NORTH CANTON  Damon Oprean is completing his freshman year at Bowling Green State University and is looking forward to coming home to North Canton for summer break. He is also excited to be a new branch manager for the Student Painters summer long program.

Oprean is a finance major at Bowling Green with a long-term goal of becoming a business owner. He got involved with the Student Painters program after attending an information meeting on his campus. It’s part of an entrepreneurial internship that will give him hands-on experiences in important business functions such as hiring, training and managing a four person painting crew, conducting sales and marketing and completing estimates for residents in the North Canton area for exterior painting services.

Oprean has already received his training at the company’s location in Detroit and started marketing exterior painting services at the end February. He said he has already started to feel like an entrepreneur.

"I filled out form at the information meeting and got an interview, then I presented my business plan for the summer venture at the final interview and was hired," Oprean said. "The person interviewing me in the final interview said he knew early in the interview he wanted to offer me the internship. He liked my business plan and my enthusiasm. This is my first experience with operating a small business. I did detail cars when I was 17 and had business cards and did some marketing."

Oprean said the Student Painters entrepreneurship opportunity is almost risk free. He will operate his branch through Aug. 20. His goal is to generate $80,000 in production during the summer.

Material costs and payroll come out of the sales and the company takes a royalty. Oprean’s commission comes out of the profits.

"I have to keep a close eye on expenses which is part of the learning process. The process includes providing local jobs to college students, training and managing the team, tracking expenses and maximizing profits. It’s also about learning what it means to provide great customer service," Oprean said.

The Student Painters crew doesn’t leave a job until the customer inspects it and fills out a report card to turn into the company. If the customer is not satisfied, the crew stays until the job meets customer expectations.

The Student Painters company was founded in Ontario, Can., and made its way into the United States in 1987. Oprean said the company provides summer jobs for 400-500 branch managers every summer. The company operates mostly in the Midwest.

The mission is to give a new and unique professional experience for college students to develop them into young entrepreneurs. The branch managers are taught how to run a business from start to finish.

"I choose this opportunity because of the low financial risk involved. The only thing I’m really risking is my time. I also believe it will teach me a great deal about accountability. It’s already taught me a lot about sales and communications. I’m looking forward to learning about management over the summer. It’s also a huge resume building," Oprean said.

For more information about the services offered through Student Painters or to receive an estimate, call Oprean at 330-415-8550.