MORGANTOWN — Students in Morgantown are getting hands-on experience before they even receive their diplomas.
Rachel Dorsey, a WVU sophomore and marketing student, was looking for a summer internship when a fellow student mentioned an opportunity through Young Entrepreneurs Across America (YEAA).
YEAA gives students experience in the business world and trains them in entrepreneurship.
“I went through an interview process and they hired me. Our season actually is just now starting,” Dorsey said.
During this preseason, Dorsey will start training in a couple weeks. She will hire marketers and a crew of painters. The program, called Student Painters, will be an exterior home painting business that Dorsey will manage herself.
Throughout the Appalachian region, a handful of students are chosen each year to participate in the internship. Dorsey said she believes there are other WVU students participating in the program, prompting a little healthy competition.
Dorsey is a member of the American Marketing Association at WVU, and will work on outreach in hiring those who can help market the business. Then she will work on hiring painters.
“I want a really strong crew. I want people who are dedicated and people who I know are going to be efficient and give quality work to my customers,” she said.
Dorsey said this opportunity is a way for her to go right into the business world. While many internships are focused on one area, this one has more moving parts.
Dorsey will be running her own business and facing challenges the typical college student might not see solely in coursework.
“I feel like once I graduate and step into the business world I’m going to have all this experience and be a more well-rounded business woman,” she said.
Being a marketer or a painter through the program, Dorsey said there is more to gain than someone might realize. As someone who is driven by a growth mindset, and taking this opportunity as a learning experience, she wants to provide her employees with experiences that will help them not only grow in their professional life but also their personal lives.
“Painting is a really simple job, but if you look at it with an open and different mindset and get to know your fellow co-workers, I feel like that can be really beneficial for them,” she said.
For those in marketing, she said it’s an opportunity to get out into the community, meet people and build personal and professional skills.
Dorsey said she is excited as she embarks on this venture that can only help once she’s in her career. Though she said she expects a challenge, she sees growth from what she will experience.
“I think it’s going to be really fun to kind of put to test in my classes, but also learn stuff that I’m not necessarily going to get from my coursework,” she said.