DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA -- I have learned so much as an intern with College Works Painting. I have real experience with managing and running my own business that sets me apart from my peers. This internship required hard work and dedication to see success, but I learned how to grow my clientele base, hire and manage employees, satisfy my clients, and control the finances. It was an unforgettable experience.
DALLAS, TEXAS -- Everything about this program challenges what students are used to doing. In my college career, this program has been the most beneficial learning experience that I went through. The skill sets you develop throughout the internship such as: how to manage people older than you, how to sell a product (and every profession you will pursue in your future requires selling at some level), and how to manage multiple responsibilities at the same time, are things that you cannot learn in a classroom.
The internship is not easy, and not for quitters, if you have the will power to last to the end of the internship though, then you are truly a winner and your future rewards make the entire thing worth it. I personally struggled through the program and did more things wrong than right and every day that I went to work in the business gave me a new reason to quit. Now, as a recent graduate from Texas A&M with a degree in engineering, because of having that internship on my resume I am getting picked for full time positions that I would otherwise have been excluded from.
When I am asked questions in interviews, I am always able to use my experience with College Works as a positive answer to behavior based questions. And the leaders of the division that I was a part of still serve as mentors to me and help me make good decisions for my life. The difficulties of the internship ended at the end of the summer, but even now, 3 years later I am still reaping the benefits of it.
I would strongly recommend that anyone who is looking for a challenge and to separate themselves from the mass of status quo college students. At the end of the program you will be able to say that it was the most difficult and most beneficial thing that you have ever done and your only regret will be that you did not have one more month to hit your goals.
IRVINE, CALIFORNIA -- I am currently in my fifth year with the company and thought I would give an unbiased and informative review of my experience so far.
As an intern, I ran my business out of Brookings, Oregon and did $100,000 worth of business. The experience was pretty good for the most part. It was a lot more work than I thought it would be but it ended up paying off. I made good money for school and also learned a lot about how to work with customers and hire my own employees. During my first year though, I did see that not everyone was as successful as I was. Some people quit or had to be let go, some people did more average numbers ($40,000 - $60,000 revenue) and there were a few who did really well. Not everyone succeeded.
For three years after that I worked out of Oregon State as a District Manager and hired my own team of interns to do what I did during my first year with the company. It was a great experience and again was a lot more work than I thought it would be. The only drawback was all of the driving that I did. I learned a lot about how to teach and coach marketing, sales and production management. Again, we did have a few people that dropped out and not everyone successfully completed the internship for one reason or another.
I'd have to say that most of your success with this program is in how hard you work, but also how smart you work. Putting in a lot of hours is not always the best way to do it. Entrepreneurs think in terms of results, not the amount of hours... and this program is a great teacher of that. If you're looking to work for an hourly wage the rest of your life, this may not be the best internship for you.
IRVINE, CALIFORNIA -- As have others, I too, struggled financially while going to college and so I thought giving a college student an opportunity to provide income for said student was a noble thing to do. The character of the student who sold us this job gave great assurances regarding the completion of the job to our satisfaction.
Half way through the job, a patched area of stucco was evident prior to the paint being applied and my wife questioned whether or not that would be a problem. The salesman used his favorite reply,"no problem." After painting over the aforementioned area, the finish was entirely different from the rest of the surface area. Told it was unacceptable, the salesman's solution was to add four(4) more coats of paint to the area to which there resulted in no noticeable difference.
This area is a direct eyesore to neighbors and passing traffic. My neighbor across the street came over and asked if were going to leave that area untreated and said it was very noticeable from his front yard. After two(2) discussions with the salesman about how he intended to rectify the problem he said that his company did not do any patch work and that they had contracted only to paint the house. It didn't seem to bother him when he asked me to cut tree branches away from the house or cut back bushes so that his job would be made easier.
However, on their website, it states as part of the prep work, College Works.com, will wire-brush flaking and deteriorating stucco as well as stucco-patch large areas. This is a direct contradiction to what was stated by the salesman. The completion of the house is nearly over and the rigidity of the salesman stands. As this situation is ongoing, I will report the final outcome to these pages in the near future. Arcadia, Calif. is a beautiful area of So. California and I would not any blemish on my home to upset that standing. More to follow.
AUSTIN, TEXAS -- I started working for this company in 2008 and 09. It was not easy in any way. It was actually one of the hardest things I had ever done mentally as it transformed my view on how the world works. Most people go through life without doing anything truly challenging and this internship was my number 1 career enabling move. The ability to start a business and provide the livelihood for other citizens through gainful employment will give you a leg up over any other applicant for any other business.
My advice to homeowners is: Make sure you understand that the majority of interns are doing this for the experience and are fully dedicated to the finest quality finished product. This being said you need to personally judge the character of the Branch manager that comes to your home to make sure that is the type of person you wish to work with.
