Last updated: May 14. 2014 8:07PM - 820 Views
By - ncooke@civitasmedia.com

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A marketing student at the University of Central Missouri landed herself a local internship this summer, and local residents could benefit from the company.

Sophomore Dezarae Pharr is a branch manager for College Works Painting, a nationwide company, and is helping the company in Warrensburg, Sedalia, Knob Noster and surrounding areas for the summer. The company paints local homes and businesses, and Pharr has had her hands full since mid-March.

“I hire painters and train them, and I do door-to-door marketing,” she said. “I deal with payroll, buy supplies, and calculate how much each house will cost to paint. Basically I run the branch.”

Next week, Pharr will begin hiring painters, who will soon go through a week-long training session with Pharr, her district manager and representatives from Sherwin-Williams. Painting work will begin at the start of June. Pharr said so far she has had quite a few interested customers during her door-to-door marketing, and said she will hopefully get more in the coming weeks now that classes are out for the summer and she can devote more time to her internship.

“We do exterior painting, decks, fences, anything outside. We joke we’ll even paint your grass green,” Pharr said. “We can’t do anything interior, but we have full liability coverage for all workers and the home we’re painting.”

The company has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, and Pharr said they are one of only a few companies that offer a one- to five-year guarantee. If any problems occur, painters will come out to fix the problem at no charge.

Pharr heard about the opportunity when representatives from College Works Painting visited her economics class this year.

“They came to my economics class, and I had no idea what they were when they called me saying they wanted to interview me,” she said. “They told me you have a lot of opportunities afterward, there’s a few people who did the internship who went on to work for bigger companies and are now CEOs or run their own businesses.”

Pharr said she one day hopes to own her own bakery, and that this internship has taught her several skills that will come in handy in her field.

“It’s already helped me a lot,” she said. “It has helped me get organized. I learned how to set up a schedule and stick to it, which helped with my classes. It’s helped me learn how to be more social as well because I have to do a lot of phone calls, meet a lot of people. That has helped a lot and will be good in the business world.”

Not only does the internship give Pharr experience in the marketing and business industries, College Works Painting also donates 5 percent of each contract price to Augie’s Quest, a nonprofit that raises money for ALS research. According to AugiesQuest.org, Augie Nieto co-founded Lifecycles Inc., in 1980. He grew the company, now Life Fitness Inc., to be the largest commercial manufacturer of fitness equipment in the world. When he was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, he decided to start Augie’s Quest. He’s also on the board of directors, along with his wife, for the ALS Therapy Development Institute.

“Augie is an entrepreneur, which is why we picked him,” Pharr said. “Then he started this organization to help ALS. We picked it because it has to do with owning your own business.”

For more information about the program, call 888-450-9675, visit collegeworks.com or find the company on Facebook and Twitter.

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