WOBURN, MA--(Marketwire - Sep 12, 2011) - College is an amazing experience. Those who have lived it look back with fond memories of fun, friends and studies; a care-free time that defines early adult life. However, for many current students there is a "real world" challenge on the horizon overshadowing some of the enjoyment of the college experience.
It's hard to turn on a TV, computer or open a newspaper and not read about the slowing economy and high unemployment rate. Experts have discovered that one of the groups hit hardest by the global recession are recent college graduates. Not that long ago, a college degree was a near guaranteed job and eventual financial security; but with the slowing of the job market and the rising cost of education, employment is more of a hope than a guarantee for young people entering the work force.
A recent study by the New York Times found that of all 2010 college graduates, only 56% had held at least one job by the spring 2011, and many of those jobs were in the food service industry or other fields not requiring a degree. Of those lucky few who find steady employment in their chosen field, median starting salary for entry level positions is down nearly 10% from 2008. Combine all those factors with the fact that the average college grad is exiting university with around $20,000 in debt, and it's not hard to imagine the frustration and uncertainty young people are experiencing as they plan for their future.
But wait! Don't pack those text books and run for the hills just yet. A changing economy demands adaptation, not surrender. College students need to begin looking at their future in a different way. College is still a necessity for most professional careers, but if a degree isn't always enough anymore, then what is? What are employers looking for? What gives a prospective employee a competitive edge? A recent poll conducted by CareerBuilder.com found that 23% of hiring managers consider relevant experience the most important factor when debating employment decisions; only 19% place education as most valuable. So with nearly a quarter of employers looking at what you've done... the only logical thing is to do something.
College Pro is the largest student run painting and window cleaning company operating in the US and Canada with over 40 years of experience in the home painting and window cleaning industry. Every year College Pro offers a unique challenge to hundreds of ambitious college students: the chance to own, run and manage a local painting or window cleaning franchise for a summer. Franchise Managers selected to participate in the program will be thoroughly trained in every aspect of running a small business; from hiring and training crews and employees, to managing finances and marketing efforts. Students will exit the program with a resume boasting real life skills, business management training, customer service, employee relations, financing, money management and marketing... as well as some much needed cash.
College Pro has a long list of successful alumni who have completed the program and gone on to own their own businesses. Jeff Wall, a former franchisee and current President of Handyman Connection, states that "I can't begin to speak to the level of training, opportunity, hands-on learning, level of responsibility, hard work, and friendships that I have had the opportunity to enjoy because of the learning I was able to obtain as a College Pro franchisee & General Manager."
Cameron Herold, a former 3 season College Pro Franchise Manager, went on to start a successful and innovative business, 1-800-GOT-JUNK, a business which capitalizes on other people's "junk," and is now a motivational speaker for CEOs and professional organizations all over the world. Cameron reminisces on his time with College Pro: "In Dec 1985, I was admitted to what I now call my 'real world MBA.' Almost 40 years later, College Pro is still, in my opinion, the single biggest reason I am where I am today in business."
The success stories continue to pour in as students take their future into their own hands with the help of College Pro and their Franchise Manager programs. Don't let a downturned economy dictate your future, instead create your own.
In business for 40 years, College Pro is a North American student painting and window cleaning company that offers residential painting and window cleaning services during summer months in local communities. Student franchise managers and general managers have participated in charity events and donated services equating to over $900,000 to improve community spaces and housing in underprivileged areas across Canada and the United States. The company's core purpose, 'together, realizing potentials,' uniquely mentors and challenges students to become successful community and business leaders.