January 3, 2021 by Laura Harper Winters
Jakob Oddleifson a lifelong Hingham resident, growing up in Bradley Park. Jakob began his education at the South Shore Conservatory and continued on to Foster Elementary school, Hingham Middle School and Hingham High School. Currently a student at UMass Amhearst, Jakob is proud to announce that he is launching a local branch of Student Painters as an internship through Young Entrepreneurs Across America. In addition to equipping Jakob with entrepreneurial skills and allowing him to gain valuable business experience, Jakob will also be earning money to help offset the costs of college.
Student Painters is also backed with credentials, such as million dollars in liability insurance, worker compensation, certification from the EPA, and A+ ratings from the Better Business Bureau.
When at home, Jakob lives with his parents, Liz and Eric Oddleifson, his younger sister, Bryndis, and the family dog, Daisy.
Hingham, meet Jakob.
We heard you were associated with Young Entrepreneurs Across America. How did you get involved with that program?
Young Entrepreneurs Across America reached out to students of the Isenberg School of Management at Umass Amherst. The email that was sent out gave a synopsis of what this internship entailed. From there the process to become involved began.
Tell us a little bit about your new venture with Student Painters. What was the process to start your own branch of this established business? What sets Student Painters apart?
To start my own branch of Student Painters, I first had to interview. My first round of interviews was with the General Manager, Kevin Hisselmen. In this interview, he assessed my character to make sure that I was a good fit for the job. Once it was determined I possessed an entrepreneurial spirit, I was told that I would move onto the next round of interviews. In the time between these two interviews, I was tasked with developing a business plan for the 2022 painting season. In order to do this, I called a few of the most successful branch managers from the previous season. This gave me the chance to pick their brains and get an idea of how to run a highly profitable branch of Student Painters. I used this information to develop a business plan which included a mission statement, revenue and profit goals, and a preliminary timeline for launching my business. This next interview consisted of me pitching my business plan to Young Entrepreneurs Vice President, Aaron Acorn. I gave it my all and presented my business plan, which resulted in me getting hired on the spot. Over the next few months, the company will provide me with the necessary tools to manage a branch of Student Painters. Student Painters stands out in more ways than one. First of all, it provides me with managerial experience. This is a skill that few undergraduates have when entering the job market. Along with this, it is set apart from the average painting service. Student Painters provides homeowners with quality work while also making them feel good about their purchase. Just like me, my workers are also students who are looking for a way to help pay for school and the proceeds from this business help them do so.
Have you always wanted to be an entrepreneur?
I have always been a rather entrepreneurial person. In middle school, I started a small lawn service in my neighborhood. Years later, I ran a bicycle repair business during the summer and now this new venture. While I have spent time working for someone other than myself, I believe that the path of an entrepreneur is right for me.
What are your goals for your branch of Student Painters?
From a financial standpoint, my revenue goal for this upcoming season is $95,000 with a goal for an 18% profit margin. Beyond that, I want my branch to provide ample employment
opportunities to local students and to produce high quality work. I see this branch being a great resource for gaining knowledge and real world experience, as well.
How do you think this new role will impact your life?
This summer, the role of branch manager will consume almost all of my time. Based on the experiences of past managers, this is not an easy position. But despite the adversities, it is worth it. Many who have completed this internship went on to launch business later in life or created other successful and fulfilling careers. I hope that being a branch manager will have a similar effect on me.
Who in your life has been your biggest inspiration?
This is hard to say. My grandfather was an entrepreneur and I have taken after him in more ways than one. We both enjoyed playing the clarinet, we both were avid sailors at one point, and were both entrepreneurs. Although he passed away while I was very young and almost all of these similarities began to show after he was gone, I still think there is an underlying desire to be like him.
While you are away at college, what do you miss most about Hingham?
I missed all the social circles I have developed and the friends I made here in Hingham. Although I have a new group of friends at Umass, it takes years to make a group of friends as
tight-knit as the one I have.
Do you have a favorite local spot around town?
As a mountain biker, I spent a lot of time in Wompatuck State Park. As a community, we are very lucky to have such a great piece of nature right in our backyards. Whether you are a
mountain biker, hiker, or dog walker, Wompatuck is welcoming to all and it is something we should not take for granted.
What is your favorite Hingham restaurant and meal you often order there?
For the longest time, my favorite restaurant in Hingham was the Sub Galley. I was so disappointed when it closed down a few years ago, but I almost always ordered a buffalo chicken calzone. To this day, I cannot say that I have had a better one.
Do you have a favorite or go-to vacation spot? If so, where?
For my entire life, my family and I have vacationed on Nantucket in the summers. The best part about the island is how you feel special being able to go there. Its small, and space is obviously limited, so to be able to experience the charm that it has to offer is really quite lucky.
Do you have a favorite quote?
My favorite quote is by Ayrton Senna. For those who don’t know, he was a Formula 1 driver and a very influential figure. Anyways, the quote goes “I have no idols, I admire work, dedication, and competence”. This quote has always stuck with me because I have always had a hard time coming up with an answer whenever I am asked about my idol. Once I found this quote, it resonated with me. I share similar values to Ayrton and think this quote represents them.