College Works Painting Reviews

Updated June 23, 2015
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Jeff Gunhus, Spencer Pepe, Jason Reid, Matthew Stewart
11 Ratings

Pros
  • You get amazing knowledge about running a business (in 20 reviews)

  • If you want to go into business, CWP is hands down the best experience you can have in getting real world experience as an undergrad (in 13 reviews)

Cons
  • HUGE time commitment; door-to-door marketing (in 17 reviews)

  • Even if you book 25k in work, you wont necessary make any money (in 12 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

43 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    My 2 years at CWP

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Regional Consultant in San Rafael, CA
    Current Employee - Regional Consultant in San Rafael, CA

    I have been working at College Works Painting full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    College Works is a great place to develop real world skills for college students. One has ample opportunity to learn what it takes to be successful in a challenging field with no prior experience. Also a great place to develop close, lasting relationships. The company culture is second to none.

    Cons

    If you're looking to make easy money, this is not the place. You will definitely work harder than you are monetarily compensated for. School and work are hard to balance because you never feel like you are doing enough for work. It really is a full tme job if you want to be successful.

    Advice to Management

    Compensate employees more and and do not be as overbearing.


  2. Helpful (1)

    Branch Manager

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Branch Manager in Columbia, MD
    Former Intern - Branch Manager in Columbia, MD

    I worked at College Works Painting as an intern (Less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    I did gain a lot of experience from the job. It was a lot of hard work, and even though there were a lot of clients that ended up not enjoying their experience, there were quite a few who did who made the experience very fulfilling and worthwhile.

    Cons

    I didn't like our senior manager. I thought he was unprofessional in the way that a full-on safety class was not held until after several workers on the were injured. Also, there were never any of the random safety checks that were promised. Hiring people yourself with no prior experience is not as easy as they made it seem and most branch managers' workers quit mid summer.

    Advice to Management

    Make sure managers are performing safety checks and providing decent safety training!


  3. Branch Manager

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Intern - Anonymous Intern in Irvine, CA
    Current Intern - Anonymous Intern in Irvine, CA

    I have been working at College Works Painting as an intern (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Get great sales experience, and understand all the aspects of a small business. Surrounded with successful people, and you'll be exposed to heavy drive to do more.

    Cons

    The pay is misleading, it is very hard to make money, i made 3k in 6 months, however, I spent most of it driving to different neighborhood to knock on doors.

    Advice to Management

    Give better commission benefits


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  5. Helpful (1)

    Lot of work - Valuable soft skills

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Branch Manager
    Former Intern - Branch Manager

    I worked at College Works Painting as an intern (Less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    You develop good soft skills - sales, ability to build rapport, etc.
    The ability to have a good conversation with someone you just meet is a skill that is invaluable going forward, throughout interviews.

    Cons

    LOTS of time dedicated to the business if you want to do well.
    Success is completely dependent on time and effort put in.
    Whoever is the district manager will have a huge impact as well; a good one is extremely helpful, while a bad one makes your life impossible.
    Not enough pay, considering the time put in.

    Advice to Management

    Pay more.
    Do not take money from the intern when the cost of the job increases.


  6. Helpful (1)

    Branch Manager

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at College Works Painting

    Pros

    Hands-on business experience, recruiting employees, marketing, sales, training and managing a crew. This is a great opportunity to learn and gain experience. This being on my resume has gotten me countless job offers.

    Cons

    Extremely time consuming to take part in while in school. Requires a lot of time driving and CWP is not liable for any damages that happen to you or your vehicle on the job. Paint spills in my car costed me more to fix than I made during the entire internship. Gas money to drive to and from the sites also costed more than what I made.


  7. Helpful (1)

    I worked 60+ hours/week for 7 months and made $600, but it really pumped up my resume!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Branch Manager in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Intern - Branch Manager in Los Angeles, CA

    I worked at College Works Painting as an intern (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    College Works Painting hires college students to run regional “branches" of its own painting company each summer. Sounds like a crazy concept, and it is. But it's legit for learning about owning your own business in real life, which is great as long as you don't expect to make any money.

    You really do start your own business. I think most college students won't know what they're getting themselves into when they start an internship at CWP. And that's ok, as long as you handle stress well, follow-through, and can handle getting yelled at by strangers (not management or co-workers, complete strangers), you'll do pretty well here.

    College Works definitely taught me a LOT about the ins and outs of running a business. Their corporate training at the beginning of the season is a bit of a joke, but the training in teams was pretty good and really created a sense of community amongst my team members. CWP definitely helped me develop my (previously non-existent) sales and marketing skills into stuff I've since used to get more normal jobs.

