Faculty Spotlight: Nikki Klenk

Written by Jeff Bishop, career services coordinator 

One of the many reasons that Minnesota School of Cosmetology (MSC) stands out from the rest is the amazing instructors we have on campus. We’ll introduce you to one of them here. Nikki Klenk teaches a wide variety of courses at MSC-Plymouth, and we thought you should get to know her. 

What made you decide to start a career in the cosmetology industry?

When I was a junior in high school I was touring colleges and deciding where I wanted to take my softball career. I had been offered scholarships at a couple colleges, but when I toured them they just didn’t give me the right feeling. During my senior year, I was on track for graduating with honors and had finished all of my credits. A couple of my girlfriends signed up for something called the 916 program at Century College. At first I wanted to go just to be able to leave school during the day and have something to do. Little did I know I was beginning my career in the cosmetology industry! When I graduated high school, I had been accepted at multiple colleges. Although, when it came down to me picking what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, the decision was easy — I wanted to pursue my education in the cosmetology field!

What was your career path before teaching at the Minnesota School of Cosmetology?

I specialize in onsite bridal hair and makeup. I have worked in a couple salons, but my main focus is on bridal hair and makeup. I have worked with editorial work and fashion shows during Minnesota Fashion Week. I have a passion for creativity.

Why did you choose to teach at MSC?

Angie Durkee (MSC-Plymouth’s school manager) is one of the most caring people I have met in my life. She is dedicated to making the experience at MSC the best for both her students and her staff. No other school compares even close to the family here at MSC.

Describe your role as an educator.

I teach the evening Basics program, as well as on the clinic floor for the day students. I love the mix between the high energy on the clinic floor and the structure in the classroom. My favorite part of being a Basics instructor is helping the students build their confidence so that they one day will be successful in the industry.

What’s your favorite part about being an instructor at MSC?

I love that this company allows us educators to be creative in the classroom and to help better our students’ education. At MSC we are able to customize the lesson plans to our style of teaching. I love to implement fun activities in the classroom allowing an outlet for the student’s creativity.

What’s your area of expertise or your favorite technique to teach?

I love teaching my “Blood and Gore Makeup Class” around Halloween time! It’s almost that time of the year. Look out for lots of beat-up and bloody students around campus.

What piece of advice would you give to students considering a career in cosmetology?

Come to MSC. Get the feel of energy we give out here. Then go tour every school you have on your list. If you like the energy of another school, then go there! If you like our energy, then come here! We would love to have you! It’s all about where you feel the most comfortable and where you fit in. I would also say go to your favorite salon, or a salon you see yourself working in. Pick your stylist’s brain.

Is there anything else you want to share?

I am very excited for MSC to launch their First Annual Fall Fashion Show on September 30 and October 4. I am going to do a prerequisite series of makeup classes to help the students get pumped up for this event!

Minnesota School of Cosmetology Now Featuring Dermalogica!

Written by Sheila Biondo, Minnesota School of Cosmetology-Plymouth instructor

We’re in the industry of giving. In our roles we give of ourselves to our clients, both physically and emotionally. We feel that if we give our clients an enjoyable experience, they will come back to see us another day. Now we have an opportunity to give them another reason to come back … facials!!

As cosmetologists we help people to feel good about their appearance, mainly their hair, but people forget that part of the education is about skin care. At the Minnesota School of Cosmetology, we take skin care very seriously and we want to share it with our customers.

I am an instructor with the Minnesota School of Cosmetology, and I have been lucky enough to share my passion for skin care with the students by providing them with the product knowledge, the theory and also the practical skills needed to successfully perform facials on our customers.

MSC has recently partnered with The International Dermal Institute located in Minneapolis. The students have had the opportunity to attend classes at IDI for extra education, but now we can bring that knowledge to the students through our own curriculum. MSC will be carrying Dermalogica products for retail and facial services starting September 2, 2014.

Dermalogica products were developed by IDI and have become a favorite of our students. The students have learned how to provide a thorough skin analysis by the “Face Mapping” techniques learned at IDI as well as the ability to accurately suggest products for each customer’s needs. Coming in October, MSC will be having a FaceMapping event for customers and anyone who is interested.

As an instructor, I am very excited because we can also attend classes to broaden our knowledge as well. I am in the process of taking the classes needed to become a certified Dermalogica expert. This will help me to educate the students more effectively, not to mention it is fun for me. I have learned so much and I love sharing it with the students and customers.

