expect. The only true way to learn how to operate a business is experience. You will make mistakes…at least thirty or that’s how it felt. With each mistake there is an opportunity to learn and grow. This is the beauty behind Young Entrepreneurs. With a great mentoring and support system, YEAA is there to give advice if an individual needs it. I remember an older lady once tell me, “When life gets tough, keep walking… one step at a time.” I experienced this challenge, but each step took me one step closer to my goal, to run a successful business over summer. This program takes boys and girls and expedites them to women and men. Through this program one will gain confidence, work ethic, problem-solving abilities, and learn to multi-task. Looking back eleven months ago, I don’t know that person anymore before I started in this program…and I couldn’t be happier with the result. The non-motivated will not survive in this type of environment, but the strong men and women that do will be far and above their colleagues when entering their prospective careers.

Sean Brown

I was hired as a Branch Manager for Young Entrepreneurs Across America in September of 2014. I really didn’t have an idea of what to expect but now as I look back and reflect, I couldn’t have made a better decision. This summer I successfully ran my own business as an entrepreneur. I not only learned a lot about business, but I also learned a lot about myself. I’ve never pushed myself more than I did as I was determined I would reach my goal. As a manager, it was my duty to basically start a business from the ground up. As you can imagine, it took a lot of determination, great work ethic, and smart time management and leadership qualities. I ended up selling and producing 50 jobs for a total of over $71,000 by training and managing a crew of 5 college students. I never knew I could grow so much in a summer and from it I believe I have prepared myself to be really successful in the future. This internship will set me apart from other candidates with whatever career path I choose.

Jake Sinderman

After 4 years at the University of Georgia and a handful of internships already completed in my young career, I found the incredible opportunity to do something that most aspiring business professional’s dream of: running my own business. Young Entrepreneurs Across America has helped me build the foundation to be successful in the business world by learning a large breadth of business skills and helping me apply and refine what I have already learned thus far in school. Most importantly, I learned how to build my own brand; a personal brand that is now highly marketable to potential employers. The skills that I learned through the many challenges of being an entrepreneur have already begun to payoff as I look to begin my career. Whether it be marketing, selling, hiring, or managing, I now have an inside look into what it takes to be successful in those areas.  The combination of being surrounded by people who pushed me to my potential and a great support group to help me overcome any challenges I faced is what made this internship special and invaluable experience that I will be able to pull from years down the road.

Zach Chandler

Young Entrepreneurs Across America is more than just a summer job and more than just an internship. It has become a family to me and given me real world experience and that will continue to benefit me for the rest of my life. If someone would have told me that before I graduated college I would have successfully run a $70,000 business, I would have thought they were crazy! But with the guidance student painters has offered me, it made that possible. This doesn't mean that I haven't suffered my fair share of difficulties along the way, but I learned this summer that the difficulties make you a stronger leader and better businessman. Student painters will challenge you and push you to be your best and not to settle for anything. They have given me the tools I need to be successful and excel in real world. I'm thankful for this opportunity and know that I am prepared for anything now! 

Josh Gowan

As a college student I was planning on starting a business before graduating, but I didn’t really know where to start or what it took to be a true entrepreneur. Young Entrepreneurs Across America was the perfect opportunity for me as they guided me through the entire process and taught me all the skills that you need to run your business. You have the freedom to make your own decisions and you are responsible for all aspects of your business. This was a challenging internship that forced me to step out of my comfort zone, but I am so glad I did, as I have learned so many applicable skills that I will use for the rest of my professional career. I would strongly encourage this program to anyone pursuing a career in business, especially entrepreneurism.

Hayden Crabtree

Young Entrepreneurs Across America is an incredible program that allowed me to realize what is possible from any person, regardless of previous experience, or lack thereof, if they are willing to be coached and put in the necessary effort. This program helped me discover more about who I am as a person than any other internship, job, or position could have. Learning real-world business practices such as recruitment, hiring, culture building, management, leadership, marketing, sales, customer relations, interpersonal communication, expectation setting are great benefits that I enjoy after having been a member of this program. More important than those skills is the knowledge I now possess in living a challenging, but fulfilling and happy life. The skills that I built in this program are rivaled in importance to the relationships and network I built while interning. With customers, both current and previous interns, and Young Entrepreneur’s incredible coaching staff, I know that I will always have people’s achievements to watch out for. I can’t think of any other place that I could have gone to surround myself with such a plethora of high-level individuals who are success driven like myself. Young Entrepreneurs Across America isn’t just a place to intern for a summer, it is an organization that is family and cares about your success as an individual. 

Tyler Altman

A year ago from today, I was just your average college student. However, I always had the confidence that I was capable of doing more than just going to class and working a typical 9-5. So when I heard about an opportunity to make $8,000+ over the summer I knew I had to get more information. What I did not know, was that the information session I attended would completely change my life.