    The sales season is really cool and can be kind of fun if you’re a competitive type (I didn’t know I was until CWP). They keep it competitive among teams, with online sales trackers and weekly rewards for teams with the highest amount of new contracts in a week.

    Production season (when you actually have to start painting the houses) can get really intense really quickly, but it really teaches you a lot about project management, time management, and conflict resolution. Regardless of what they may tell you during hiring or training, you will mess up someone’s house or screw up a jobsite at least once and how well you handle it will determine how well you do overall.

    In a nutshell: if you can tough it out when the going gets tough, you'll be rewarded with experience that you just can't get anywhere else. I experienced stress like I had never experienced in my life, but I learned some really great, transferrable skills. Almost 4 years after the fact, I still get questions about my experience at College Works in job interviews.

    Cons

    At the regional training at the very beginning of the season, you'll hear a lot about how all of the managers and presidents started at Interns and that interns have the possibility to make really good money. And Cancun. They talk a lot about Cancun, specifically the national year-end trip to Cancun for the “top-earners” in each Region.

    YOU WILL HAVE ZERO WORK-LIFE BALANCE. WHILE YOU'RE AN INTERN, YOU WILL LIVE AND BREATH CWP OR YOU WILL DROP OUT.

    I was one of the only interns that sold less than $45k and didn't quit halfway through. It's pretty much impossible to turn a profit with less than $50k in jobs. Unless you get lucky and find heart-of-gold, awesome painters, you'll sink really quickly. Luckily, CWP also eats any losses from branches that don't turn a profit so you won't get stuck with any debt you create. But they won't pay you either. The only pay that’s assured for interns is the 2.5% sales commission, all of your other compensation you have to pull as profit from your jobs. While the system is fair, I wouldn't say its set-up to make you money either. You really do get what you work for, which is both good and bad.

    They always told us to improve our "management style" if a house wasn't getting done or your work was sloppy. But unless you want to grab the sprayer and start doing the house yourself, most of your success comes from the painters you hire and how much they respect you.

    The company culture is cool at first, but then the CWP "lifestyle" seeps in to the interns and everyone who doesn't quit turns into a fratboy (or girl). Every friend I made during the program, and who stayed with CWP, no longer communicates with many other people outside of CWP. It's a lifestyle. If you fit in, cool. If you don't, you’re gonna have a weird time.


  8. College Works Intern Experience

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Intern - Intern
    Current Intern - Intern

    I have been working at College Works Painting as an intern (More than a year)

    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    This program offers a lot more responsibility than any other internship I've come across. Completing the program will definitely look more impressive than the average entry level internship. I love the people I met in this program, they are all motivated to do well and live life to the fullest. Overall, I am glad I did this program because I grew a lot and it gave me a lot more experience than I had previously had.

    Cons

    With a lot of responsibility comes a lot of hard work. This is by far the hardest thing I have ever done and I spent a lot of my summer really stressed out and feeling like I had bitten off more than I could chew. I also made a lot less money than I had originally anticipated.

    Advice to Management

    I would appreciate the management being more direct with people on their team and setting more realistic financial goals.


  9. Helpful (1)

    Looks good on resume but not worth the hussle

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Branch Manager
    Former Intern - Branch Manager

    I worked at College Works Painting as an intern

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    You get really close with the upper management. Good experience in terms of things to put on resume - really develops a wide range of skills.

    Cons

    You will most likely lose money and end up with nothing
    There is avid favoritism
    You will work long hours and despite what they tell you, you will have to paint, too

    Advice to Management

    Focus more on production than sales


  10. Hard, but you learn a lot about customer service, sales, marketing, and everything regarding running your own business.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Branch Manager in Minneapolis, MN
    Former Employee - Branch Manager in Minneapolis, MN

    I worked at College Works Painting full-time (Less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    District manager's help you throughout the process, very willing to help. You choose if you are successful or not.

    Cons

    Training is a little different, but acceptable. compensation could be re-evaluated.


  11. Helpful (1)

    Extremely Difficult but learned alot.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Intern - Branch Manager
    Current Intern - Branch Manager

    I have been working at College Works Painting as an intern (Less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Gain management and sales experience, forced to work hard and learn, fun culture

    Cons

    not enough support from management, not enough training, profit margins are low because of company's percentage, seducing language about bonuses and rewards deceptive

    Advice to Management

    Provide more paint training, take smaller percentage of profit



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