Education: Yale University, B.A. Political Science
Rookie Year: 2009 (Turf: Connecticut)
Hyatt's Journey at College Pro
After reading about a fellow Yale student spending his summer running a College Pro franchise in the Yale Daily News, a campus publication, Hyatt was immediately interested. He had a friend who was an entrepreneur at the time and the career path was one that really sparked his curiosity. However, Hyatt was looking for a way to pick up the skills he needed to try it for himself. “College Pro seemed like a great way to learn about how to run a business, without having to come up with my own idea,” he shared.
In 2009, Hyatt’s first summer with College Pro in Connecticut he definitely found his experience challenging. Hyatt struggled with managing people, he was a perfectionist, and he didn’t like dealing with the messiness that came with running a painting business. “I also struggled selling jobs at first. I was promising my customers this incredible paint job, but I hadn’t even managed to hire painters yet.” Hyatt admits to micromanaging a bit too much, and not laying down the line with his painters.
A Year off to Regroup
After a stressful summer, he took a year off before coming back. Hyatt wasn’t ready to let his College Pro experience, and first shop at entrepreneurship end there. He knew he had to come back and tackle the business again but do it better. His second year saw a lot more success; all it took was a bit of trial by fire. “I learned to be more forgiving of myself and my shortcomings, and I left the business with so much more confidence. I also accomplished what I set out to, which was understanding the fundamentals of running a business,” he explained.
Thoughts on the CP Experience
Hyatt would describe his experience with College Pro as “a bit painful at first but an incredible learning experience.” A common description received from College Pro alumni.
Career Path After College Pro
After his franchisee experience with College Pro, Hyatt tried his hand at a few other things. He first worked in merchandise and buying which taught him a ton about sales analysis and the backend of the company. However, this taught him that vendor management wasn’t for him and he moved onto a role that focused primarily on data analysis as an operations analyst at JackThreads. “My job was to forecast returns going forward, and analyze potential risks and issues. It was an interesting analytical problem that I got to solve every day,” Hyatt explained.
While gaining skills at JackThreads, Hyatt still hadn’t completely given up on entrepreneurship. He started playing around with pop-up shops by inviting his friends to huge parties where he’d sell vintage Hawaiian shirts that were at the time, becoming trendy. This turned into him partnering with a friend who was a comedian to sell his products at his comedy shows. Although an experience, Hyatt was only making enough money to breakeven. “The thing that I loved about it was doing it with my friends, and the only way to make a real profit would have been to sell out on that, which I wasn’t interested in.”
Starting His Own Business
Not ready to give up on entrepreneurship, he and his wife started their own company. They went hard for three months before realizing they kind of hated it. “I decided to go back to data science, so I went to a three month boot camp called Metis on data science. It was based on a really advanced program called Python,” he shared. “Data science is all about applying statistics and computer science tools to business analysis. It’s scientific and rigorous. You get huge amounts of data and build statistical models to predict things, like Discover Weekly on Spotify or the Recommended For You section on Netflix.” After the boot camp, Hyatt got on the business track for data science at Capital One. After a conversation with a recruiter, he discovered his business background from College Pro combined with his data science skills was what got him the gig.
Lessons Learned As a Franchisee
“I have a tremendous amount of appreciation and respect for the leadership at College Pro and the skills they gave me,” Hyatt shared. Hyatt references the ability to manage as being hugely important – in both his professional and personal life. “There’s a huge responsibility that you learn in management, to your business and your people and your customers.” Hyatt also mentioned the one phrase that has stuck with him since, and will stick with him forever, which is: “Instead of saying I should have done this, or I did this wrong, say ‘next time, I’ll do it this way.’”
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