How many college guys out there?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by nick2765, Dec 6, 2013.

  1. Joel D

    Joel D LawnSite Member
    Messages: 125

    I do about 15 hours a semester. I don't have any other job than mowing so I don't know what to tell about that. I just try get all of my classes on no more than 3 days. I will do a couple of online classes to make that happen if I need to. I had to break down and get a stick man this year though because my business doubled.
  2. Barrett Landscaping

    Barrett Landscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,629

    This year I'll be grossing around $250k.
  3. 205mx

    205mx LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,393

    That's great man. What's your service based on? Maintenance ? Hardscaping?
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  4. Barrett Landscaping

    Barrett Landscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,629

    We mainly do maintenance and installs. Once out of college I want to get into hardscapes since Ill have more time then to do it.
  5. nick2765

    nick2765 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 84

    Im actually in the Pre-Pharmacy phase, will be finding out in february if i got into the PharmD program! Fingers crossed! But once that starts will have to reconsider my business plan or be forced walk away due to hours that are going to be need to put in... All I know is everything happens for a reason and i will go with how I feel and what is right for me.
  6. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,943

    This thread reveals much about how college has changed over the years. I started college in 1959, and went full time. I finished a five year program in five years, and then two more in graduate school, two year program. The time needed to do the work was nearly 24/7, at least 24/6.

    In those years, NOBODY would even consider working a much of a job, much less trying to run a lawn business on the side. The demands for time in full time college were way too much to even think about it.

    So, when I hear classes in the early part of the day with the rest of the day for working, or scheduling two days off from classes each week, I shake my head, wondering what has happened to higher education. How can this happen? Clearly, the demands of college are so much less now than in former years. Maybe there is an answer why college graduates are often unprepared for the real world's challenges of work life.

    Some of the posts on this topic (been discussed many, many times on LS) reveal that the college experience is regarded as something inserted into life's schedule, while continuing other things that are considered more important. It almost seems like a "have to" perspective, not a "want to." Also, just sticking in class time, then going about other activities means that the college experience is being cheated (cheapened?) of what it could be. High eduction is far more than just running through a list of required courses. But, this seems to be the perspective taken by some -- the ones who graduate, and then ask "Was this worth it?" College can be far more, and I fear that many are missing out of what the experience can supply. This is where organizational skills develop, where networking contacts are made, where integration with professional organizations happens, plus many other intangibles. No, I do not speak about the ridiculous social encounters that appear in the newspapers, along side the police blotters. Those involved in these actions do so at their choice, and it adds nothing to a productive college experience.
  7. Fwilamosky

    Fwilamosky LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 280

    Roger you are ignorant to think that. I go to class full time (18 credit hours) and still run my business. I maintain 60 properties a week mowing, I also do clean ups, mulch, etc.. I go to class Tuesday-Friday from 8-11 am and then a couple online classes. I am also an accounting major in The Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University. A top notch business school and a top tier university in general.

    How we select few that run our businesses while attending school is hard work and long days. When I'm not in class I'm working, I don't sit around like the rest of my friends.
  8. tonygreek

    tonygreek LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,915

    Roger, your response seems to be full of the "back in my day, we walked to school, 5 miles, up hill, both ways, through 4 feet of snow..." rather than trying to understand that culture, technology, and socioeconomic evolution have made this an almost apples to oranges comparison. For starters, what percentage of today's students are commuters or virtual? What were they in 1959? Start there and try to work forward. Doing so may temper the heavy hand of subjectivity you're bringing to the table.

    As for this...
    This is where organizational skills develop, where networking contacts are made, where integration with professional organizations happens, plus many other intangibles.​'re really not seeing the forest for the trees with this overly subjective statement. If you can't recognize, or acknowledge, that this has significantly advanced, you're really just not trying to look at 2013 through anything other than 1959-tinted glasses. By and large, my family and friends have Masters and Doctoral degrees, with several being involved in the fields of higher education. The evolution of the educational process, aka The College Experience, comes up often enough. Not one of those people would say that the above excerpt has any validity or comparison to today's world, although "intangibles" does leave quite a bit of maneuvering room, so I'll give you that.

    1.5 years of my college "experience" was doing just that. Gaining experience. While working part-time for one of the premier technology companies in the world, I got one heck of a jump-start and education. The networking contacts I made there were vastly more significant than any I made on campus. It's not even close. The same can be said for any field of interest you can pursue at the same time as your education. For me, my co-op and interning allowed me to shape my last year of education to better fit my needs. That year turned out to be, by far, the most important educational year of my life.

    So, rather than shake your fist and shouting at the kids, why not look at the differences and see how, for better or worse, this is where we are and what is the best way to deal with pursuing both education and business? Ie, what the OP was actually inquiring about.

    Full Disclosure: I graduated with dual bachelor's degrees in the mid-90's, (coincidentally enough, from the same school the post above me referenced), with 3 years as a full-time, on-campus student, and 1.5 years as a full-time student, commuting and working part-time. My fiance finished her 5th degree in June, with any "work" being tied to her academic endeavors and fellowships.
  9. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,943

    You my think my observations are ignorant. My point is revealing how the college scene has changed over the years. When I was in college, the demands were such that there was none of this time available to do all these other things. In the vernacular of the day, college has become "college lite."

