College students run summer painting crews
The University of New Hampshire student was leading a five-member painting crew in his summertime business venture.
"It's a stepping stone for running my own business," said the Bedford resident.
"In my opinion, they're sky and earth," said Niazi, a Manchester resident working with Collegiate Entrepreneurs Painting Services. "With book learning, everything's clear-cut. There's a script for everything."
"A lot of it is sales, sales and sales," he said.
But with his painting business with College Works Painting, he said, "it's about building up relationships."
About 75 percent of recent UNH grads indicated on a survey that they had worked at an internship or gained other career experience prior to graduating, according to Venky Venkatachalam, associate dean of academic programs at the Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics at UNH.
Flipping burgers or lifeguarding at a local pool might fill some college students' summer work schedules, but not for these guys.
Last week, Niazi, a junior double-majoring in international affairs as well as international business/ economics, was painting inside a Hampton house on a gloomy morning, joined by four other painters that included a friend from their days at Hillside Middle School in Manchester.
"He really sold me when we met," she said. "We loved his enthusiasm."
Niazi said he is expected to make 20 to 30 percent profit on average, but that depends on how well he manages his material and labor costs. He recalled one job where a ladder damaged a roof.
MacKay said he learned in high school to juggle playing sports, holding a job and performing in the musical, "Grease."
"My best performance is when I'm busy," he said.
MacKay last week was on site of his second painting job so far this summer, with more potential clients saying they wanted to commit later this year. His commission starts at 8 percent and escalates at certain revenue targets.
"The fact he was local was in his favor and the fact he was younger doesn't bother me as long as he's capable of managing his subcontractors," Hurwitz said.
Both painting bosses hope to start their own businesses.
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