My advice to the painter is: The branch manager you work for truly cares about the employees making money. The pay structure is identical to a Car Mechanic pay structure which is a great way to determine how much you get paid. If you need additional training to perfect your painting skills the branch manager/district manager/VP will get you ALL the necessary tools for you to make the money you want to make. Ask for help if you need it!
My advice to the Branch Manager is: This is a great experience and your experience entirely depends on your organization and your willingness to ask for help when you need it from the district manager/VP. The key to this business is communication!
We have all seen the usual complaints about this company. College Works is noted for their carelessness about getting back to the customer, their indifference towards their painters, and the discrimination that goes on when hiring interns. The majority of individuals who work for this company are white males. Not a surprise.. This is the case for many businesses. Though, the thing that sets College Works apart from other internships is the lack of morals and professionalism from higher staff.
Put aside the recruiting process, the customers, the painters.. and look at the relationships between their employees inside and outside of work. Trips to Cancun and Vegas will surely catch any college students eye. But what happens when their workers take their relationships outside of work to a completely different level. A bit unprofessional, don't you think? College Works in Arizona certainly does not seem to think so.
The Vice President of College Works in Arizona should be called out for her immoral and dishonest actions. This woman lacks the maturity and principles to keep a professional relationship with her fellow workers, specifically interns. She gains their trust by giving them guidance about the business world and takes advantage of their dependence by sleeping with them. Disgusting.
This is the case with many other Vice Presidents and District Managers of College Works. California, Texas, Illinois - you name it, they did it! Why is this allowed to go on? People see it happening, yet they do not say a word. This is the wrong kind of loyalty, the wrong kind of mentoring all together.
KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI -- Without the doubt, the absolute worst choice one can make for an exterior paint job. We hired College works for an external paint job and the entire ordeal was a debacle. There was little to no prep work done (the most important aspect of an exterior paint job) and paint everywhere! It was a real mess.
Fortunately we halted the work before it was finished and hired a new painting (Experienced) company to start all over again (which was a must). Every painter that bid on our house was appalled at the little to no prep work (poor power washing, no caulking, very little to no sanding) done on our house, which is over 100 yrs old. The amount of paint everywhere was also troubling - driveway, brickwork, garage door, the roof, everywhere. I don't think a drop cloth was ever used.
The kids that were doing the work were polite, however they received little to no guidance on how to do their job. I felt bad that these kids were not even provided the basic skills at painting. I highly advise for anyone needing an exterior paint job - to look elsewhere or you will be repainting your house in a couple years.
RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA, CALIFORNIA -- College Works Painting did an AWESOME job of painting my summer home. Their students were courteous and paid attention to the smallest detail. Their pricing was hundreds lower than the local contractors. The last time I hired a high-priced contractor, it took weeks before he even got STARTED. 2 of the contractors that were supposed to come to my house and give me an estimate and never showed or called again. College Works Painting showed up when they said they would, called when they said they would and did the job that they promised for the same money as the 'one coat latex' jobs the other guys were trying to pitch.
I've seen some others arguing that these students are under trained and only have a couple years of hands on experience, sheesh folks, it's not about how you work your wrist with the paintbrush, its about how much the painter cares about the job he does. These students paid attention to details and surpassed my expectations by far. Thanks College Works Painting, I will use you again and refer my friends and family!
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA -- I had College Works paint my house last year and it was unprofessional, poorly done, sloppy and they left my home a mess. I complained several times; they sent out one service person to verify yet the fix-it painters never came. Sent several pictures to a company executive who told me it was "the worst paint job I've ever seen by any company." Yet they've never made it up, made repairs, finished cleaning--and now the original job is already peeling and nailheads are showing through. They are all talk, no action and did a wholly unprofessional job for a professional price.
IRVINE, CALIFORNIA -- Our house, last painted in 2003, went through an insulation project in August 2011. Numerous holes with grey cement filling appeared all over the external walls. We were, however, not thinking of painting as the last one was done in less than 10 years ago. In March, 2013, however, the situation attracted the attention of ** of College Works Painting. He initiated contact with us. His enthusiasm and sincerity convinced us that it was time to seriously consider painting all the walls. An agreement was then signed in March, 2013. At our request, the work was completed in June.
It was done within a week. Two painters were assigned to work full time painting while ** usually came twice a day to check on them, apart from the initial cleaning of all the walls done totally by him. Overall, my wife and I found ** easy to work with. He was very accommodating to our requests. There were, however, left behind a number of small corners or parts here and there that needed touch-ups. We suspect that the painters might not have been equipped with finer tools like smaller brushes. They might also need closer monitoring. Probably the real test will be the heat of the upcoming summer sun and the dampness of the winter rains. We'll see.
To assign stars, we would say 4.