The partnership with IDI has sparked my renewed passion for skin care, and I know it will be a good foundation to help build an esthetics program at MSC in the future for those students who would like to pursue esthetics for a career. Keep your fingers crossed!!

Stop in and check it out!

Minnesota School of Cosmetology Student Finds Inspiration in Her Instructors

Minnesota School of Cosmetology student Jennifer Hawes is a mother of four kids, who says she’s finally found something she’s good at – and a career path she loves.

“I am definitely passionate about hair and nails and being the best in my field,” says Jennifer. “Sometimes, I feel like I eat, sleep and breathe cosmetology.”

Jennifer says she likes the environment at Minnesota School of Cosmetology and that the instructors have helped her achieve her goals.

“I wouldn’t be where I am without [our instructors],” she says. “They make coming to school fun and easy, and they are so knowledgeable. They inspire me every day and push me to be better.”

Jennifer says the use of iPad™ technology enhances her education, as well as the salon experience for her clients.

“It’s so great to be able to hand it to a client to look through pictures and ideas,” she says. “Also, clients love being able to do a virtual makeover.”

With the encouraging instructors and hands-on technology, Jennifer says she is well-prepped for a future in the beauty industry.

“I definitely feel like I am being prepped for an amazing career,” she says. “They give us all the tools and information to be successful and to find a job after school.”

Visit www.msccollege.edu to learn more.

5 Things You Need to Do to Get Your Cosmetology Career Rolling

It’s time to get serious about your cosmetology career.Things You Need to Do to Get Your Cosmetology Career Rolling, School, apply, financial aid

If you’re ready to enroll at a cosmetology school, there are several things you need to check off your list in order to get the ball rolling. There are simple things you can do that will make your time learning about the world of beauty go much smoother.

So, where to begin? Let’s start with the basics.

Campus visit

If you’ve narrowed down your choices to a few cosmetology schools, it’s time to check out the campuses.

Look for a school that features a professional salon setting and see how the students interact with their instructors. Are they having fun? Do the class sizes seem manageable? What’s the vibe like?

While you’re on campus, take the time to speak with students. Ask them how they like it. See if you can talk to an instructor. Check out the area around the school.

Try to imagine yourself at the school and determine whether it’s a good fit for you. You’ll be spending plenty of time there, so you want to make sure you will feel comfortable.


Hopefully, you’ve done your research and are ready to apply to a respected cosmetology school.

It’s a good idea to contact an admissions representative and go through the process together. It probably won’t be as hard as you think!

You should have a timetable in mind for when you want to start school and plan accordingly. Do you want to go full or part time? What about your work and family schedule? Keep these things in mind as you apply.

Consider where you are in your life and start getting ready to make school a part of it.Things You Need to Do to Get Your Cosmetology Career Rolling, School, apply, financial aid

Financial aid

As you enter the application phase of this exciting new experience, you should absolutely take a close look at your financial aid options for those who qualify.

Many cosmetology schools have financial aid reps who can assess your needs, make recommendations and outline what you need to do.

Start by filing out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and also ask about any low-interest loans, grants or scholarships you may qualify for.

Paying for school shouldn’t be a major burden, so be sure to explore all the alternatives available to you. Cosmetology school could be more affordable than you initially thought!


As you start to plan the next chapter in your life, remember to develop a support network around you. That means reaching out to family and friends to see how they can help you along the way.

Do you work full time? Do you need to coordinate child care for your toddler? Are you living at your parents’ house and have responsibilities there?

These are things you want to get settled before you start school. But don’t worry! People will usually be happy to help you reach your goals. You just have to communicate.

You can also continue to build your support network once classes begin. Make friends! It will help you form study groups, make potential industry connections and give you someone you can bounce ideas off of. Plus, school will be that much more fun.

Everyone has their own challenges and hurdles to overcome. By leaning on your friends, family and classmates, you will be more prepared to focus on your education and achieve your dreams.

Remember: A problem shared is a problem halved.

Do it!

It’s time. You’ve been thinking about. You’ve got a plan in place and you’ve been accepted to cosmetology school. You can’t wait to help people look and feelThings You Need to Do to Get Your Cosmetology Career Rolling, School, apply, financial aid great.

It’s time to start your training and enter the beauty industry.

Be committed to your education; get excited about learning new techniques, styles and treatments; immerse yourself in your schooling.

It’s an exciting time in your life—you don’t want to miss out on a great opportunity to further your personal and professional goals.

Being a cosmetologist is an awesome way to take your passion for beauty and turn it into a fun and rewarding career. Don’t let another year go by wishing you had started school.