BELLEVUE/SEATTLE, WASHINGTON -- Painted houses in college, so I know the GIG! Contracted just the trim. Expected students, got untrained but honest Salvadorian laborers. Where's the boss? When your guys don't know the work, the boss HAS TO BE THERE to get it right! Contracted for "Best" Sherwin Williams paint. Arrived with cheapest, no scrapping tools, sandpaper or ladders to reach peak. Painting is all about prep!! Right? Because they had the wrong paint, I then discovered "Best" was below SW average, so I paid even more to upgrade my upgrade to actual second best.
Told boss mad I discovered issue by the Salvadorians. Painted trim hanging over 8 -12 pitch roof. Ever heard of ladders, and how do you get the bottom edge or backside? They never planned on backside. Really? Called corporate who said. "Booked for rest of season" and, "If it flakes we guarantee our work." But you did ** work! So my house was about half prep'd in cheap paint, no prep work, and generally bad workmanship. I'd rather I handed them money and they didn't do anything.
TUCSON, ARIZONA -- I am writing because I am terribly disappointed and angry. We met the representatives for College Works Painting at the SAHBA Home Show in Tucson, Arizona in April, 2010. The young men were friendly, and personable, so we gave your name for them to contact us re: possibly getting our house painted. ** and ** came to our house for an interview, and they were pleasant, and seemed knowledgeable, gave us a spiel about how they wanted the customers to be happy, while working to learn the management skills they would need over time to run their own businesses. We felt that it would be nice to get experience, while getting our home looking better.
We reviewed the contract, made selections, and decided to sign (my husband signed) and we gave him a down payment check, with plans made for the work to start in early June. On June 6, ** delivered some of the equipment, and they were to start work on Monday the 8th, at 6:00 AM. That morning, 2 young men showed up as scheduled, ready to work--but they had no information about the job to be done, colors to be used, etc. They started the prep, and within an hour, they were out of supplies, so they called ** for more. He did not show up for over 2 hours with 1 5 gallon can of paint.
That was gone very quickly, and the workers were told that they had to get the job done so they could go get another one started. With no caulk, preparation was not being done, as Anthony had gone all the way to Ina for a tube of caulk. We live in Southwest Tucson. One of the workers finally got frustrated and started painting without the wall being prepared. The wind was blowing hard that day, and the sprayer did not have a regulator on it, thus, creating "gobs" of overspray everywhere. My husband caught it later.
The second day, only one worker came, and he was only going to paint the Fascia, but we showed him the sloppy work, so he started doing everything that he needed to do to make things better. Unfortunately, the metal screen door on the east side of the house which had been painted, looked horrible, had great big globs of paint and the holes on the screen were sealed. The house door has big streaks of pain, and we will have to paint it over. The contract stipulated that drop cloths would be used, none were. There is overspray all over our decking, and flooring, and paint strippings from scraping are allover as well. There are cigarette butts all over the yard.
** saw the shoddy work, and he came by twice that day, wanting the remainder of his payment, but my husband would not give it to him until the job was completed, as stipulated on the contract. When he showed ** the doors with the overspray, and paint globed screens, he spoke to his manager, and they took $50.00 off the priceWhoop de do. It is going to take more than that to remove and repaint the screen doors, as well as the house doors.
In reality, my husband accepted the deal only because he was not feeling well, was burning up with fever, and could hardly function. I was at work, came home to find the mess. My complaint is that the management, those above **, ** as the student intern, have no consideration for doing what they claim, and the contract protects them really well. Money is the object, and the work was not worth what was done--10 gallons of paint, and 1 gallon of another color is worth much less than the amount of money that we will have to spend to "fix" the mess.
If I had read these reviews, we would never have contracted with them, and they certainly will not get any referrals from us. Even if the Student Interns are getting experience, the method through which they are getting it is unscrupulous, and totally a scam! Please, if you are considering using this company, DON'T. They have no conscience, and consideration for homeowners who work hard to save for payment, and end up getting lousy service.
