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University of Michigan

Makayla Wyly

Working for Young Entrepreneurs was a life-changing experience for me. I’ll admit, going into this initially, I didn’t know exactly what I was getting into. However, the thought of running my own business and being able to see results from decisions that I made for my business was really exciting for me. This internship taught me life skills that are transferable to my major and prospective jobs. I have found a new community of friends that share the same interests and motivation as I do.

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Jonathan Hasper

I just finished running my own painting business for the summer under Student Painters, and it taught me a lot.  I grew in my ability to sell, lead, recruit, market, manage, oversee production, be accountable, and solve problems.  Student Painters also helped me gain confidence in my own abilities, especially my leadership and problem-solving skills.  There were so many challenges this summer that came with running a business; however, my executives were always willing to give advice, and as time passed I learned to tackle each obstacle as it came.  This summer I operated a $75,000 business without ever having painted before, and I profited around $15,000.  I would definitely recommend Student Painters to anyone interested in leadership, business, or simply developing their own talents.  It is a challenging, fun way to grow and gain valuable experience.

Brooks Allwardt

Until I began my journey with Student Painters, I did not have much to show for on my resume. With the help and support of everyone in the company, I was successfully able to run a $110,000 business while profiting $18,000. The managing, marketing, sales, and organizational skills I learned through student painters have literally proven invaluable in all facets of my life. Rarely are other college kids prepared for business in such a way that student painters prepared me throughout only my first summer running my own business. From dealing with customers, to handling worker complaints, hiring workers, firing workers, selling jobs, to making business calls, student painters provided me with all the skills and support to be successful both with the company and beyond. I can honestly say that deciding to join the student painter’s family was one of the best decisions I could have made.

Sean Burtless-Creps

If you are interested to try out entrepreneurship in a safe and nurturing environment, then Student Painters is for you! The people at Student Painters are always there to help and provide advice when you need it. This position allows students to take control of their summer through hard work and leadership. It is a challenging experience, because the sky is the limit! I put in a great deal of effort from February on throughout the summer and yet another manager was able to have a business more than twice as big as mine! I attribute that largely to delegation, just one of several areas that an individual will grow in with Student Painters.  If you are strong enough to stick with it, then the rewards will be great! When I was deciding whether or not to join Student Painters my main goal was to learn what it is like to be an entrepreneur, and I can safely say that Student Painters definitely succeeded in showing me what that was like.  Since February there has been a constant nagging at the back of my mind that I need to do more work. This is the painful struggle of being driven to succeed and being an entrepreneur. Through my opportunity with Student Painters I have learned a great deal about myself! To list just a few; I learned about how I lead, how I deal with problems, how I respond under pressure and what it’s like to be in charge. If I could go back with the knowledge I have now and tell myself one thing it would be “Don’t be afraid to fail, because it’s in failure that you learn the most!”  Be ready to work, and work hard!!

Ryan Kitching

My name is Ryan Kitching and I just completed my first summer with Student Painters.  My expectations for this internship coming in were slim: run a business big enough to make the cruise and profit a few thousand dollars. Not only did my experience this summer far exceed these expectations, but I have seen myself grow as a manager and a leader.  I went from barely ever having picked up a paint brush in my life to running a $77,000 business, hiring my own painters, handling day to day problems and ending off with over $12,000 profit.  I would do this internship again in a heartbeat and it is one of the most satisfying experiences I’ve ever gone through.

Ryan VanSlyck

Going into this internship I had no idea what to think or expect. When I got the job I was more surprised than excited.  I did not think much about the company at the time. I was more looking forward to the free dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings Andrew was providing.  My thought was, "OK, I'm gonna run my own business... That's pretty cool I guess." Then the training seminar happened.  It's awesome being around so many bright, motivated kids who had the same drive for success as me.  Andrew's, Aaron's, and all the executives' words and advice really made me feel at home, like they cared about me, and were willing to do anything to help me succeed.  At first, the learning curve was steep.  I didn't know what I was doing the first month.  My confidence grew the more I talked to home owners, the more I reached out to my executives, and the more experience I gained painting and marketing. I started to buy in. Even once I got the hang of it, the job was still just as draining. Putting in so many 80 hour weeks and dealing with a handful of annoying homeowners was difficult but it helped me grow as a professional and made me realize that being successful means working smart as well as working hard.  This internship has changed my life and perspective on my future. There is no doubt that my experience with Student Painters allowed me to get into the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan and the chance to earn a BBA.  There is no doubt this internship has given me the tools, life lessons, and confidence to achieve anything I put my mind to.  I know that is a cliche, but I mean it!  

