University of Maine
Working at Collegiate was, without exaggeration, the most life-changing, door-opening career experience I’ve ever encountered. Was running my own small business at 18 years old unbelievably difficult? Unquestionably. Did it allow me to identify my strengths and weaknesses while developing new skills at an age where most people are still waiting tables and trying to figure out what to do with their life? Sure did.
Now 10 years removed from learning about the opportunity with CE, it’s clear that everything I’ve accomplished in my career has deep roots in the experience I gained over 4 years of building and growing a little painting business from $50,000 in that first summer to over $500,000 when all was said and done.
Since graduating from CE, I’ve gone on to build and lead top-performing teams in software sales and tech recruiting, and now run the US division of a global recruiting firm. None of my skills in sales and leadership would be even remotely close to where they are today without that initial, invaluable experience. It’s definitely challenging; it will make you question your abilities, tenacity, and likely even your sanity. But it will also give you an unmatched competitive advantage in the job market after graduation, with a skillset well beyond your years.
I realized doing this internship that I wasn’t as cool as I thought I was. I had excuses for everything in my life and it just didn’t feel right. Collegiate helped me realize that I can choose where I want to go and what I want to do and I can create the future I want for myself. Coming into this job forced me to admit that I was not great at everything. I had to come to terms with the fact that I had areas where I was severely lacking.
I learned how to take responsibility, not just for myself and my own schedule, but for my employees as well. I had to identify each of my employee’s needs and cater my management style to them. I stopped seeking perfection and just focused on trying my best. My time at Collegiate has helped me find out that I am capable of a lot more than I initially thought.
Before working with Collegiate Entrepreneurs, I was very shy and felt directionless. I had no idea where I wanted to go or what I wanted to do with my life after college. When I started doing sales, I realized that if I wasn’t confident in myself and what I was selling, a customer could tell.
One of the biggest lessons I learned was to view the world with an internal locus of control. If you take personal responsibility for why things are happening, you can affect the outcome and grow from the experience instead of blaming everyone else. I’ve changed a lot as a person and grown as a businessperson - I'm looking forward to being able to take what I’ve learned and help other people do that to their own lives.
I came into Collegiate Entrepreneurs looking for my next big challenge, and I certainly found it. Up to that point, my only professional experience was in lifeguarding, and my leadership experience was limited to my high school activities. To say Collegiate has been transformative would be an understatement. I thought that I would be strong in management and weaker in sales since I despised making phone calls. It turned out to be exactly the opposite.
I was able to get over my fear of talking on the phone and by the end of the season I preferred phone calls to text communication. Although I could get customers and employees on board, I struggled to manage effectively and keep employees around. Working for Collegiate helped me improve my strengths and highlighted my weaknesses so I could begin to improve upon them. It was challenging, but I stuck to my core principle: success would come, so long as I just never gave up. I knew I would make many mistakes, and I certainly did, but I ultimately would call it a successful summer and I am excited to do it all again.
Before working at CE, I was the type of person with no confidence in trying new things. I was very shy and timid. I went into this internship thinking I wouldn’t be successful because I didn't have any knowledge of running a business or how to do it properly.
Now I can say after working at CE, that I am capable of starting and running a business. I gained experience with marketing, sales, and management. Not what you learn in college, but real hands on experience. I learned the ups and downs and how to problem solve areas I haven’t crossed yet. Not only did I learn basic business skills, I gained confidence to try new things that put me out of my comfort zone. I am very thankful for this opportunity where I learned more than I could have in a classroom.
Before Collegiate Entrepreneurs, I definitely thought I was really good at a lot of things. Going through my year as a branch manager, I realized that was very very wrong. I faced plenty of obstacles - not getting people to sell to, having jobs blow up in my face, losing $1,000 in two days - all those things helped me to become a better manager.
I am incredibly grateful for the struggles I encountered because they made me grow and become the person I am today. There is nothing more satisfying than going through a month where everything is thrown at you and coming out at the other side with success. I realized that no matter what it is you’re doing - whether it's sales, production, marketing, or even learning how to ride a bike, if you persist and stick with it, eventually you will succeed.
Before starting at CE, I was very closed off and shy. I wanted to get out of my shell and be more personable. What better way to do that than to go into sales and run a business? So that’s what I did. Over the years, I’ve faced many challenges but the biggest struggle I had was communicating effectively with my team and with customers. I was able to overcome that by being more exposed to it and having the opportunity to practice.
My biggest development was learning how to manage effectively. I learned to manage my employees, my customers, and even myself. After all, if you’re not managing yourself appropriately then you really can’t manage anybody else. I’m planning to take the skills I’ve learned into the finance world. I found through my years with Collegiate that running a business is something that I am passionate about and I'm excited to see what the future holds.
University of Vermont
I’ve always been very interested in business and knew that I wanted to do my own thing, but I wasn’t sure exactly what avenue to go down. Collegiate helped me find that avenue! Starting out, I was not a very strong communicator and I was very hard-headed. I thought very highly of myself and in my first couple of weeks with Collegiate, I was (rightfully) humbled.
After my time at Collegiate, I’m working as a Market Analyst at The Bitcoin Layer, a premium markets research publication covering bitcoin through a global macro lens. The proclivity to take risks and bet heavily on myself, which I developed at Collegiate, has paid off in spades.
My year with Collegiate Entrepreneurs was transformative. I didn’t truly understand how much value I had gained until I was applying for other internships after.
