Student Painters, LLC Reviews | Glassdoor

Student Painters, LLC Reviews

Updated July 25, 2017
111 reviews

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Steve Acorn
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111 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Long hours are a part of this internship (in 16 reviews)

  • This internship is A LOT of hard work (in 15 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Branch Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Student Painters, LLC full-time

    Pros

    Good money, great experience. Teaches you how to run a business. Many lessons are learned along the way.

    Cons

    All responsibility falls on you. Some days make you want to quit. Some difficult homeowners. Dealing with low quality workers can be tough.

    Advice to Management

    Make sure you are truly ready for this internship before investing your time into the program.


  2. "Questionable Ethics"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Branch Manager in Fort Collins, CO
    Former Employee - Branch Manager in Fort Collins, CO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Student Painters, LLC full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    - You can do as much or as little work as you want. You're essentially a franchisee without paying the franchising fee.
    - There is potential to make a lot of money, but a lot of that depends on the market that you're in as well as the time that you want to put into the job.

    Cons

    - Management can be very pushy, but that's to be expected in any job that's driven by sales.
    - Payment structure makes little sense. Although I can't discuss the details, management would be better suited implementing something else.
    - In my time with the company, it's ethics were questionable at best. Perhaps it was just in my region, but we were actively told to lie to and deceive our customers.
    - The culture of the company isn't great. It's a very "work hard, play hard" environment, but in this case, "playing hard" seems to be acting irresponsibly and drinking heavily. This may be more of a personal issue for myself rather than a deterrent to others, however.

    Advice to Management

    Try to teach actual business skills to your employees. I understand and appreciate that experience is the best teacher, but you're having them run what is essentially their own business. Mentoring needs to be much better.

    Address the ethical issues with your managers. They should be teaching sustainable business practices, not the "take em' for everything they have and burn all our bridges" approach.

    Rework your pay structure for Branch Managers. What you currently implement makes little sense, and all parties could benefit by changing it.

  3. "Ok college work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Branch Manager in Eugene, OR
    Former Employee - Branch Manager in Eugene, OR
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Student Painters, LLC full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Self starting - great biz experience

    Cons

    low pay, bonus structure is hard to understand first year


  4. "production manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Student Painters, LLC part-time

    Pros

    Good pay but very hard work

    Cons

    It is really up if you want to work hard or not. if you work harder you make more money


  5. "Rarely got paid"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Student Painters, LLC part-time

    Pros

    You make the schedule and are able to control your own territory

    Cons

    There was a real lack of structure

    Advice to Management

    Train the students you acquire better


  6. "A Worthless Endeavor"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Branch Manager in Worcester, MA
    Current Employee - Branch Manager in Worcester, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Student Painters, LLC full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    - Helps improve sales skills as well as one's ability to speak to the public in general
    - Will improve your leadership skills, dramatically
    - Marketing materials (flyers, door hangers, lawn signs)
    - Handles legal maters (insurance, work's comp, taxes, etc.)

    Cons

    There are many issues regarding this company, the following will be in the format of :

    -Title
    summary
    full

    - Hidden Costs

    You are expected to spend upwards of $500 dollars, despite the company repeated saying otherwise in the beginning.

    One of the first things the company will tell you is that they do not want you to invest any money into your branch. This statement is repeated and reinforced all the way through the pre-Season (the time before you begin painting), and as mentioned in the Pros, all marketing material is provided for free. However the moment you enter the painting season, the company all of a sudden expects you to spend upwards of $500 for materials (unless you're lucky enough to have a bunch of ladders lying around at home). Now, you might say this this is a choice... however by this point you have spent at least 3 months marketing, dropping thousands of flyers (I'm not being hyperbolic, the expectation is 1,000 per weekend) as well as countless hours knocking on doors. Fact is that by this point, you are bought in, you can either let countless hours of work go for nothing (you don't get paid during pre-season, I'll get more into that after) or like every single MA branch manager (and I do mean 100%), you will spend this extra money on equipment.

    - You don't get paid (Pre-Season)

    You will start work no later then the beginning of March. You are expected to work around 10-18 hours on weekends during the Pre-Season. You will NEVER be paid for those hours even though you are officially employed by the company. You do get paid during the painting season but I will get into that later.

