Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Ambitious OU-C freshman learns valuable skills by managing small business

By OU-C public relations student employee Rebecca Reif

When Ohio University-Chillicothe freshman Taylor King starts on a new painting project, it isn’t for a college art class.

King, a Health Services Administration major, is an intern with College Works Painting, a fully licensed and insured organization that helps undergraduate students manage their own painting business.

“My job gives me the opportunity to learn leadership and organizational skills by making estimates, booking jobs and supervising painting sites,” said King. “I’ve learned how to manage my time better and improve my communication skills.”

King first heard about the job when she attended Ohio State University in the fall.
“A student in my class passed out flyers for the internship and it sparked my interest. My only prior work experience was working at Dairy Queen and babysitting, but I decided to apply anyway. I went through a series of interviews, then spoke with the vice president of the company and he offered me the job.”

In addition to learning business skills, King’s job allows her to engage with members of the local community.

“When I do home estimates, I really enjoy talking with homeowners and learning about them. I’ve met a lot of good people in the Chillicothe area because of my job.”

The internship experience doesn’t come without its challenges, however.

“Closing the estimate and booking the job is a necessary, but challenging part of my job,” says King. “Calculating the estimate sheet can also be tricky—there is a lot to pay attention to.”

“Juggling a 20-hour work week with a fulltime class schedule can also be difficult, but the time and effort I’m putting into this job is totally worth the experience,” she adds.

King receives guidance from a mentor, who is also an intern at College Works Painting.

“My mentor, Josh Yontz, and I talk on the phone everyday and meet once per week. He is a senior at Ohio State and was the number one intern for the company last year, so I’ve definitely learned a lot about the business from him.”

Unlike some students her age, King maintains a mature outlook on her internship responsibilities.
“I’m 19 years old and I’m running my own business. I can’t run late anymore!” says King.

Interns at College Works Painting earn a percentage of the sales they make to put toward college expenses. This summer, King plans to work a 40-hour week since classes won’t be in session.

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