For many students, the college experience can offer the best four years of their life.

Vanessa Wolfe of Bridgewater is taking that notion one step further.

The University of Connecticut sophomore is in pursuit of a bachelor's of science in resource economics, with a minor in business.

She's already headed into the real world to learn her craft.

Wolfe has chosen to step outside her comfort zone to take part in an entrepreneurial program called College Works Painting.

By gaining internship and relevant work experience now, Wolfe said she hopes to distinguish herself from her peers by developing habits crucial to leading the life she wants long after graduation.

The Shepaug grad explained the program will allow her to run a painting business for the summer and gain real-world business skills.

Wolfe is one of just 2,000 college students nationwide selected to participate in the internship.

"I'm looking forward to the opportunity to gain valuable experience in sales and marketing," she said, "hiring a marketing team, managing professional painters and building relationships with clients."

Wolfe said she expects during the spring semester to return home to Bridgewater from UConn to meet customers and provide estimates for those interested in having their houses painted.

The young entrepreneur describes College Works Painting as an interior and exterior painting company that prides itself on its 97 percent customer service satisfaction and a A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.

Since College Works does business in more than 20 states, she said, the paint suppliers can offer discounts, which they extend to their customers.

The company is fully licensed, insured and EPA Lead Certified.

"My friends and classmates always ask me, `Why are you going home this weekend?' " said Wolfe. "I'm driven, not to just achieve the college experience or the minimal expectations, but to excel."

If interested in more information regarding a free painting estimate, call Vanessa Wolfe at 860-488-0141 or email vanessa.wolfe@uconn.edu.