A Pratt man is running a summer painting business to gain experience while attending college.

Experience is an asset employers seek when hiring new employees.

Getting experience in a job field while in college can be a challenge but Payson Maydew, a Pratt native, has found a way to do just that and improve Pratt’s appearance at the same time.

Maydew, a 2012 Pratt High School Graduate, is working with College Works Painting to set up his own house painting business this summer and learn the business end of the operation.

Maydew is a sophomore at Emporia State University majoring in accounting. A recruiter for College Works Painting came to ESU and visited Maydew’s business class looking for students who wanted to make money, Maydew said.

Anxious to get more business experience, Maydew filled out the information card was selected for the program. He was very excited to have the opportunity to increase his marketability.

“It would look really good on a resume,” Maydew said. “It would be a great experience.”

He attended a management training session in Kansas City where he learned effective marketing strategies. The training included making cold calls, advertising and recruiting painters.

He was assigned the Kansas, Nebraska and Missouri area. He went door-to-door to build up a client base and learned how to build leads.

Training included measuring houses, giving estimates and increasing his knowledge of paint.

To make the product attractive, Maydew was trained to keep the prices as close to the person’s budget as possible. Advertising flyers were printed that included a 10 percent discount coupon that reduced the cost 10 percent when the coupon was clipped and presented to the business intern.

He worked for a semester learning the business and getting clients lined up for the summer.

Using social media as a business tool was also part of the training. He posted fliers on-line and used other social media to recruit painters.

One particular painter was easy to get. He simply contacted his friend and Pratt resident Kasey Crump and asked him if he wanted to paint houses this summer. Crump jumped at the chance and left the next day for training in Kansas City.

Besides getting an opportunity to make some money this summer, Crump enjoyed his training time in Kansas City because his girlfriend lives there.

College Works Painting uses incentive based pay so the more efficiently they paint the house, the better the pay.

When summer arrived and they started painting houses, they had training on the go. Maydew had to take care of paperwork, supervise the paint job, determine if he had enough painters for the job and what painters are working best so he could select a full time crew.

Maydew was able to get a total of eight clients in Pratt including some smaller jobs that are not houses. He has three painters working with him in Pratt including Crump, Steven Fox from Wamego (attending ESU) and Vernon Woodward from Kansas City, Kansas and attending school in Lawrence.

Maydew and Crump are pleased they get to spend time in Pratt where they can be near their family and friends.

“It’s going pretty well. I’m glad we got to stay in Pratt,” Maydew said. “We have painted three houses and have two more that have just signed on.”

One of his biggest challenges with this job is teaching the painters they have a budget and impress on them a sense of urgency so they keep a good pace to get the job done.

He has to continually meet with clients, coordinate jobs and painters and make sure the painters have all the supplies they need.

For Maydew, this has been a perfect opportunity to experience running his own business. He’s not making a lot of money but he is learning the ins and outs of the business, how to provide customer satisfaction and getting the experience that will be a big help when he interviews for other jobs.

“That’s the biggest reason I wanted to do this,” Maydew said. “It’s been very tough at times. It was hard but very rewarding. Not a lot of employers look at grades but they do look at experience. I’m very glad I did it.”