When you attend cosmetology school, the educational institution has one goal: to get you ready to pass your state board exams. While getting prepared to pass these challenging exams is certainly one of the reasons you signed up for a cosmetology education, you can use the time you spend in school to do a lot more.
To get the most out of your cosmetology education, you need to do more than just log your hours. You need to use the hours you spend on campus to get as much knowledge, experience, and exposure as possible.
Tips to Getting the Most From Cosmetology School
Your experience in cosmetology school is the groundwork for your career in your chosen profession. With this in mind, you should approach your education the same way you’d approach a new job. You should arrive early for class so you have ample time to prepare for your lesson and clean and organize your equipment.
Remember: your instructors and your school’s administrators are professionals in the cosmetology industry. Many of them will have their own active salons and all of them will have contacts in the industry. If you make a positive impression on your instructors and administrators by arriving early like you would for a job, they may be willing to help you find employment when you graduate.
Here are some additional tips you can use to get the most out of your time in cosmetology school:
- Dress Appropriately and Be Respectful: When you’re in cosmetology school, you’re doing more than learning — you’re making an impression on those around you. Just like you should arrive early for class, you should also dress in accordance with your school’s dress code and be respectful to your instructors and fellow students. Excellent customer service is one of the critical keys to being a successful cosmetologist, and school is a great time to practice having a positive attitude even when you’re in a bad mood.
- Practice, Practice, Practice: Whether you’re working on mannequins or accumulating hours on the floor, use your time in school to get as much practice as you possibly can. When you have the chance to work on live clients, embrace it instead of shying away — even if they want difficult haircuts using techniques you haven’t mastered yet. Your instructors will be on hand to answer questions and explain your next steps if you get overwhelmed. School is the ideal place to push yourself beyond what you’ve done before, because your instructors can help you whenever you need assistance.
- Volunteer: Even if you’re maximizing the amount of practice you can get during school hours, you should seek out opportunities to get even more practice by volunteering. If your school or community has an upcoming special event that requires the skills you’re learning, volunteer to help out. As people recognize your talent and willingness to help, your reputation will grow and they may eventually offer to pay you for your services as you master your craft further.
- Keep a Portfolio: From your first solo haircut to the last, keep a portfolio of every cut and style you do while you’re in cosmetology school. This visual record will not only provide you with a record of how far your skills have progressed, but will also be a useful tool as you look for employment after you graduate.
- Invest in Equipment: As a student, you may be able to attend a trade show or two during your time in school. If you do, take full advantage of these opportunities to invest in the highest-quality equipment you can afford. The tools you’ll get from your school won’t be professional-grade and you’ll have used them to cut mannequin hair. These factors will make it inappropriate for you to use your school shears or clippers in a professional environment post-graduation. The tools available at industry trade shows are often offered at discounted prices, so attending is a smart way to start accumulating high-quality, long-lasting equipment affordably.
StateCE is standing by to help you realize your dreams of obtaining your cosmetology education.