Student Painters, LLC

  www.studentpainters.biz
  www.studentpainters.biz
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Student Painters, LLC Reviews

Updated July 14, 2014
Updated July 14, 2014
29 Reviews
3.0
29 Reviews
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Steve Acorn
6 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Great for the entrepreneurial college student

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Branch Manager
    Former Employee - Branch Manager

    I worked at Student Painters, LLC full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    High earning potential, you can really make as much as you are willing to put in. There is more than enough work out there for any branch manager. You can build some very strong skills and experience in this position. It is difficult but extremely rewarding. They also take care of their employees extremely well, and want you to work hard but play hard as well.

    Cons

    It is a very challenging position. For a college student who wants to work 40 or less hours a week and clock in, clock out somewhere, this is not for them. You need to have drive and determination. If you are not paying attention you may get in over your head and become unhappy. It is crucial to understand what the job entails and that you are prepared for it.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I think they do a great job, but it is a difficult job for a college student so expectations really need to be set. They are usually very helpful in helping a college student build a business. The training is very good and they help train throughout the entire program.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Preys on college students. gives hope of high earnings unlikely to achieve.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Production Manager  in  Carbondale, IL
    Former Employee - Production Manager in Carbondale, IL

    I worked at Student Painters, LLC full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    work with your friends in a lax environment.

    Cons

    A "Manager" is hired and briefly trained how to run a house-painting business. the poor hopeful college student is then forced to go out of pocket for equipment/supplies, market to create their own book of business from nothing, hire and train their own crew, and then attempt to earn profit and pay a crew decent wage in a time span of three months; while following a business model that tells them to keep prices low (probably to make up for the lack of quality, which is a result of the lack of training).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Train and help your crew chiefs better. quality will trickle down the chain. you can charge more and then pay your workers better. which should make the crew more profitable and pay back for the initial training. in the end; not making you much more profitable, but not making you any and increasign employee moral and company reputation.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Student Painter Internship

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Branch Manager  in  Macomb, MI
    Current Employee - Branch Manager in Macomb, MI

    I have been working at Student Painters, LLC as a contractor for less than a year

    Pros

    Learn how to run your own business and get real world experience.

    Cons

    Large percent of profit goes to company.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Misleading, Bad Culture, Growth

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Branch Manager  in  Shelby Township, MI
    Former Employee - Branch Manager in Shelby Township, MI

    I worked at Student Painters, LLC as an intern for less than a year

    Pros

    Young and fresh atmosphere most of the time. Availability of executives was usually okay, but this depends on who you're working with (executives). Some amazing people (but if you quit you'll never hear from them again).

    Cons

    I'll break it down into 2 main points.

    1. Misleading

    Read reviews on student painting programs. This will paint you a nearly perfect picture of Student Painters. Very akin to a pyramid scheme, but entirely legal (or at least it seems so on the surface). In their defense, they are one of the least misleading student painting internships out there. CollegeWorks is probably the worst.

    They lie about little things. They continue to tell their employees they are BBB accredited. Check the BBB website, they aren't anymore. They have full workers comp but will do anything not to use it. I had a guy who had a seizure on site and one of the first things my supervisor asked me was "you didn't call an EMS, did you?" Whew, thank God.

    See lawn signs for other painters when you're putting down your own? Pull them up. Conference call scheduled from 10:30pm-11:30pm then running til 12am on a work night? Fine. They championed a no sleep mentality yet claim they support work-life balance.

    It was little things like this that were red flags I tried to ignore when I was still very allegiant to them. Things my parents pointed out to me saying, these are not good things and it's not like you to overlook these things. I did because you wrap yourself so much in their culture that you forget that life's not about Student Painters.

    The biggest part of this was money. In my interview, they said all I need is a car and the gas I'll be using to commute. By the end of May, I had racked up 2100 of debt with my father for supplies I needed to open my business: ladders, pressure washer, other equipment, sometimes flyers (they paid for them in some cases), employee incentives. They did put money into me, sure, but I was on my own for a lot of stuff I couldn't afford. My mother even ended up biting the bullet and buying an old crappy Explorer for me to transport all my materials including ladders. (We can't afford to do stuff like this, she put it on her home equity.) I think she felt she had no choice since I was already so deep into the program and felt bad for how much I was struggling.

    This is a lot but I'm not going very in depth here...more on that later.

    Pay: Look this up more online. You don't get a wage, you get profit. Which is not as great as they make it sound. I calculated my hours worked and projected profit for all summer and would've made about $4/hour best case if I stuck with them.