I was able answer difficult questions about management with my own personal experiences and had solid numbers to back it up. This is a great opportunity for anyone interested in entrepreneurship as it offers first hand experience with everything you have to do to run a successful business.
I always knew I wanted to do big things in college but I wasn’t really sure what. I didn’t have much direction. I chose a Philosophy major because I liked it but I didn’t know what I was planning to do with that degree. Collegiate gave me the opportunity to learn a lot, grow a lot, and do something that was really challenging.
Initially, I faced several obstacles. I struggled to find a production manager that was a good fit for my team. Once I did find a production manager who worked well with my employees, I ended up running out of work for them to do. By the time I got to the middle of the summer, I was stuck. With help from my executive, I learned to hold myself accountable for my actions and focus on what I could control and what I could improve. After I graduate, I plan to go to law school and I feel the skills I’ve gained at Collegiate Entrepreneurs are going to be very helpful there. I’ve learned how to speak more confidently, how to reach out for help when I need it, and, most importantly, how to take personal responsibility and improve my performance in areas where I struggle.
At Collegiate Entrepreneurs, all of your faults get revealed early on for everyone to see and from there, you can either work to improve yourself or not. It turned out that I had a ton of weaknesses but through perseverance, I learned that I’m actually a fairly charismatic person. I learned how to gain trust and build rapport. I learned how to conduct an interview, also how to determine who would make the best hire. I learned the true power of journaling and how beneficial that can be to goal setting and tracking progression. Through all the lows it only made you appreciate and value the highs that much more.
In my everyday life, I use what I learned throughout my experiences at Collegiate Entrepreneurs often. I am still continuing to write my story with daily journaling. I am embracing the challenges when they approach (enjoy the ride!). I attribute a great deal of my growth into the professional that I am today to the Collegiate Entrepreneurs internship program. I’d advise anyone contemplating the Branch Manager position to go with it and let yourself grow into who you want to become.
University of Southern Maine
Working at CE taught me so many lessons and skills. In fact, the lessons I learned are what got me where I am today and are what made me who I am today. I learned pretty much all the skills needed to be successful in a business world: I learned different marketing and sales techniques, production, profit analysis, time management, punctuality, and last but not least self-discipline.
One of the biggest skills/lessons I learned from CE would be profit analysis. Currently in my professional career, I own and run two businesses. I use all the lessons and skills I learned from CE everyday. When I am searching for new clients, I get back to what I learned from CE and apply it. When I am signing a new contract and are having difficulties closing that deal, I go back to the closing techniques I learned from CE. In general, CE made me a better version of me and improved my everyday life significantly.
I didn’t understand failure and perseverance until my summer with Collegiate Entrepreneurs. I used to wander aimlessly, thinking I wanted to pursue entrepreneurship without really knowing what that meant.
Like a lot of other people this summer, I struggled to find and retain employees to produce the work that I sold. Through support from the company and my executive and just a lot of perseverance, I was able to produce all of my work and really learn how significant it is to have good people under you. I know a lot more about leadership now and what it actually means to lead a team. After a lot of failure, a lot of hard work, and eventually a lot of success, I feel like I have a much better grasp on what it is to be an entrepreneur.
University of Rhode Island
I am the type of person who has very high expectations for themselves. I came into Collegiate Entrepreneurs confident that I could take on the responsibilities and handle the position easily but that changed shortly after I started. I struggled in pretty much every area - sales, job completion, hiring, customer satisfaction.
With training from Collegiate, I greatly improved my sales skills and learned a lot about the process of generating leads and converting those leads into sales. I learned to have an internal locus of control, to take responsibility and do what I could to improve situations. I did everything in my power to ensure things went right and I found that if you go all in, everything will work out. It was a lot of hard work but it was all worth it in the end. Next summer, I plan to study abroad and I know that I’ll be able to take the lessons I learned here and apply them, both in my studies and in my future career in the sales world.
University of Massachusetts Amherst
As a computer science major, I would consider myself an introvert. I definitely don’t embody the typical salesman persona - eccentric and outgoing. When I heard that there was an opportunity to develop that entrepreneurial skillset, I jumped on it.
I struggled a lot with sales. In the beginning, I went by the script and focused on details. I was lucky enough to have customers within my network early on that were patient with me and gave me a chance to nail down my presentation. After a while, I developed my own way of tackling sales and became more confident in my ability to relay information about the service we could offer. I found that I was more outgoing and could articulate my thoughts and ideas more clearly. Initially, I didn’t see myself as someone who would excel in sales or business so I was pleasantly surprised to realize that I had it in me.
Going into Collegiate Entrepreneurs, I had a lot of confidence with no direction. I knew I wanted to be involved in the business world, but I always imagined things would “figure themselves out.” After about a month in the program, I quickly realized it is not nearly that cut and dry. You need direction, purpose, and especially humility. I learned how to adapt, how to internalize feedback, and effectively communicate with my mentors and my team. I was able to apply these skills to be a better manager and teammate, but most importantly a better person.
Throughly my time at Collegiate, I realized that I was mainly attracted to the financial aspect of the business. I was able to translate the skills I had learned at Collegiate into the financial services industry, and I eventually gained enough knowledge to begin interviewing with top tier firms. This year I accepted an offer from JP Morgan as Sales and Trading Summer Analyst. The skills and knowledge I gained at Collegiate have acted as a propeller into the future chapters of my professional life.