By Renee Larr
Fishers resident and 2016 Hamilton Southeastern High School graduate Jake Dufinetz will start his own business this summer through College Works Painting, a leadership and entrepreneurship internship. The program teaches college students how to run a home painting business.
“They teach you how to run your own business, market it, build sales, hire workers, run a team and have happy customers. It teaches you more people skills, how to talk to homeowners and build trust, how to build confidence in yourself while also creating the strategy of your business,” he said.
Dufinetz began this spring working with a mentor while still taking classes during his freshman year at Indiana University.
“We’ve been doing marketing by finding anyone that lives around me in Fishers to see if they want a free estimate on exterior painting,” Dufinetz said. “I’ve been making phone calls to people that would like an estimate, setting up my schedule and having sales training meetings with my mentor to prepare me.”
He will return to Fishers when the school year is over to hire his staff and start painting.
“The summer part of the internship is a lot more about management and being able to make sure your customers are fully satisfied by the end of the job,” Dufinetz said.
The biggest challenge so far has been learning how to sell.
“I am still learning, but the process was new to me,” he said. “I have to start by building trust with the client. I am still figuring out how to build that trust and confidence in myself so homeowners realize that I am the person for the job.”
With challenge also comes reward.
“By the end of the summer you’re tired from working 60 or 70 hours a week, but so happy you did it because it will be such a rewarding internship program that benefits you from all the skills and relationships you build,” Dufinetz said.