As a branch manager for Young Entrepreneurs Across America I was able to run a successful business over one summer. This experience was extremely challenging and tested me daily. I gained experience in marketing, sales, managing, critical thinking, and dealing with customers. I learned just how valuable employees truly are through hiring marketers, painters, and a production manager. Painting houses was just a medium for me to take my first steps as an entrepreneur.

I cannot wait to sit down in an interview and tell my story to potential employers once I graduate college. Being able to say “I ran a business from the ground up as a college student” is the whole reason I joined YEAA. I know this experience is the best thing I could have done for myself, and I’m excited to see what’s in store for my future. #STUPAINT!!!!!

Zach Waldis

Entrepreneurship has always been a distant, almost unattainable in the present, interest of mine, something smart, older people did. But, Student Painters gave me, a freshman in college, the opportunity to do just what I had been imagining. I had my own business, and I knew that was going to prove invaluable. I was able to gain the real life experience of conducting interviews, hiring employees, making sales and even making decisions that affected mine and my painters pay for the summer. Through this, I was able to learn more than I ever expected about the trials and tribulations of the modern entrepreneur. My skills were tested. It was on me to secure work for my painters, to coordinate with customers and manager customer satisfaction, collect the biggest checks I’ve ever seen, and through all these new challenges, I was successful. That feeling of being able to do what few can, and create success for yourself, is something unrivaled that few jobs can offer. Being able to look back at this summer and saying I went from zero experience to a $45,000 business in less than a year, is an amazing thing, both personally and professionally. I thank Joel Puthoff, Alex Dalpiaz, and Tyler Altman for all they have done to help me be successful in one of the biggest challenges I have ever taken on.

Sean Wilby

During the interview process for an internship position with YEAA, I was asked, “Sean, what is the greatest challenge you have overcome in your life?” In the moment, I had absolutely no answer, and to be honest that didn’t sit well with me. I wanted a life with challenge and excitement; a life spent really living and driving forward to reach goals that matter. As a new transfer student at UGA I was searching for an experience that would allow me to gain real world business insight and learn what it is truly like for budding businessmen and women. Man, oh man did I find the perfect program to earn that type of life. This past year, as an intern with YEAA, I learned more about business, relationships, respect, and life in general, than I had in the previous 21 years. I was challenged to dig deep, and to find within myself the drive, and the yearning that it takes to succeed. YEAA will help you learn more than you ever could while sitting in a classroom.

One of the biggest lessons that I learned in my time with YEAA, is that there is ABSOLUTLEY no power in intent. I intended to do a whole lot of really exciting things, but when it came to make the sacrifices necessary, sometimes I just didn’t want to give up my comfort. I learned that to achieve the success most of us want for ourselves you really have to fight for it. Incidentally, or perhaps not so incidentally, YEAA does an extremely good job of providing a culture to help you on your journey. This year, I was put in an environment with dozens of other young men and women who were on the same path that I was. These other young entrepreneurs and the executives strive to help you grow and succeed. I could not have asked for a more supportive and helpful group of people. I plan on continuing on with YEAA and being even more successful than I was this past year.

Brett Misutka

When asked why I chose Young Entrepreneurs Across America many different reasons come to mind.  As I was approaching my Senior year I began to grasp the reality that I was about to graduate and enter the workforce. Personally, I was and still am very excited however, I began to ask myself the question of why me? Why would a future employer pick me rather than one of my peers?  While I have held multiple different jobs throughout college from construction, to bartending, I still felt as if I had done nothing to truly separate myself from the rest of my peers. I’m a firm believer that making constant investments in yourself is the quickest way to achieving success.  So when approached with the opportunity to run my own business, I thought what better way to build my resume than to have truly submerged myself in my very own business.  As the internship has come to a close, I feel extremely confident asking myself the “Why me” question.  I can truly say I’ve grown in just about every aspect of business I can imagine, in one way or another, thanks to this internship.  From working on my sales approach to working on different ways to keep my crew motivated, I was constantly faced with different obstacles that I am able to proudly say I conquered.  This internship showed me what I really excelled at, while also exposing some of my biggest weaknesses.  Overall I think the experience was a very positive one and I’m glad I took advantage of this great opportunity.   

Bobby Kittle

I was hired as a Branch Manager in September 2015 and had no clue what I was getting myself in to. Through this journey I have learned so much about business and even more about myself. This internship changed the way I thought about things, and challenged me more than I could imagine, before I started this program. I was mentally test every single day this summer and it made me stronger as a person. My peers can tell a huge improvement in the way I communicate and hold myself as a person. Looking back as I finish my first year I am very impressed in the person I have become because of this program. 

