POWDERSVILLE — The signs spring up all over our area about this time of year.
They are a sign of the times, a marker of the season of house painting and the season for growing entrepreneurs.
The roadside yard signs are a chief marketing tool for the organization Student Painters that swell its ranks around college campuses like Clemson University.
Student managers create businesses for which they employ students to paint area homes.
Russell Clayton is one of the “management seedlings” of the organization coming to it as a senior in business management at Clemson. He is using it as a way to learn how to run his own business.
“Student painters is and entrepreneurial-geared internship that trains students o how to successfully run and operate a business,” said Clayton. “We all receive training in Charlotte for a weekend and learn how to market, sell and manage our business.”
His title is manager of his branch of student painters and he employs other students to actually do the painting.
Supervision is facilitated by Young Entrepreneurs Across America.
“We are each assigned an executive of a mentor, who was also a branch manager in the past,” he said. “The importance of customer service and satisfaction is instilled in us from day one. We understand that the best way to succeed is by finding out what our customers specific needs are, and doing our absolute best to fulfill them for a very reasonable price.”
Clayton likes the practical experience he gains meeting with customers, taking measurements and talking through the details of an agreement.
“The reason I was so attracted to this internship is because it is an all-around win-win situation . It offers me the opportunity to gain a real life business experience while at the same time providing jobs for other college students. It serves and gives back to the community,” he said
The YEAA web site says the organization believes it offers students a superior lesson in management by allowing them to manage.
“We provide significant training and support,” says the website, “but it will be up to the manager to make tough decisions, such as what to do with an employees who show up late to work. Business courses cannot provide letters of recommendation from satisfied clients, or develop subordinates into promotions, or earn real profits. We provide this experience by putting managers in a position of responsibility.”