Ben Greaves

This internship has been one of the first ventures I have gone on as an individual in which I really needed to stick to my heart and my gut. At one point, I had both parents, 3 friends, and a college counselor telling me not to do this. With reasons from "Its a corrupt pyramid scheme" to "You will get behind in your engineering education" to "You will wind up with an empty bank account", I really had a resistance I had to fight through in order to continue with Student Painters. But, fortunately, I did and as I sit here tonight preparing to finish a job tomorrow which will put me over $45,000 of production, I could not be happier with my choice. Even those who were adamantly against the internship back in February have admitted that I have learned more from this job than I would have with any other internship. With that said this is the best and worst job I've ever had and maybe ever will.

Matt Lyon

My name is Matt Lyon, and I am a junior at the University of Michigan.  I have been with Student Painters for one year and I am looking forward to another successful and exciting year with Student Painters.  I ran a $65,000 business my first year and learned how to market, talk to customers, make sales, hire a team, maintain a payroll, and so much more; but most importantly I learned what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur.  This experience is like nothing else.  I have full independence as a branch manager, while having the full expertise and support needed for success from the corporation.  This is a rare opportunity to  have financial success, business success, and personal satisfaction from delighted homeowners with a job well done on painting their homes. I am studying engineering, and I’m thrilled that this experience will prepare me for technical sales.  I have learned more than what is possible in a classroom, and look forward to another great year as a regional manager.

Greg McMurtry

My summer with Student Painters was definitely a unique, unforgettable experience.  This internship was far more than a resume booster; it was an experience that allows for raw real world exposure. Running your own business is not easy; this internship is not for the faint of heart. Through this experience, you learn all the positives and negatives of being an entrepreneur – from setting your own schedule to selling and producing work; from hiring and training your own employees to dealing with homeowners whose personalities can be as fickle as Michigan weather. There are definitely risks with this internship, but part of being an entrepreneur means taking risks. At the age of 18, I ran a $43,000 business and overcame many obstacles; obstacles that I know many of my classmates would be too intimidated to take on. This was definitely one of the most stressful, time consuming, and difficult summers of my entire life. I can also say that, because of the lessons I learned and the experience I gained, this summer was one the most rewarding and memorable summers of my entire life.

Steve Riley

Student Painters gave me an amazing opportunity to run my own business. I have grown as a leader and a businessman, and I guarantee there is no better real world experience than actually going out of your comfort zone and proving that you have what it takes to run a painting business with little to no painting experience. While my friends sat around this summer (I can't complain too much, because many of them painted for me when I was in a jam), I ran a $63,000 business and profited over $13,000 as a 19 year old full time college student. It was the most challenging (and sometimes stressful) summer of my life, and I ran into about every situation imaginable. As I'm sitting here now, I still haven't encountered a problem I haven't been able to solve. The best part of this job is that you have complete control of your business. The only limiting factor to how big your business can be is how much time and effort you are willing to dedicate to the job. Student Painters provides excellent training and plenty of tools to guarantee success, if you are willing to fully commit to accomplishing your own goals. 

Andrew Dennison

Student Painters is awesome!  At first, I did it just for the experience, not really believing that I could make $7,000 in a summer.  I ended up making $9,000 in my first year!  I can honestly say I have learned more as manager with Student Painters than in my three years at Michigan.  Job interviews are much easier when I have been the one running the interviews.  When recruiters ask questions like "Have you taken on a challenge?", "What type of leadership experience do you have?" I have more than enough to talk about.  Running a business with Student Painters is hard, stressful, and takes a really good work ethic. I don't think you can get serious management experience anywhere else.  I had five full-time employees and 65 paying clients.  I know that my summers with Student Painters has changed my life and set my résumé above the rest!

Josh Scott

My experience with Student Painters has taught me a lot. This is a hands-on experience where you learn to deal with many different and unique situations on the spot. It has taught me that perseverance, no matter what issues you come across, can push you to a new level of success with every problem you conquer. During the summer of 2014, I ran a $40,000 business. I am grateful to Student Painters for this opportunity, and the organizational, leadership, and hands-on skills that I gained has no doubt done anything but benefit me.  If I come back to Ann Arbor for another year at Student Painters, I know that I can use the skills and experience that I gained to run an $80,000 business. From the Young Entrepreneurs Across America informational meeting back in November to my final two weeks of summer 2014, I have made many gains from a valuable experience.