    2. Company culture

    Their business model is outdated. They swear by cold-calling (door to door) and flyering. This is not the entrepreneurial experience, so if you're not good at this, don't worry, you won't fail at entrepreneurship. It will give you a great taste of management and entrepreneurship but it is not the best and only way.

    The drop out rate is crazy. They shun quitters. They even had ongoing jokes about quitters which were sometimes funny but seemed a little insensitive.

    Things I won't get into too much because you can find it all elsewhere online:
    - lots of hours expected of you (I worked no less than 12hrs/day, usually 15, sometimes more)
    - pay (you don't get paid, you only get money when you profit so you'll be working "for free" a lot, no wage)
    - poor training and difficulty meeting customers' standards
    - lack of support in special situations (like legal issues like mine)
    - look more into startup costs

    This is where I'll get personal real quick.
    I'm a president's list student looking to be an entrepreneur. I had minor issues dealing with stress before but never had too many problems. I started Student Painters and my health started to decline. It was very demanding and I let the stress caused by this program get out of control, largely my fault. I never really cried before but it started to be a regular thing for me when I worked there. I felt helpless a lot and one night, dealing with other personal issues but mostly Student Painter issues, I tried to kill myself, which is something I'd never considered before. It didn't work, I got up and kept working, though this should have been an early sign that I needed to quit. My health and stress levels worsened and I was not the same person as before. My family and friends supported me but hated the program. I began to hate the program and lost my "why" along the way. My parents said I needed to see a psychiatrist or quit, so I quit.

    Side note: when I told one of my supervisors I was quitting, he tried so hard to get me to stay. It was heartbreaking and I felt bad because I grew to really care about him. I told him to give it up, I wasn't going to stay; I got so desperate for him to accept it that I told him about the suicide attempt a month or so before. He still tried to get me to stay after that, which hurt a little. That's when I knew for sure I was making the right decision.

    Quitting was the biggest relief of my life. I grew a lot. I'm healthy again and took so much away from the program. It sucks I lost so much money but I don't regret any of it. I unbrainwashed myself and try to focus on the positive.

    And let me make it clear that there are so many negative things here about them (and so many more I didn't mention) and it's all very brainwashing but I guarantee you that most of the time they do not consciously wish to brainwash you or take advantage of you. They're all just human; they're all doing their best and getting a little lost along the way sometimes. I always tell myself "they're not against you, they're for themselves," and that's okay. Just make sure you're looking out for yourself.

    So here's where I stand with Student Painters. It can be a great program with an extreme makeover. It has potential. But it is very misleading and may not be as financially rewarding as you think. I don't feel too negatively for them although I've lost so much money because they've helped me grow.

    But now I feel responsible to let others know what kind of program this really is and helping others to figure out if it's really for them. If you still want to do it, that's great, I respect your strength. But if you have any questions at all about this program, ask me, ask SOMEONE, you really need to know what you're getting in to. I regret doing no research. Student Painters failed me in some ways and some of my non-success was due to my own failures; I'm pretty transparent about my experience, hopefully you could use this to your advantage if you need to get in touch. Please, please do your research. Spend HOURS. Think on it for days. And after all that, make sure it still feels right. Then be careful and enjoy the ride best you can, because whether you quit early or make it all the way through, you will grow and you probably won't regret that.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be more up front. Save money on a new hiring philosophy: instead of hiring many knowing you'll only keep a few, spend more time making sure those you hire will stay.

    All my advice stems from the cons section here.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Great Internship

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Branch Manager  in  Ann Arbor, MI
    Former Employee - Branch Manager in Ann Arbor, MI

    I worked at Student Painters, LLC as an intern for less than a year

    Pros

    As an intern you get to run your own business. Being able to have that much responsibility as a freshman in college was awesome. I am glad that I decided to take the risk to run my own business. The company cultures was fun and energetic. There where man company events that added to the culture.

    Cons

    I had to put in a ton of hours. You have to provide your own ladders and power washer.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If someone wants to take on a ton of responsibility and grow as a person this challenging internship is for you.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Branch Manager

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Student Painters, LLC full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Understood how a business works. Hired my own crew was the boss of a team of 4

    Cons

    Severely under paid. You have to pay the company 40% of every job you do, the other 60% goes to materials and labor, you are left with what remains of that 60% sometimes it could be nothing if you poorly estimated the job. I ended up doing most of my jobs on my own with one crew member to earn the 20% profit they tell you were supposed to receive. Very sneaky they do not telly you about the 40% until after you have signed a contract.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be more honest and upfront, would not have done the "internship" if Student Painters had let me know the details.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    The company should really be called "Improperly Trained Students Work for Free".