    During the pre-Season you will go and work 10-18 hours on each weekend up until the end of the Spring Semester (keep in mind that most of us lived on campus, a decent drive away from the town we were running our branch). During this period you will be expected to spend at least 8 hours knocking on doors as well as getting out 1,000 flyers each weekend, (the time to place flyers varies on location, areas with road side mailboxes are a lot faster than those with mailboxes attached to houses, typically 2 hours per 500 for the first scenario, 3-5 for the latter). This is all great and all but you don't get paid for the time you put into this, I do mean the literally. The company had us use "Map my Run" that can accurately track which areas we covered and how much time we spent on them, yet despite keeping track of our work hours, we NEVER got paid for them. The company's argument was that you would be paid those hours via your profit during the painting season, which is not even remotely true (I personally was luckier than others, however there was one girl who was a branch manager, read the "UnHelpful Help" section below for more details, long story short, she was forced by the company to quit. Even though she put well over a hundred hours of work into marketing, (which the company did track) she was never paid for those hours.

    - UnHelpful Help

    The people who are supposed to help you only do so when it is convenient to them. If you get stuck in a situation in which you are too inexperience to solve, you'd best be hoping they aren't "too busy" to do their job. That and all the executive (the people supposed to be helping you) are located in Michigan... Not Massachusetts, good luck if you need any sort of help other then a laundry list of platitudes in a phone call.

    As part of working as a branch manager you get "help" from mentors/executives, branch managers from latter years who have wholeheartedly bought into the company (for better and worse). The price of this is a 40% royalty (this is widely available figure that you can find on Google in less than 10 seconds), of course you also get insurance, that being said College Pro, a competitor (I have never worked for them) only charges 24% (again, widely available on Google), and yes they do also get insurance for that. So what does that extra 16% buy us? Not much, especially since all the executives (the ones that are supposedly helping us) are all in Michigan (no, seriously, we at best get to see one of them once every 2 weeks for about 4 hours, 3 of those they are on the phone talking to branch managers in Michigan).

    If that wasn't enough, they will never even pick up the phone if they don't want to. I personally was lucky that I never had a situation which I desperately needed help, however I did mention that girl (for obvious reasons I will not reveal her name). She had the misfortune of underestimate her first painting job (the first one that she had begun to paint). Now I say misfortune because the people who have estimated wonderfully, and those like me who did a middle of the road estimation have done so purely based on luck. We get about 5 hours worth of estimation training over the course of a single. Keep in mind we have never painted in out lives (that was all of us this year) and we have never tried to sell a contractor job before. The result of this is that we get maybe 2 hours of actual estimation training and 3 hours of sales. The problem with the estimation is that its the difference succeeding and failing, since we don't actually know how long thing take to paint until we actually paint, the accuracy of our estimation is purely luck based.

    Now back to the girl, once she started painting her first job site. Midway through the job she realized that her hours were drastically off, so she decided to call her executive, no answer. Next she went and sent a message to our company group chat, and then another one, pleading for help. She finally got a response... her executive told her that they were too BUSY at the moment. As you can guess, this didn't end well and she ended up finishing the job on her own, ~$2000 in debt (luckily in debt on her company account and not her own). She ended up being forced to quit - I do mean "forced", instead of firing her, the company tried to the most disgusting I've witness so far... they asked her to pay the debt from her own pocket.

    - Dangerously UnTrained

    You will never be properly trained to anything over the course of the internship. As far as marketing goes, not a problem, you'll figure it out or you'll quit. When it comes to painting, you'd best hope you figure it out before some get seriously hurt. To this day I am surprised no one has died while working for this company.

    When you begin working for Student Painters, you are told that you will be trained by Sherwin Williams professional staff. Sound great, problem is that's an outright lie. This year, we were quite literally not trained until the opening day. And even using the word training in that sense is hyperbolic. It can be best summed up as, this is how you lift a ladder, this is what a brush looks like, this is how you open a paint can. Congrats after 30 minutes of training you can now climb up a 32 ft ladder and start painting. And yes this is exactly as dangerous as it sounds. I've been lucky so far in the sense that the only times that a ladder has tipped over for me is when everyone was already on the ground. I know that two branch managers have had their painters fall off ladders, luckily one of them had a fall harness (which can with our minimal training can be extremely dangerous to set up) and the other only injured his arm (the painter still needed to go to the hospital, but they're currently back to work).

