Student Work- $18.00 Starting Pay: Scam or Path to Success?

An Inside Scope Into Vector Marketing

By: Ruben Sibri

Vector Marketing Flyers and blackboard advertising around CSI.


“Student Work* – $18.00 starting pay.”

You’ve probably seen this written all over campus. Right under that there’s a web address, The website reads in big white writing, “Staten Island Student Work. Work should be fun. Seriously.”

So what is this company exactly, and why is it advertised in every classroom?

Vector is a sales company that has presence on college campuses across the country and has so for years.

They sell Cutco knife sets, which is also the name of their parent company. Cutco has a revenue of 200 million dollars. Those American-made knives are not cheap.

It seems that many people believe that pay is $18/hour when in fact it’s based on the appointment you set up or the commission. The only people who seemed to have positive things to say about them were current employees.

Erin Uszacki, who’s a junior in college and although she’s currently employed, one summer she was looking for a job and was led to Vector.

Usazacki explained, “I went in for the first two trainings and there was one more left. It was very organized. I didn’t go through with it because when I realized what I would be doing, it just didn’t seem like the right fit for me and the kind of person I am plus my parents didn’t like it. They didn’t want me going to strangers houses with a set of knives”.

That perspective lead to a Q & A conducted with Mr. Duran that was set up by Lea Nicole, their office sales manager. One thing is certain: they want to promote their focus on growth in their reps.

“I am my office’s sales manager, so along with my personal sales I help to run interviews, training, and develop kids into the best versions of themselves personally and professionally. Anyone wanting to go into business should get this kind of experience because it’s free training and next summer as a college student I will be running my own office for the summer with the financial support of the company itself. It’s amazing to have your resume say that you ran your own business as a college student.

After was a discussion with Jonathan Duran, who is the district manager of the Staten Island branch of Vector.

He was thorough and polite despite misconceptions that Vector is multi-level marketing.

Duran stated, “This is considered single-level marketing. Since you do not have a downline.”

When you’re recruited into multi-level marketing you’re required to have a downline, the people you recruit to make a profit from as they make sales and continue the pyramid.

As the company encourages inexperienced people to join, it is often pondered if the sales reps have quotas, and if so what are they and how did the company come up with that goal number.

“Sales reps do not have ‘quotas’ but their job is to sell,” Duran answered. “We teach representatives how to develop a network and be self-sufficient in training so they can gain skills for life. The average rep gets about 5 referrals per presentation and the number is higher for more skilled reps.”

Ultimately, the company wanted to separate themselves from companies that are multi-level marketing in order to bring in more people.

This company is not blind regarding their online reputation-and Duran certainly wasn’t.

Duran made it clear: “No human trafficking, free sample kit, and an opportunity to win a scholarship and pay for school.  My parents are divorced and my mother doesn’t make much money. Financial aid dropped me my 3rd year of college. I paid for 2 more years because of Cutco & I now drive a company car and went on 5+ company trips. I gained skills for life.”

No human trafficking: was that really how low the bar was set? There just so happens to be false rumors online that have been debunked about Vector being involved in human trafficking.

Is Vector a scam? If you ask 50% of the internet, the answer would most likely be “probably.”

In reality, it just seems like a company that wants to sell you an idea, just like a lot of sales pitches.

It isn’t always transparent or else all those blackboards would read, “$18 per base appointment.” That just doesn’t sound convincing.

So, is it a scam? No, a company that not everyone wants to be a part of.

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