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Branch Manager
    Former Employee - Branch Manager

    I worked at Student Painters, LLC as an intern

    Pros

    I gained a TON of experience with outside sales and budgeting projects, which is one of the main focuses through training and pre-Summer months for Branch Manager interns. I also wrote a business plan completely from scratch, which impresses a lot of people. I would work roughly 15-20 hours every weekend during the spring semester to market and build sales for the summer months. Because of the limited time I would have in between class, homework, and extracurricular activities, it was important that I developed a sound strategy so I could really make the most of those 15-20 hours and seize every opportunity, especially in the tough territory I was given.

    Cons

    I was naive to think that selling house painting in a territory where the median household income is six figures would be a profitable venture. I was put under a district manager who did not train me how to paint or deal with the homeowners who hired my crew at all. In fact, he could barely even run his own crew. His idea of closing a contract was offering homeowners the lowest price possible, and when I emulated that model on several of my first contracts I ended up losing big money. One of my jobs was on roofs that were too steep to stand on, and one of my painters ended up stumbling and hanging from the gutter for dear life. If Student Painters would have focused their training on painting and not on sales, I would have known to avoid signing a contract with that house, and I wouldn't have had to sacrifice my painters or my own safety. Additionally, my district manager did not teach me how to properly complete payroll forms, and I ended up painting 30+ hours for free due to my lack of knowledge of how Student Painters' payroll works, on top of the 100+ hours I marketed and completed estimates completely unpaid.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Management needs to put more emphasis on training how to paint, not how to market, because it is through a quality product that the word spreads. That means showing managers and painters how to properly sand, scrape, caulk, use ladders, and work from roofs. I received NONE of that.

    Also, management should PROPERLY COMPENSATE employees for spreading the word about their company. I marketed like crazy, working from sunrise to sunset, to build my own branch of Student Painters, and MAYBE got compensated for 1/3 of the hours I put in - and that's being generous.

    Management also needs to put more emphasis on assembling and training crews - I had no idea how to put a crew together, and there was basically no training for my crew, and what happens when a crew that doesn't know how to paint is expected to paint a house? Things go badly! And, of course, the hard-working, honest branch manager ends up being the scapegoat. The homeowners I painted for realized this, and I know for a fact Student Painters will lose a ton of business if this model persists.

    Basically, it's pure luck if you end up working under a general or district manager who will train you properly. Either way, get used to working long hours for free. That's the only way they can make money when they offer a shoddy product.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9.  

    Great experience requiring a lot of hard work.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - District Manager
    Current Employee - District Manager

    I have been working at Student Painters, LLC as an intern

    Pros

    You will gain valuable experience and will have so much responsibility.

    Cons

    Not everyone will be successful and run a lucrative business. Very hard work.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue to add more training with more stress on safety.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Overall, it was a great experience to have before entering a career in sales

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Branch Manager
    Former Employee - Branch Manager

    I worked at Student Painters, LLC as an intern for less than a year

    Pros

    You have an opportunity to be in charge of your own success. The management is laid back in the sense that you are in control of what strategies to utilize in the sales process. Yo received a great deal of support from my fellow branch managers on my team, to create an environment of friendly competition. You get real life experience of being an outside sales representative, cold calling and all, which look great on a résumé. I truly suggest this internship or those looking to enter direct sales after graduation. If taken seriously you can make great money. You will be able to take this experience and apply it to many other careers and job positions in the future as long as you recognize the opportunity to learn from mistakes. You will make mistakes.

    Cons

    Do not do student painters if you were drawn in by the motion you will have $8000 in your pocket by the end of the summer (unless compensation is truly your only motivator). This internship is A LOT of hard work, from beginning to the very end. If you do not take advantage of the months before production to cold call, build a network of prospects and truly close the deal on a fair amount of job, you will struggle during the production months. Though support is given, the main focus of the management goes to the most successful subordinates. If you estimate multiple jobs incorrectly and go over budget, it effects your bet profit, and you will not make as much money as expected. If you go only halfway on all of the steps, you will not lead a very successful branch.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Though the successful branch managers are your main channel of profit, I believe more focus should be put on the managers who are struggling. Time invested in struggling managers will creat more ROI, and more candidate willing to return the following season. Overall the management does a good job to support their employees.

    Doesn't Recommend
  11.  

    A great opportunity for college students

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Branch Manager
    Former Employee - Branch Manager

    I worked at Student Painters, LLC as an intern for less than a year

    Pros

    Nearly unlimited opportunity for growth, lots of responsibility you couldn't find elsewhere, great learning experience, great compensation if you work hard and are smart, the company actually cares about you and your growth, a FUN company to work for

    Cons

    some managers are unable to overcome the big learning curve, it is a lot of work, it is not all that "glamorous"

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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