By Lisa Carolin
Combining a college education with practical experience is what Caitlin Dusenbury is doing, and she’s learning her skills in Chelsea.
The 2019 Chelsea High School graduate is participating in the Young Entrepreneurs Across America (YEAA) internship program. She is a freshman at the University of Michigan and a branch manager for a local branch of Student Painters.
Dusenbury attends U-M’s College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (LS&A), and is hoping to transfer to the Ross School of Business.
She attended one of the YEAA’s information sessions and learned about the experience she could gain in the internship program.
“They advertised how I would learn to market, make sales, hire and fire employees, interact with customers, and do payroll,” said Dusenbury. “They said I would also be gaining confidence, furthering myself in the real world, and interacting and getting to know the community of Chelsea better.”
She says that Student Painters focuses on hiring local students who want to earn money for college.
“This internship has equipped me with all the skills I will need to successfully perform all the duties associated with running my own business,” said Dusenbury, who is also able to earn tuition money. “I have grown up in the Chelsea area, so I am especially excited to be serving people from my hometown.”
The program includes 15 states in addition to Michigan, which will give Dusenbery the opportunity to meet many new people.
“In addition to the management side of the internship, I will also learn how to paint houses and do estimates,” she said. “That training happens closer to summer and is done by YEAA’s partner, Sherwin-Williams.”
She says that doing the internship in addition to her course load, being involved in several campus clubs, and working part time as a barista, is challenging, though it is a great way to learn about time management.
“I can see how much work goes into running a business that I didn’t realize before looking from the outside in,” said Dusenbury. “I am excited to be able to have real life experiences because I will be able to transfer them to the classroom. If I end up in Ross next year, I feel as though I will have a leg up on my classmates because I will have actually executed the aspects of marketing or management that we will be discussing in class.”
Dusenbury is looking for high school students in Chelsea interested in a summer job as well as looking for anyone interested in a free, no obligation painting estimate.
“People can support their local community and local students by getting their house painted by me and my team,” she said.
If you’re interested in learning more about either a painting estimate or working for Dusenbury, contact her at (734) 834-1044 or at [email protected].