We did not complain to the company because after reading reviews, we figured we would have to end up paying more fees, which would have only angered us moreso we figure if others can read about our and other's experiences, we gain more from it. Thank you for posting.
IRVINE, CALIFORNIA -- I was incredibly skeptical about College Works when I was first approached about doing the program. I think any right-thinking college student would be. College Works recruits very aggressively. 19-year-olds aren't used to being recruited for an internship, especially one that is supposedly ranked so high and pays so well (Almost $10,000 they say the average intern makes). That is what got me a little uneasy. As great as I thought I was right out of high school, why would such an outstanding opportunity be recruiting ME? What college freshmen don't realize is that ll great companies recruit.
That's what you do if you want the best employees. And what I later found out, is that this isn't your typical internship where you do garbage work 12 hours a day, and leave the summer saying you got to "hang out" with a bunch of business people. You earn the money you make. Not everyone make $10,000. In fact, I know a lot of people who didn't. But I also know they didn't work as hard as I did.
I have to say, this internship is TOUGH. It tested me more than I had ever been before. In high school I played 3 sports, graduated with honors and was in clubs and all that jazz. I held a part-time job the summer after my senior year. I busted my butt to prepare myself for college. College Works brought new meaning to the term responsibility. I thought football practice and English homework in the same night was tough in HS. Then I was introduced to communicating with clients, scheduling sales appointments, creating marketing plans, sourcing and screening potential employees AND 17 credit hours worth of homework each night.
Not to mention, maintaining some sort of a social life as a college freshman. I gave up about half of the weekends during the spring semester of my freshman year to work on my business, on top of what I mentioned above. My friends thought I was crazy. At times, so did I.
I was relieved to get my finals out of the way so I could focus more on my business. It sounds odd, but with all the responsibilities I had, my life actually got MORE organized. It felt like I was in high school again, when I did everything, and I did everything well. It was tough balancing it all at first, but after a while I got used to it, and really started to get into it. So by the time I reached the summer, I was excited for what was ahead. Up to that point, I had really only learned how to source leads for my business and sell paint jobs.
It was starting to get a little monotonous, although the prospect of growing my business larger and larger was strangely addicting. Maybe it was the competitive nature of it. Maybe it was the idea of constantly striving to improve. Maybe it was a combination of both. Either way, I was starting to enjoy what I did.
Once I got out of school, I was slightly overwhelmed with even more responsibility. On top of continuing to grow my business, I now had to interview painters, schedule design consultations with clients, get my equipment together, and start planning out my production schedule. Once I did all that, then it was time to actually fulfill the promises I had made to all these people who had entrusted me to beautify their most valuable assets. I spent time training and managing my painters. Yes, I said training.
College Works helped me with this. Painting really isn't that hard. It just takes a sort of blue-collar mentality and a little attention to detail. I had to make sure my painters were up to par. If a painter was bad, I fired him/her and found another one. It wasn't hard to find people looking to make some money. I also had to manage my business's profitability. This means budgeting labor and material costs on each project, and making sure we stayed within those budgets. I was in charge of customer service and processing payroll every 2 weeks so my painters could get paid.
Looking back on it, I can't believe I was given so much responsibility at 19 years old. It was unlike anything I had ever experienced. After a while it got easier, just like the spring. I found some good painters, figured the whole profitability thing out, and eventually my business wasn't as dependent on me. I still worked, but nothing crazy. I had time to do other things that a normal college kid does in the summer. I had a ton of help the whole way. I had a district manager who helped me at each step.
I had meetings with her 3-4 times/week from start to finish. She worked very hard to make sure I knew how to be successful. Rarely did she ever do anything FOR me, but she was always there for advice (even if I immaturely ignored it sometimes). I appreciated that.
By the end of the summer I couldn't believe everything I had accomplished. I ran a $60,000 business. I had 15 different employees work for me. I sourced over 150 leads, executed over 70 sales appointments, and completed 20 projects, all the while maintaining customer satisfaction, painter safety, and profitability. There were other people who did a lot better. They ran bigger businesses, made more money, etc. There were others who didn't do as well as I did. Some of these people took longer to figure it out. Most didn't work as hard as I did. Now, College Works is the only thing job interviewers want to talk about.
