Zak Hulsing

Northwest Missouri State University student Zak Hulsing has started an internship that will allow him to run his own business. 

MARYVILLE, Mo. — As part of a College Works Painting internship, a local student will begin his foray into the world of entrepreneurship.

Northwest Missouri State University student Zak Hulsing, of Carroll, Iowa, has been painting houses and buildings since he was a sophomore in high school. Now he is making the move to take it to the next level.

“I took this internship to learn to see if I want to be an entrepreneur; if I like running my own business; if that’s something I’m interested in, rather than work for someone — be my own business,” he said.

Representatives of College Works Painting visited Hulsing in his classroom on campus and made the offer for a business internship. The organization offers the internship nationwide and hires about a thousand interns each year who paint about 10,000 houses.

“It’s pretty much giving me an opportunity to run a business with training wheels,” Hulsing said. “I hire all my own painters. I find my own jobs, bid my own jobs. They take care of the legal part.”

He went on to say his crews are fully insured through the company out of Irvine, California, which is A+ rated by the Better Business Bureau.

According to the Bureau website, the company has been in business for 24 years and has been accredited since February 2015.

“I’m liking it a lot,” Hulsing said. “I’m liking being my own boss and making my own hours because however much work you put in, you get out.”

Hulsing and his two crews already have nine jobs lined up for this summer in Maryville and St. Joseph as well as at least 10 other interested clients who have contacted him for an estimate.

Following industry standards, Hulsing offers custom estimates based off customer needs. From small jobs like staining decks or fences to large jobs like three-story houses, he says no job is too small.

“We do it all,” Hulsing said, with the exception of wallpaper — the crews will not remove it or apply new.

Last summer, Hulsing worked on a crew that painted the brick exterior of five apartment complex buildings and knows how to handle a large job.

But quantity of jobs is only one part of the business. Hulsing emphasizes the quality of work, and plans to keep his job numbers small in order to fully satisfy his customers.

He hopes to work with 15 to 20 clients this summer in order to focus on complete customer satisfaction.

“What separates us from other people is our prep work,” Hulsing said. “We do prep. That’s 60 percent of what makes a paint job last — prep work. That breaks down to power washing, scraping, sanding, priming.”

He said the windows are masked off and drop cloths placed over concrete when doing exteriors because the crew likely will spray on or roll on that paint. On interiors tape and drop cloths also are used.

“Customer services is our No. 1 priority,” Hulsing said. “We always ask for a reference letter when we’re done just to make sure everything is all good and you’re completely satisfied.”

He keeps his customers happy by making sure the job is completed as the customer wants.

Should Hulsing’s internship with College Works Painting go well this summer and he be in the top of his division, next year he could be moved up to district manager.

For an estimate call Hulsing at 712-790-6702.

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