Michael Stratton

My first year I operated my own small business, and I was solely responsible for making it successful. I marketed my company. I recruited, interviewed, and hired every employee that worked for me. I gave the estimates and sold every job. I was responsible for making sure every customer was satisfied. I made sure the books were organized and that my business was turning a profit. All at the prime age of 19. Do not be fooled, because I didn’t blindly accomplish this. YEAA gave me a mentor during my first year. He was successful before and was there to coach me. He was there to answer questions when I had them and helped me to set goals. I could not have accomplished what I did during my first year without his guidance. As the first summer ended, I was approached about returning for a second year. The executive staff wanted to see me be a mentor for the next year. I gladly accepted because I can’t describe the positive influence that my mentor had on me. I had to give back so other first year managers could experience what I did. For my second year, I still operated my own business, this time without a mentor, since I knew what I had to do. I also mentored two first year managers as they operated their businesses. Being a mentor was such an eye opening experience. I watched history repeat itself as my managers asked the same questions I did during my first year. As I noticed this, I noted problems that I had during my first year, and I worked hard so they could avoid them and be more successful than I was.  As the second summer ended, I realized my plan had worked. Both my managers ran larger businesses than I did that year. It hurt my pride a little, but I knew it would be better for the company if they were pushed to exceed me.

Will Ward

Many of my friends constantly looked for internships that gave them “real world experience” and gave them skills and tools to succeed moving forward. You will not find an internship that gives you more experience and real world tools than Student Painters. From going to umping youth baseball games one summer, to running an $80,000 branch the next, I can attest to the real experience and growth Student Painters fosters. From marketing and selling your brand in the preseason, to hiring your own crew and being the boss you always wanted during the summer, the leadership and accountability are unmatched in any other internship you will find on campus. Going out and through sheer effort and determination making over $14,000 to help go towards school not only ensures this summer as a success, but helps my future endeavors as well. From the money, to the growth, to me pushing myself to do more than I thought I could, I would recommend this internship to anyone who is willing to work hard and have a truly unique and freeing internship opportunity.


Aaron Kelley

I first took on the task of running my own business because of the challenge that it posed, and I wanted to push myself to see if I could be successful at it. I ended up running a $120,000 business and profiting over $20,000. I can honestly say it has been the most challenging summer of my life, yet the most rewarding. The skills you learn from running your own business really can be used in any profession, not only business. One of the great things about student painters is that I could develop all of these skills while really not taking much of a financial risk, as I would've had to do if I started a business outside of student painters.  As of now, I plan to pursue a career in the medical field, and I am excited to use the skills I have acquired this summer to help me reach my future goals. 


Evan Brennan

Going into the pre-season I was pretty frightened about all of the responsibility I was going to have. Things definitely started slow for me because I had never really had to manage my time that strictly before, but after talking to my DM and other executives I was able to buckle down, sell a ton, and successfully run a $70,000 business. I have learned more about myself this summer then I could have ever imagined. Being able to develop as an entrepreneur, businessman, and person while still having tons of fun and making money is truly a dream come true. I can’t think of a single other college job that can offer this type of profitability as well as immense business experience and marketability. You will be the envy of all of your friends as long as you put the work in while they’re not and take pride in your business.


Brittany Belding

My season with Student Painters has proven pretty invaluable in all facets of my life. However, had I not gone into it with the mindset “I will not quit this internship”, I probably would’ve joined the several other ex-managers who left the program with a negative experience. Never before have I been so fully immersed in a situation where I have gotten 100% of what I put into something. Throughout this process I’ve developed skills that are immediately transferable to any other career out there: responsibility, effective communication, accountability, multitasking, organization, the list goes on and on. If you’re looking for a job that requires minimal effort for a large dollar return, definitely do not waste your time here; but if you’re searching for something that will challenge you beyond belief, form friendships that will last a lifetime, prepare you for the outside world in the best ways possible, and make a decent chunk of change at the end of it all, Student Painters is the best place to be.


Jacob Ignasiak

Interning with Young Entrepreneurs was one of the best decisions I have ever made. The program helped me gain real-world experience in the business field as well as expand my professional network and also earn money for school. I further developed many of my skills and became a better leader along the way. This internship will test your abilities and push you to reach your full potential. Having an opportunity like this at such a young age is truly unique and beneficial to college students looking to be successful in their future careers. 

Mike Zlonkevicz

My name is Mike Zlonkevicz, and I can only try to put into words what the Student Painters program has done for me. As a freshman, it was difficult finding internships having so little experience within my field of study, and that’s when I found Student Painters. After just my first year, I have the skills and confidence to land any internship I chose. I have also struggled more than I ever had in my life, which is the ultimate reason I love this program. It’s one of the few programs where failure is encouraged because without failing, there is no learning, and I have done a ton of learning this summer. In less than a year, I have learned more about business, communication, and myself than ever before. My confidence is five times what is used to be, and that alone makes me wish every college kid could intern at Student Painters. It’s tough, but if you are the kind person who seeks out to prove skeptics wrong, this program is for you.

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