    I applaud you for your effort in getting a degree and working long hours to make it happen. I am also telling you that there was a time when none of this could happen. The out of class time to prepare, do projects, just for the enrolled courses would never permit doing other things. In my reading of these kinds of posts, it sounds like attending class meets the requirements, but very little extra. I read nothing about having to spend several hours per week for each class, beyond classroom time. Whether in person, or online, the observation makes no difference.

    I hear the same thing about the very little time spend in college from others who I interact personally. I hear of some living on campus who schedule classes so that they have Tu and Th off. They consider that "personal time."

    I know a couple of young folks taking their courses online, and they seem to have nearly the entire week free to do other things. They are diligent about their commitment for the online time, but the demands for the course apart from this online time seem next to nothing. Are the students in 2013 so much smarter that they don't need to spend time at out-of-class work?

    BTW, the parents of those taking their courses online, and seeing the little time spent at "college" are very unhappy about the costs, and seeing what is expected of their student-children. They believe they are being cheated.

    I see you have not addressed the other issues associated with the college experience. I remain firm in my position that higher education is far more than just grinding through the courses. This point is disconcerting because of the migration to online courses. While staying at home, often far away from the campus, is less costly, and provides more flexibility in terms of living situations, the student is robbed of all the relationships, all the opportunities for organizational involvements, and similar. I can't imagine working online for a couple of final years of college, then showing up on campus and walking the graduation ceremony. The connection to the college is arm's-length at best.

    I continue to not be surprised at the number of college students on LS that grind through the courses while devoting themselves to other things, then show up afterward, "It was not worth it ... all I have is debt, ... did me no good." No surprises in this outcome. Remember, the hiring process is often more about character and experiences, than about the academic work. To be sure, having managed a business while in college may be useful to some employers, but this may not be the kind of experiences an employer needs. It could be a positive, or it could be a negative.

    Also, consider how colleges make decisions on admissions. Yes, they consider high school GPA, and the courses taken, but they also consider how well-rounded the student. Again, the same principle applies -- what else is there about the candidate that is more than merely grinding through courses?
  10. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,943

    Tony, thanks for your good post. I thought the snow was 5 feet deep, but perhaps my subjective observation wasn't right.

    You make lot of valid points. Yes, I may still have 1959 glasses on my observations, but I do make lots of effort to keep in touch with what is happening with education. Despite what the normal flow says to "stay in your generation," I wander away from that perspective, and involve myself with as many as I can who are not of my generation. I refrain from hanging around with "the old people" as much as I can, and find situations with mufti-generational populations -- all for the reasons stated of wiping clear the 1959 perspectives. I irritate lots of people because of my never-ending questions about their work, their student/children. I want to know what is happening, and more importantly, why. I have several friends who are teachers, both in public and private schools. I regularly pepper them with questions about what is happening in their schools and teaching methods. I have many friends who homeschool, and also try to query their practices and outcomes.

    I have engaged lots of people about the current wave of Common Core ideas that is sweeping the country. This is puzzling when I read about the suggested requirements. There is absolutely nothing new here. It places emphasis on reading and writing -- so what? This is basic, and why is this revolutionary that it needs national attention? There is good reason to understand why the report of last week reveals how far US students are behind their global counterparts --- IF Common Core says we need to emphasize reading and writing. Oh my!! Sorry, I digress ...

    Your point about having a part-time job with a technology company is very good. I can fully understand why this was important to you. I see these situations be very fruitful, both for the student, and for the business. It can provide valuable experience in the field, and provides an entry into the worker as a future employee. However, trying to use this as a like-analogy for college students and cutting grass/laying mulch is beyond a stretch. A future employer of the college graduate is not going to get excited about experience in straight stripes across a lawn, putting down well-laid mulch, or nicely trimmed bushes. This was my point about trying to make the college experience and lawn service work together. Working part-time for experience in the field of study is one thing, but cutting grass that has zero to do with the field of study is quite another. I applaud you having those years of internships, and part-time employment, shape your outcome. This does not happen cutting grass.

    I too worked for years with people with educational credentials equal, or far above my grade. I hired them, managed them, promoted them, I fired them. I also hired, managed, promoted, and fired people who had two year associates degrees. Oh yes, there were some high school graduates in the mix as well. So, I've seen the entire spectrum. And, from those experiences, I've seen such a wide range of interests, commitments, productivity, and advancement. I stand by the comments regarding networking and other skills unrelated to the field of study. Character, commitment, and faithful attributes transcend time, or educational level.

    I would agree wholeheartedly that the workplace and employment situations have changed. I seek out people who have unique work situations, often asking questions that probe more deeply than the other party wishes to reveal. Business models continue to change.

    I also try to understand what is happening with the workforce. When I hear that today's young workers (e.g. Millenials) are measuring their longevity in terms of months, and not even years, I am left wondering about the future. The trust between the business environment and the workforce has been severely damaged. Companies used to send their workers to training, give them a year or two to ramp. But, workers used this training and education to leverage their position with another employer, demonstrating no loyalty. Businesses, on the other hand, have gone extreme in cutting workforce for bottom line. Workers don't trust businesses. Businesses don't trust workers to hang around. I hear of workers' expectations, requests for privileges, and desires, and I know why I am not managing people any longer. Businesses regard workers as a number, free to "plug-and-play." The relationship is far from what it was 20 years ago. I don't know what the future holds in this regard, but the relationship is very strained now. Yes, it is frustrating on both sides. More importantly, it is hurting our nation in terms of global competition. Again, I digress ...

    Thanks much for the discussion, ... valuable stuff.

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