Bright green fliers were placed around the Purdue University campus in West Lafayette in the fall advertising a paid summer internship opportunity.
Fishers-based Render Home Solutions was seeking students interested in gaining experience of managing their own business, where they would hire employees to do outdoor painting, window washing, power washing and gutter cleaning. It also was a chance for college students to earn some money.
Having just switched his major to management, Purdue junior and 2014 Seymour High School graduate Ian Hensen decided to give it a shot.
The 21-year-old was one of between 100 and 200 Purdue students attending a callout meeting, and then some of those people were chosen for in-person and phone interviews.
Ultimately, Hensen was one of 13 students, including eight from Purdue, selected. The other five were from Indiana University, Ball State University and Indiana State University.
“They let you manage this the way you would do it on your own,” Hensen said. “I’m nervous for it. It’s a big responsibility, but it’s a good opportunity, though.”
When he saw one of the fliers, Hensen said that was the first time he had heard of the company. He learned they had job openings around the state and were looking for college students to manage a business in their hometowns.
“They want you to be comfortable, they want you know to know people already and they just feel like it will be easier for you in your hometown because you already have your contacts,” Hensen said.
Hensen said he was comfortable with the interview process because he had experience applying for other jobs and internships in the past. The company wanted people who had good interpersonal and phone skills because the students would be using both avenues to find projects.
A few days after the phone interview, Hensen learned he was hired.
“After the regular interview, I was kind of nervous just because I didn’t know how everybody else did, but I thought I did good,” he said. “And usually, I’m pretty good on the phone, so I felt good about that.”
His first step was to develop a business plan. That included sending announcement letters around Seymour to spread the word about his business.
Then a couple of weeks ago, Hensen attended training at a hotel in Carmel. There, he participated in team-building exercises and learned about marketing techniques, estimating project costs and working safely.
Now, he is focusing on marketing, including cold-calling, putting up lawn signs and distributing fliers and door hangers, so he can get some jobs lined up for the summer.
He already has two set — one for his father, Lance Hensen, and one for a person who received an announcement letter.
“Hopefully, they keep coming in,” Hensen said.
He also will be working on finding employees and doing interviews. Render Home Solutions wants him to hire six to 12 people and have multiple crews. The employees must be 18 or older and be able to work 30 to 40 hours per week from the second week of May to early August.
Hensen said there will be product managers and regular employees. The product managers would oversee projects when he can’t be onsite. Employees will be paid at least $8.25 per hour and could have an opportunity to earn more based on their job title or receive incentives for good work ethics.
Render Home Solutions also will help him find employees by distributing fliers at local colleges, and his supervisor will help him train employees.
The company will provide paint from Sherwin-Williams, drop cloths and harnesses, but Hensen will have to find the other equipment for employees to use.
Hensen said he is excited about getting the business started.
“It’s just a way to get people experience of being an entrepreneur and having your own business,” he said. “I haven’t really thought about pursuing entrepreneurship before, but if it goes well, maybe I will. I feel like this will give me a good aspect of everything from a job. I’ll do a little bit of everything, so hopefully, I’ll be able to see what I like more.”
Hensen said he entered Purdue as a mathematics major before changing to actuarial science, but he didn’t like that. After taking an accounting class, he switched to management.
He hopes that will help him figure out what type of career he wants. He plans to graduate in May 2018.
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Purdue University junior and 2014 Seymour High School graduate Ian Hensen is managing his own business through a paid summer internship with Render Home Solutions.
He is working on hiring six to 12 people age 18 or older in the Seymour area who will work from the second week of May to early August.
He also is looking for outdoor painting, window washing, power washing and gutter cleaning jobs to do in the area.
Anyone interested may call 855-RENDER-0.