No one with College Works ever lied to me. They told me that if I worked hard, I would experience more and gain more than anyone else my age. So I gave it my all, and that is exactly what happened.
I was looking for a summer job in my town (which has a very limited seasonal job market), so when I got hired on to College Works Painting (CWP) as a painter I was really excited. I really like manual labor, and painting is a new skill that would be fun to learn. But the unprofessionalism of my employer made the job lose its fun really quickly.
First off, there was really poor communication between the employer and the employees. When I got hired, the employer asked me if I "would be okay doing a little marketing here and there? It's a good way to get some money before you actually start painting." I said sure. To be honest, I don't really care what I'm doing as long as I am getting paid.
But, it turns out, I wasn't getting paid, and the marketing wasn't optional. I had to market for four hours every week with no actual reimbursement beyond a measly commission. Now, this of course is legal (they don't have to pay for work if your total pay at normalizes to at least minimum wage), and you can require people to market if you want. But neither of these factors (the lack of pay and the requirement of marketing) were not communicated to me upon hiring.
But more importantly, the company (as one might expect from something run by college students) is really unprofessional. We had to attend this training to learn how to paint. We had to drive to the next town over (it's about two hours away) for the training. We were supposed to be there at 7 am, but we (being driven by our employer) didn't show until 8:15. Yet even the district managers weren't there yet, and nobody cared that we were an hour and fifteen minutes late.
The training consisted of us helping paint one house. There were about twenty five painters from all over the region, but one ladder, one paint gun, one paint brush, and about three rolls of masking tape. So those of us not lucky enough to have one of the few supplies were subjected to being yelled at by the supervisor running the training for standing around doing nothing.
The training was bad in other ways, too. I was lucky enough to be on a team with somebody who had painted before, and spent a lot of time pointing out the mistakes to me and, before he was criticized by him, to the supervisor. For example, people would place plastic drop cloths over shrubs so they don't get all painted on, but you're supposed to leave at least one side open so the shrub can "breath". That was never mentioned, so all the shrubs ended up completely covered for hours in the hot sun. They're probably dead now.
I quit after the training. Yet, Oregon labor laws required that I be paid for my training within five days of quitting. I waited two weeks, and still hadn't gotten paid. So I called my supervisor. She didn't answer, and didn't return my message. I called her again a few days later. This time she replied, and told me she would bring my money that day. It turns out she had thrown away my paper work before even entering it to the "system", so she would just have to pay me a flat rate, an estimate of how much I should have been paid. It's been a week now, and even though I've called her a number of times, I still haven't gotten paid.
If you're a college kid looking for some summer work, don't apply at College Works Painting. You'll end up frustrated at the unprofessionalism of your supervisor and the lack of communication in general, and if you quit you'll probably end up having your wages stolen from you.
AUSTIN, TEXAS -- This is a great opportunity for college students wanting a hands on experience in what it takes to run a business. I learned plenty of good skills like building rapport with customers, building your own customer base with your own two feet, and especially time management which I am very thankful for right now as a sophomore in college. This is very different than any other internship and gives you more skills than you can learn sitting in an office.
CINCINNATI, OHIO -- In the very beginning, I was recruited at the University of Cincinnati. I went through multiple interviews and eventually was hired as an intern/branch manager. Began training in the Spring and began meeting with homeowners to provide work for the Summer. When Summer rolled around, I hired my painting crews to produce the homes that had decided to work with me back in the Spring. I would definitely recommend the program, especially to anyone looking to work in business or start their own business in the future.
DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA -- I have learned so much as an intern with College Works Painting. I have real experience with managing and running my own business that sets me apart from my peers. This internship required hard work and dedication to see success, but I learned how to grow my clientele base, hire and manage employees, satisfy my clients, and control the finances. It was an unforgettable experience.
