Franchising Internship Inspires Student
A junior studying business management with a concentration in franchising, Aaron Rose already knew he had a promising, wide-open future.
Then it got even better, when he found himself with a full scholarship to the five-day International Franchise Association conference in Phoenix this past February. There, he got to network with entrepreneurs and franchising experts from around the world.
“When the Titus Center was being dedicated in November, I had the opportunity to meet people from the IFA,” Rose said. Hearing that Rose had been the first student to join PBA’s franchising program, IFA leadership offered to clear a path for him to attend the global gathering.
The IFA waived Rose’s conference fees. His airfare and lodging costs were covered by West Palm Beach-based United Franchise Group, where Rose is interning.
The event met every one of Rose’s expectations.
“In business, one of the most valuable assets you can have is connections. That is exactly what I got out of it,” he said. “I met people in all areas of business – franchisors who own multinational corporations and multiple brands, and franchisees who own a single store.”
He also witnessed the judging of the NextGen in Franchising Global Competition, where young entrepreneurs pitched concepts to a panel of experts that included Shark Tank’s Daymond John. “The most fun for me was watching the competition, being able to see young people like me have these incredible business ideas and being able to see them pitch to very successful people. It was truly an honor to see. When you surround yourself with those successful people, it just inspires you and makes you want to open a business and think like they do.”
The conference experience confirmed Rose’s decision to pursue PBA’s newly launched concentration in franchising. “The more I learned about how unique our franchising program is, I knew it would differentiate me,” he said. “This franchising program really gives me a skill set that I knew other people wouldn’t have.”
His local internship is another facet of Rose’s immersion in the world of franchising. United Franchise Group includes nine brands and supports 1,400 franchisees in more than 80 countries. PBA’s Titus Center was made possible by an endowment from United CEO Ray Titus and his family. Rose and other interns meet with representatives from every sector of the organization, giving them exposure to every aspect of the corporate environment.
While Rose ultimately hopes to own and operate a franchise of his own, he hopes to start with a full-time position with United after he graduates. “The company is so unique, and I’ve loved interning for them. They’re a family-oriented company. Getting that business experience and being in the business world will be very beneficial to me before I open my own business.”
Rose, 20, is from southwest Michigan, where his family owns a salvage yard that’s been in operation since 1940. He started working there as a kid, sweeping floors and shredding paper. Today, he and his wife, Olivia, run the company’s online sales division.
“We’re a huge operation now. We’re constantly buying. We have eight dismantling bays. Cars come in all day long, and we have dismantlers who inventory our vehicles and put all the parts that are salvageable in our system,” he said. He manages inventory and shipping remotely, even though the parts are in Michigan. Last year, after attending an eBay sales summit in Washington, D.C., the pair boosted the annual online revenue stream from $100,000 to more than $1 million.
Now that’s good business.