If you’re reading this, you have been given the opportunity of a lifetime. And if you are anything like I was, you are probably apprehensive about seizing it. It’s new and scary and a huge responsibility that you may not feel ready for. I am writing this letter to let you know that I felt that same way but decided to do it anyway and it turned out to be the best decision I ever made, and here’s why:
1. You will make money, lots of it. The main reason I decided to do Student Works wasn’t because I wanted to “better myself” or to “take on a new challenge”. Sure, maybe in the back of my mind those are all things I strive for, but the main driver to deciding to do SWP was for financial reasons. I had just turned 19 and my family had run into financial problems. Growing up I was fortunate enough to have everything paid for by my dad. He gave me everything I could want, including a fancy horse that now, due to our family’s financial problems, I had to pay for myself. The previous summer I had worked as a waitress and receptionist, which I realized could not pay my bills, I needed to make big money but didn’t know how. When I was told I could make $15,000-$50,000 over the course of the summer, I saw this as the solution to making ends meet. My first summer I made about $20,000 and was able to “retire” during the school year and focus on my studies.
2. It will give you direction. When I signed up for Student Works Painting I felt somewhat lost in terms of what direction I wanted to take in my life. I had done one year of Arts but didn’t really feel drawn to major in anything offered in that discipline. My second year I switched into Fashion Studies but I still really didn’t feel that this was a passion of mine. After completing my first year of Student Works I got a taste of business and loved it! I knew that this was the direction that I should go. I switched into the Bachelor of Commerce program and now have my degree with a major in Management. Although my father always encouraged me to pursue business it wasn’t until I got an actual, real taste of it that I became interested. On the flip side, if you do SWP and realize you dislike running a business, that’s still a positive thing; either way, it will show you what path you are meant to take.
3. It will broaden your skills. Everything they teach you in business school is taught better and more effectively through Student Works. All those models and endless readings mean nothing until you can put them into application. What better way to actually apply this knowledge WHILE you are learning it than through Student Works? They give you support every step of the way and even if you fail at something, they work with you to find a solution. You won’t find that in many other companies, let alone when starting your own business. And when applying for other careers after SWP, you will be miles ahead of any other applicants because you have actual, practical experience.
4. It will expand your network. The old adage of “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” is still relevant in today’s business world. What other opportunity introduces you to 150 other likeminded individuals (fellow franchisees), successful business people (DMs and past franchisees), and complete strangers with their own networks (painters and clients). What’s awesome about SWP is that you never know who you’re going to meet. I have met millionaire business people who have referred me to their millionaire friends, CEOs of huge companies that have offered me jobs once I am done with SWP, and have met my best friends through SWP as well. There is no other “job” at your age to make such powerful connections than SWP.
If you have read this far and are still not convinced, that’s totally fine. Doing Student Works is definitely not for everyone. It takes courage to make the leap. It takes openness to learn and apply what they teach you. And it takes perseverance and strength of will to make it through the summer. But you can do it! I was once told by a fellow franchisee that: “If you can do it Lauren, anyone can do it.” Although I found it a little offensive at the time (and still kind of do), I think what they ultimately meant was that even if other people doubt you can do it and even if you don’t have much faith in yourself, you CAN do this and you CAN be successful at it! It was the best decision I have ever made and I hope you can one day say the same.