DALLAS, TEXAS -- Everything about this program challenges what students are used to doing. In my college career, this program has been the most beneficial learning experience that I went through. The skill sets you develop throughout the internship such as: how to manage people older than you, how to sell a product (and every profession you will pursue in your future requires selling at some level), and how to manage multiple responsibilities at the same time, are things that you cannot learn in a classroom.
The internship is not easy, and not for quitters, if you have the will power to last to the end of the internship though, then you are truly a winner and your future rewards make the entire thing worth it. I personally struggled through the program and did more things wrong than right and every day that I went to work in the business gave me a new reason to quit. Now, as a recent graduate from Texas A&M with a degree in engineering, because of having that internship on my resume I am getting picked for full time positions that I would otherwise have been excluded from.
When I am asked questions in interviews, I am always able to use my experience with College Works as a positive answer to behavior based questions. And the leaders of the division that I was a part of still serve as mentors to me and help me make good decisions for my life. The difficulties of the internship ended at the end of the summer, but even now, 3 years later I am still reaping the benefits of it.
I would strongly recommend that anyone who is looking for a challenge and to separate themselves from the mass of status quo college students. At the end of the program you will be able to say that it was the most difficult and most beneficial thing that you have ever done and your only regret will be that you did not have one more month to hit your goals.
IRVINE, CALIFORNIA -- I am currently in my fifth year with the company and thought I would give an unbiased and informative review of my experience so far.
As an intern, I ran my business out of Brookings, Oregon and did $100,000 worth of business. The experience was pretty good for the most part. It was a lot more work than I thought it would be but it ended up paying off. I made good money for school and also learned a lot about how to work with customers and hire my own employees. During my first year though, I did see that not everyone was as successful as I was. Some people quit or had to be let go, some people did more average numbers ($40,000 - $60,000 revenue) and there were a few who did really well. Not everyone succeeded.
For three years after that I worked out of Oregon State as a District Manager and hired my own team of interns to do what I did during my first year with the company. It was a great experience and again was a lot more work than I thought it would be. The only drawback was all of the driving that I did. I learned a lot about how to teach and coach marketing, sales and production management. Again, we did have a few people that dropped out and not everyone successfully completed the internship for one reason or another.
I'd have to say that most of your success with this program is in how hard you work, but also how smart you work. Putting in a lot of hours is not always the best way to do it. Entrepreneurs think in terms of results, not the amount of hours... and this program is a great teacher of that. If you're looking to work for an hourly wage the rest of your life, this may not be the best internship for you.
IRVINE, CALIFORNIA -- As have others, I too, struggled financially while going to college and so I thought giving a college student an opportunity to provide income for said student was a noble thing to do. The character of the student who sold us this job gave great assurances regarding the completion of the job to our satisfaction.
Half way through the job, a patched area of stucco was evident prior to the paint being applied and my wife questioned whether or not that would be a problem. The salesman used his favorite reply,"no problem." After painting over the aforementioned area, the finish was entirely different from the rest of the surface area. Told it was unacceptable, the salesman's solution was to add four(4) more coats of paint to the area to which there resulted in no noticeable difference.
This area is a direct eyesore to neighbors and passing traffic. My neighbor across the street came over and asked if were going to leave that area untreated and said it was very noticeable from his front yard. After two(2) discussions with the salesman about how he intended to rectify the problem he said that his company did not do any patch work and that they had contracted only to paint the house. It didn't seem to bother him when he asked me to cut tree branches away from the house or cut back bushes so that his job would be made easier.
However, on their website, it states as part of the prep work, College Works.com, will wire-brush flaking and deteriorating stucco as well as stucco-patch large areas. This is a direct contradiction to what was stated by the salesman. The completion of the house is nearly over and the rigidity of the salesman stands. As this situation is ongoing, I will report the final outcome to these pages in the near future. Arcadia, Calif. is a beautiful area of So. California and I would not any blemish on my home to upset that standing. More to follow.