Nick Jones

Young Entrepreneurs Across America truly changed my life and it may sound cliché but it is true. At the beginning of last year before I had even heard of YEAA I wasn’t confident as a person, I had poor communication skills with adults, I was self-conscious, and the thing is I knew that I had those problems and I wanted to do something about it. So when I heard about student painters I jumped at it. Still I had my concerns, especially since I knew nothing about painting and I was about to run a painting company. I dove in though, to the deep end, and slowly pulled myself out. This internship was challenging for sure. The hardest thing I have ever done, but that’s what makes it so great. You learn so much more and so much faster when you are challenged like this. If we fast forward to the beginning of this year I am the complete opposite. I am confident, can actually confidently have conversations with adults and clearly portray my ideas. Also probably one of the biggest things I gained from this internship is the ability to problem solve. There are so many ups and downs in running a company and you have to be able to solve any problems that come your way and turn the downs into temporary ones. There is always a solution and times may seem tough but that is what makes you grow the most. You can learn so much more about business in this internship than any book or class can teach you. This internship was 100% worth it. At the end of the day I can look back and say to myself or even more importantly to an interviewer that I ran a $40,000 company. I hired and managed a marketing team, I hired and managed a crew of painters, I sold $40,000 worth of business, and I worked with customers to ensure their satisfaction. Not to sound cocky but I am confident that I can get any job over any of my peers. This internship put me ahead in life which is exactly why anyone thinking about this internship should take advantage of it so you can have your own story to tell. 

Justin Pendley

Let me begin by saying that Young Entrepreneurs Across America was the best internship decision I could have possibly made this past summer. I learned real world skills that will help me both in my career hunt, and day to day life within that career.  Throughout the preseason and the summer I experienced many (MANY) ups and downs. Looking back that would have been a terrible mistake. My growth professionally and personally were both well worth it.  I can't thank Young Entrepreneurs Across America and Student Painters enough for the opportunity that they gave me. To anyone on the fence about the program: trust the process, and try to soak as much information as you can. In the end looking back, it was the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. But it was worth it.

Johnathon West

An internship with Young Entrepreneurs Across America is nowhere near your typical summer internship.  When I first got started with this program, I would’ve never thought it would be as impactful as it was.  From the very first training event in Charlotte, I realized that I was going to learn how to get out of my comfort zone, which isn’t really something I had done up until that point.  Now, I’m much more confident going into what would usually be uncomfortable situations.  I can also say that I can now not only handle adversity, but also keep my composure while doing so.  This summer brought its fair share of trials and tribulations.  I quickly learned that not every job or situation was going to go as planned.  Going through these tough situations is what has helped turn me into a better leader/manager.  These past six or seven months have also been a lot of fun for me.  I’ve made some new friends and made many new connections that can help me out down the road.  I couldn’t be happier that I decided to stick out this internship.  There were plenty of times when quitting would’ve been the easiest option, but how would that have benefitted me?  This past summer will pay dividends for me in the future and I couldn’t be more thankful to have received the opportunity.  

Balon Compton

Working with Young Entrepreneurs Across America was one of the most challenging and rewarding things I have ever done. If you decide to be a part of YEAA be prepared to work harder than you ever had before and to take a giant leap out of your comfort zone. Student Painters is not for everyone, but neither is experiencing true success in the real world; Student Painters is for students who hunger for success and who can take adversity head on. The executives were dedicated and enthusiastic about the success of each and every single student, and had a passion for bringing out the best in college students. I learned so much about myself and the real world from this internship and I would recommend it to anybody who is looking to better themselves and set a high standard for their future. It was truly a privilege to work with Young Entrepreneurs.

Austin Fry

My duration as a Student Painters Branch Manager was the most difficult but more importantly the most developmental period of my life. Through YEAA, I was able to operate my own exterior painting business just after my freshman year of college. I lost few pounds but gained quite a few adventures, many friends, and unparalleled business experience. Not only did I have the opportunity to learn but I actually practiced creating a business plan, hiring, training, and managing employees, old school as well as digital marketing, personal sales, budgeting, scheduling, and some serious problem solving. Before becoming a branch manager, I had a pretty good work ethic. I could put in the work when I was required to but hadn’t really had anything that had truly challenged me. While writing my business plan, I needed to include a business and personal mission statement. My personal mission statement, my personal goal for the internship, was this: “to suffer to produce endurance, to endure to produce character, and to build character to produce hope. When we encounter suffering we have two choices to make; we can either choose to run from it or choose to push through it. Enduring suffering produces character in a person which brings hope to himself and to those around him. My goal is to transform myself, through endurance, into a man of character that gives hope to everyone he encounters.” Boy, I had no idea what I was asking for! Operating my branch of Student Painters was, hands down, the hardest thing I have ever done. I can honestly say I achieved my personal mission statement. YEAA equipped me with the tools, knowledge, and guidance to run a business, but I had to create the GRIT. The hard work created endurance in me to finish the race, completing jobs no matter the obstacle until I ran out of time and jobs. The endurance created character; I now hold myself and my future occupations or businesses to a higher standard, committed to excellence. Finally, the character within me produced hope inside myself for a greater future for myself and those around me. Watching the struggles that I was able to overcome has without a doubt given my peers the hope and motivation to strive for more. I am not worried about getting a job in the future because now I know that I have what it takes to achieve anything I set my mind to but if I do find myself looking for work in the future, at least I know how to paint!