Below you will find my perspective on the College Pro manager role – My name is David Proulx, and I have spent the last 11 years of my life working with College Pro, so I will give one perspective from when I was a franchise manager and the other perspective from when I was a business coach.
My story started when I was a first year student at McMaster University working towards my Bachelor of Science degree. I was referred to the program by a friend who was recently hired. After 2 weeks and about 4 interviews I was given the opportunity to run the business. I was both excited and nervous – I was very involved in sports and I was hungry for this challenge, but I also questioned myself on how ready I actually was for this role as my previous work experience included McDonalds, Sobey’s and a few other random part-time jobs.
College Pro trained me in all areas of the business – marketing, operations, and financials, and gave me a personal business coach (funny enough he was in my wedding party 7 years later). The business was overwhelming at points (constant calls from customers, employees and always feeling behind) but thankfully I was very involved in the company culture and the support network from other student franchise managers helped get me through the tough times. I personally developed and grew a ton – I ran an averaged sized business my first year and really overachieved my second and third year. It was a very fast paced environment and I took a ton of pride away from knowing I was doing a great job for my customers and my employees.
After my three summers running the College Pro business I was promoted into the role of a business coach were I was lucky enough to start coaching other student entrepreneurs. Over the past eight years I have worked with a ton of student franchise managers and I have realized three key things with regards to the College Pro experience.
First, the business can be tough and lonely (even when you are interacting with a ton of people daily). Student franchisees typically really enjoy their experience when they get involved with the company culture – they associate with other students experiencing the exact same things, which can help push them to the next level in business or help when they are having a really bad day. The College Pro culture is ‘Work Hard, Play Hard’ and most people love this aspect.
Second, the managers within College Pro will grow and develop. The managers will experience everything first hand, how to hire employees, how to lead employees, how to marketing and grow a business, how to operate a business and how to control the financials within the business. They typically make a lot of mistakes when experiencing this for the first time, which, in my opinion, is invaluable experience.
Third, College Pro managers typically question themselves along the way and have self doubts when they make mistakes or struggle at different aspects of the role. Managers who don’t give up and put in their best effort moving forward will have a feeling of pride that most have not experienced prior to this role.
All in all, the past 11 years of my life with College Pro have shaped who I am today. I have loved the experience, the people and the development. I wouldn’t trade that for anything.