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Back to Beauty School Basics

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Back to Beauty School Basics

Jessica Muller

Thinking about a career in the beauty industry? Awesome! Now what?

So often our guests ask us how we started our careers in sugaring, which gave us an idea of sharing some pro tips with you on going back to school!

Personally, I spent a decade in as a Director of College Admissions, specifically for Cosmetology & Esthetics and I helped countless students start school. And I want to have a conversation with you about the reality of going to beauty school and what questions you need to be asking. 

First. When to start? Since we were young, we were programmed that school starts in the Fall. However, the beauty industry is a whole new kind of education. In fact, most beauty schools have year round regular admittance. So there is no need to rush the process.

How do I fit school in my schedule? Life is busy and fitting everything in can be tricky. Luckily, most schools have flexible schedules to help you balance your education with the rest of your life. Many programs are anywhere from 3-5 days a week from 4-12 months in length. That's right, you can be done with school in under a year! Find a school that you can adapt to your schedule needs. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want! You might just get it.

If I visit one school and like it, do I need to visit anywhere else? Schools come in all shapes and sizes. From the diverse student bodies, to the extras that make their programs shine, and the overall campus vibe. Beauty Schools Directory http://www.beautyschoolsdirectory.com/ is your new best friend. You can narrow your search down by location and program of interest. Be sure to contact the Admissions Department of each school and set up no less than THREE campus tours. Do not jump on the first one that calls you, do not sign any contracts while visiting the campus, and most importantly do not pay a registration fee until you’ve seen all of your options and are absolutely sure of your choice.

Which program to choose? Not sure? It’s ok! That’s what your friendly Admissions Advisor is there to help you with. Have them walk you through each program. You might be surprised at which one speaks to you the most. While Cosmetology offers the most variety of skills (hair, skin AND nails), Esthetics has a specific and deeper focus on skin care. Still not sure? Ask to set up a complimentary service at the school with a student. This is a great way to see the college from a “guest perspective”, without the Admissions Advisor there to sell you on the school. While at this appointment, pay attention to how instructors interact with the student. Does this feel like a learning environment that you would thrive in? Ask the student questions such as: “Did you tour other schools and why did you choose this one?” “How do you feel about the instructors?” “Is there a lot of staff turnover?” and “Do you feel like this school is preparing you to enter the industry at the completion of the program?”

The extras! Here is where I get a little passionate. No matter which school you choose, you’ll earn the SAME EXACT LICENSE. There is a good chance your future employer won’t even ask you which school you attended. They just want to know you are licensed. Do not let a fancy branded school hijack your focus. Remember: Not all schools are created equal. See all the schools! While they are all going to get you through the requirements of the state license, the extras can make a huge impact on the end goal - employment. There’s competition out there so stack your deck! Consider selecting a school that will not only help you earn your license, but add 3-4 certifications to your resume at the same time with no added fees or additional coursework. How cool is that?!?

Financial Aid. School is expensive. But don’t put education on the back burner until you have all the information. Most people think right away that they don’t qualify for financial aid. But most people don’t realize that financial aid is two part. First, there is the pell grant which is basically free money from the government that some people qualify for due to their household size and household income. Secondly, there are student loans. Did you know that EVERYONE qualifies for student loans? And did you know that you do not have to start paying them back until 6 months after you graduate? And the loan is for 10 years so the payments are small. If you have bad credit, these loans are on your side. You can get a student loan regardless of your credit and there is a chance paying them off can help you build your credit back up! Not bad, right? Every beauty school has a Financial Aid Advisor ready to help you. So, before you spend 30 frustrating minutes wading through the financial aid website, set up an appointment to have them walk you through the process and get you all set up. Besides, you only have to apply once and those results can be used at any accredited college you choose. If you feel up to the task with online financial aid applications on your own, just make sure you don’t accidentally pay for results. Only apply online with FAFSA, the official financial aid site: www.fafsa.gov. FAFSA stands for FREE Application For Student Aid. It is all too easy to accidentally end up on the wrong site and pay for this service. Use FAFSA. Most accredited colleges are priced competitively so the differences in pricing is slim enough that finding the “right” school is more important than saving a few hundred bucks. 

Scholarships. Financial Aid is not the only tuition assistance out there. There are an abundance of awesome scholarships available! One of my favorites is found here: https://www.pridefoundation.org/what-we-do/scholarships/scholarship-funds/. Not only do I love The Pride Foundation, I also love that it's ONE application that submits to over 50 different scholarships!

The fluff. All schools will promise you stuff. Help with employment upon graduation, a graduation ceremony, a career fair, an iPad, parking. All this stuff is important and cool but don’t let it cloud your ability to see the full picture. Think about the big picture: Would you be willing to commute two hours every day in exchange for a free iPad? School is already a huge commitment, so make it easy on yourself. What do you need for success in school? Apply where you feel most supported to succeed in your career goals. 

The “right fit”. Honestly, people choose schools for many reasons. The commute, a recommendation, the products used, etc. The best advice I give prospective students is to really take it all in when on the campus tour. What kind of students were attending there? Were the students busy? How friendly was the staff (not overly friendly though, that’s creepy)? What is the neighborhood like, and is there parking, etc.? When you are there, do you feel excited? When you leave, do you dream of being a student there? If not, keep looking. Find your fit. It’s important that your joy balances out the sacrifices you may make to attend school. 

What license can get me a job in sugaring hair removal? Esthetics -or- Cosmetology. That’s right! Both licenses qualify you for a career in hair removal. Here at Sugar Plum, we offer extensive training in our sugaring hair removal techniques, so you are prepared above and beyond beauty school. Get your license, and Sugar Plum will take you to the next level of expertise!


Wanna chat further about this? Email me! jessica@sugarplum.com