    CONCLUSION:

    If you're convinced you want to start a painting business, just start one, fact is that with Student Painters you are barely trained and are still obligated to dump at least $500 into the internship (not even beginning to count gas money). At least if you were to start your own business you would not have to deal with the insanely high royalty, not to mention you would have better control over how you want to run your company.

    If you're doing this as an internship for the sake of having and internship (like I and the rest of us did) either go with option a, and start your own business (seriously, it can't be worse than Student Painters already is) or pick another internship. I made friends and I did learn a fair bit during the time I spent on this internship, however I did so despite this internship rather then because of it. There are so many great internships out there, don't get stuck with the one who's sole purpose is to profit off of your hard work.

    If you still decide to ignore all the warnings (like I did), you will at least come out of this with a more realistic perspective of the world.

    Advice to Management

    1) Be Honest

    So far you have wasted the summers of many bright students by being a company founded in exploitation and deception, I count myself lucky but the same could not be said for a fair amount of others. You will likely get less applicants this way but at least this way you can begin to improve your business model rather than perpetuating one which takes advantage of often financially weak college students.

    2) Don't Blame-shift

    You spend months going over the concept of Blame-shifting, about how the people who have failed have done so purely as a consequence of them being unable to take responsibility for their shortcoming and yet anyone you hold branch managers for the shortcomings of your own policies. When someone fails to make profit on their first painting job, it's rarely their fault. When we opened our branches, we weren't sit around at home playing video games or running around partying. We were working as best as we knew how, however we hardly knew anything, that's why we sought this internship and yet rather than train us properly, rather than teach us, you were more concerned with us generating you money than you were with us being able to succeed.

    3) Be Ethical

    As I continue into the Summer I look back at all the people burnt by your company. They spent so many hours working at your behest and yet they weren't ever paid for those hours. I truly wonder how you have managed to continues this long with your unethical payment (or lack there off) practices.


  7. "Regional Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great network of people and learning experience as a young entrepreneur. Even though the company is not perfect, it gives college students a great chance at truly learning how to run a business and deal with the real world.

    Cons

    At times poor leadership and management due to one person having too much responsibility and people to be accountable for.

  8. "Door-to-door Associate"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Athens, GA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Athens, GA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Student Painters, LLC (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The interview process was very quick and down to earth. Also, the job was very flexible and I could always schedule my hours around college work. Also, there's lots of walking from door to door, so that can count as exercise for the day.

    Cons

    Since there are a ton of walking, the job can become tiring. Also, pay could be higher due to the amount of physical work put in as well as the amount of driving needed to get to the assigned territory/neighborhood.

    Advice to Management

    Pay your associates more.


  9. "Disorganized, Unprofessional and Dangerous"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Painter in Pittsburgh, PA
    Former Employee - Painter in Pittsburgh, PA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Student Painters, LLC part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    You get to work with other students which can be fun.

    Cons

    Training was basically non-existent and ladder safety was a big issue. Just think about the situation: you're on a crew of 3-5 completely inexperienced painters working 20 to 40 feet up on the side of a house with power lines, wasp nests and God knows what else on questionable equipment borrowed from somebody's stepdad. We had a guy fall 12 feet from a ladder on our second week of work and was injured for the rest of the summer, totally avoidable accident if he was trained properly. I have no idea how Student Painters hasn't been sued to the point of bankruptcy yet..

    Advice to Management

    Training needs to be MUCH more detailed, and done at the beginning of the summer.


  10. "Marketer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Marketing in Grand Blanc, MI
    Current Employee - Marketing in Grand Blanc, MI
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Student Painters, LLC part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Improving public speaking skills and learning new marketing techniques every day.

    Cons

    When cold calling it can sometimes be a drag like not being able to get a lead for hours.

    Advice to Management

    Try to market to businesses. Some may not have contracts with painters!


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