It is natural for parents to have questions and concerns about the College Works Program. This program is unlike anything else available to college students and will challenge them in ways not typically seen.
This section is available to answer some of the most often asked questions. However, please feel free to contact us with any further questions. Call our head office at (888) 450-9675. We will direct you to the Division Head in the state from which you are calling.
Also, please review the letters from parents of our past interns.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why should my student do this program?
CWP is designed to teach real-world skills by having interns run all aspects of a small business. To compete in the job market after graduation, it is essential that students gain more than just academic experience while in school. CWP provides skills such as leadership, organization, advanced problem solving, interviewing, scheduling, estimating, management, customer relations, cost management, budgeting and time managment. Also, review the letters from major corporations who are eager to interview our interns. This demonstrates how well regarded our experience is in Corporate America.
How can my student run a business, let alone a painting business?
It's possible and the proof is in the last twenty years of interns successfully completing the program. The program is designed to take highly ambitious, self-motivated, over-achievers and give them a forum in which to excel.
Why shouldn't my student get a regular internship-one in their career path?
Most companies, especially the brand-name firms, give little or no responsibility to interns beyond making photocopies and pouring coffee. While exposure to an industry is helpful, it does not require hours of performing mundane tasks as an intern to accomplish this goal. The best way to prepare for a career is to create the skills necessary for success in that career. CWP is an internship where participants perform real tasks and take on real responsibility. Our philosophy is that skills are only developed by doing, not watching.
This seems too good to be true. What does CWP gain from this?
CWP is a for-profit corporation and generates revenue by taking a portion of each home painted by our interns. However, we make a considerable investment in each intern prior to the summer due to training costs, marketing materials, licensing, accounting, customer service, etc. While it may seem strange that a company would make such an investment in unproven employees, our selectivity in recruiting (rated one of the most selective internships in America by Princeton Internship Review) and the effectiveness of our training ensures our interns success. Also, while our interns are compensated extremely well, they definitely earn this through intense work and effort. This is not a get-rich-quick program. This is a work-harder-than-you ever-have-before program that creates long-term skills and also compensates well for a strong work ethic.
What kind of training and support will my student receive?
Interns are provided extensive training in all aspects of running a business. In addition to traditional classroom style training, interns are mentored through each part of the program by a person who successfully completed the internship the previous year. Each time your students tries something for the first time, their mentor will accompany them. Interns also have regularly scheduled phone meetings with their mentor every week. Mentors are available to you early in the program and will always be available to answer your questions.
Will this program hurt my student's grades?
CWP is only a part-time commitment during the Spring and full time during the Summer. Many of our interns report that their grades actually improve while they are doing the program as they are being taught professional time management skills by their mentor. We focus on school success while attaining business success.
Why painting when my student wants to be a _______?
Each year we have students from every academic discipline participate in the program. Painting is simply the vehicle we use to teach the skills inherent in running a business. These skills, such as leadership, stress management, disciplined work ethic, are applicable to any career. Also, exterior painting is a fairly simple process that can be easily taught thereby allowing our mentors more time to focus on teaching leadership skills.
What are the risks?
This risk, simply put, is failure. CWP guarantees that participants will have the support and resources to succeed but the end result depends on the participant's disciplined and consistent work ethic. We are so certain that participants who apply themselves will be successful that we have a minimum compensation guarantee of $2,500** for participants who work consistently through the entire program.
**Does not apply to division in California
Why shouldn't my student go to summer school instead?
This is a common question asked by parents who are eager for their students to complete their education. However, the job market is extremely competitive and a college degree no longer carries the weight it once did. Over one million students graduate from college each year and they all have one thing in common-a diploma. The college years are meant to not only explore academics, but to prepare oneself for entry into the job market. Summer school does not add to a student's resume. "Not only did I graduate from college but I went to summer school as well," is not very impressive to a recruiter in the job market.
Yes, but at least they will graduate on time.
It is natural to be concerned about how quickly your student will complete school. You are, after all, likely paying part if not all of the bill! However, the concept of 'on time' can be a bit self-defeating. If a student graduates as quickly as possible, but neglects to create tangible real world skills in addition to obtaining their academic credentials, the first few years in the job market could be very discouraging. CWP creates the concrete skills that employers are looking for and makes entry into the job market easier.
Can my student lose money?
No. CWP takes the financial risk and invests in the student's training, marketing materials, mentor, licensing, insurance, etc. The only investment the student will make is for their own gas and phone expense. Some students also choose to invest as small amount of money into marketing (hiring people to distribute fliers for them.) This investment is offered by a draw on future profits paid to students by CWP.
Is the profit guaranteed?
Just as in the real world, profit is not guaranteed. It is the responsibility of the intern to control costs and to manage the profit margin for their business. However, interns are provided extensive training and have a direct-relationship with a mentor to ensure they are taught best practices. In the last twelve years, the average intern has maintained an overall profit margin of slightly over twenty percent. Since many of our interns rely on work during the summer to help pay for school the following year, we do have a minimum compensation guarantee of $2,500**. This is only provided to interns who do the required activities throughout the entire program.
**Does not apply to division in California
Will this program really help my student reach their future goals?
Read the amazing stories of what our past interns have done in their young careers and we think you will agree that the alumni of this internship are an impressive group. Their letters to us point to their experience with us as a formative experience in their careers.