Where Are They Now? 9 Questions for MSC Graduate Jennifer Hawes

Minnesota School of Cosmetology’s (MSC) primary mission is to produce employable graduates into the cosmetology industry. Since we are a career college, our number one goal is for all graduates to be successful in their field!

We were happy to interview our MSC-Plymouth alumna Jennifer Hawes who graduated in 2014. We love hearing graduate success stories! 

What are you up to now?

I had three job offers when I graduated, and I am currently working at two of them! One full-service Aveda salon, and one upscale nail salon. The people, new friends and the money are awesome!

What was your career path before graduating from Minnesota School of Cosmetology?

Before I started at MSC, I was a stay-at-home mom to four little kids. Before that, I was a paralegal for three years.

Why did you choose to attend MSC?

MSC was the first place that I actually felt comfortable. After touring and being introduced to some of the instructors and staff members, I felt like my personality would fit in well.

How did your education enhance or change your current career path?

I would say that my education definitely jumpstarted this career that I’m now in and loving. One of my favorite things that the school did for us was arrange a career day where prospective employers came to meet with us. I’m happy to say that I work for one of them today!

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

If you’re looking for an easy career and think that beauty school is where that starts, you are mistaken. Cosmetology school is super fun, very rewarding, but it is also difficult at times and can be stressful. I wouldn’t change a thing about my decision to be a cosmetologist, but you have to be ready to buckle down and take it seriously.

What do you enjoy about the cosmetology industry?

Every day is different. So many different people with different stories and backgrounds. It is such an awesome feeling to make someone feel beautiful. You know you just brightened their entire day!

How has your education at MSC impacted your professional life?

Well, I made friends that I will never, ever go without. Some of us became so close that I will be standing up in two of their weddings this year! My life was forever changed for the better once I started MSC. 

What is your favorite memory of MSC?

Oh gosh, there are so many. I honestly think being able to speak at our graduation ceremony, in front of my peers and coworkers, was the most rewarding. Being chosen by the school to represent the student body just felt so amazing. 

What is the most valuable information you learned while you were in school?

You will learn new things every day. Keep an open mind. Ask for help when you need it. Lean on your friends. Give yourself credit when it’s due. And never, ever quit!


Alumna Appreciates Supportive, Welcoming Atmosphere at Minnesota School of Cosmetology

When Tiffani Rhodes first visited Minnesota School of Cosmetology (MSC), she instantly knew it was where she wanted to be. The warm and welcoming atmosphere and friendly instructors made her feel very comfortable, and Tiffani says her decision to enroll at MSC was life-changing.

“It’s a great environment that is very fun and open,” she explains. “The people there become more like family. They care about your education, and you can tell. [The instructors] make you feel very comfortable with them and are there for you when you need most. I definitely look up to them.”

Tiffani says her instructors were supportive as well as realistic when it came to teaching her the skills needed for her career.

“I felt that I could go to [my instructors] for any questions, concerns or issues that I may have had. Not only did I learn, but I had fun doing it,” she says. “They know how to keep things in a realistic perspective, which I can really appreciate. I loved the hands-on, real life situations I was exposed to. I learned about everything from cutting and coloring to anatomy and electricity.”

Thanks to her hands-on training, Tiffani was hired three months before she finished school and is now working as a stylist at Blast Blow Dry Bar. She says she’s working hard now so that one day she can own her own makeup boutique.

“I’m very passionate about my career. I love what I do every day, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything,” says Tiffani. “I have the support of my son, family and friends. I plan on continuing my education by going to school to receive my business degree.”

Visit www.msccollege.edu to learn more.

Advice from an MSC Grad

By: Brittney Klingl

While still in school, it might be hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. But with hard work and determination, you WILL get there! It’s important to soak it all in and learn as much as possible so that you will be successful in your career. Take it from someone who has been there herself, 2013 MSC graduate Chantel Jonas.

Chantel was given some important advice when she first started at MSC and says she tried to follow it as closely as she could:

Take every client the front desk gives you.

“Without hesitation, without whining. When you don’t have anything to do, ask for more clients!” says Chantel. “Even if it’s the 200th men’s cut or 150th pedicure you’ve done, there’s not only something to be learned with your technical skills, but also how you communicate with clients.”

During the cosmetology program at MSC, students learn to perfect hair, nail and skin care techniques through 420 hours of theory and lab and 1,130 clinical hours, many of which are with clients on the salon floor.

The program at MSC is designed to take 47 weeks to complete, but the flexible scheduling options allow students to go at their own pace and attend when is most convenient for their lifestyles. The Apple iPad® Air is also incorporated into the curriculum, allowing students to use apps to experiment with a new look before ever picking up a brush or shear.

Be aware of all the helpful iPad® apps out there.

“I’ve downloaded a ton of apps,” Chantel says. “Most color companies have their own app, so when you go to a different salon and they use a different color line, it really helps you learn. They even quiz you on different scenarios and what you should use.”

The iPad® also allows students to prepare for state board exams, record and replay classroom instruction, build portfolios and study anywhere, any time. In addition to this engaged learning, MSC’s industry-experienced instructors have a passion for fashion and beauty and a desire to share it with their students. With guidance from her instructors, Chantel learned the techniques she needed, while gaining valuable, real-world experience.

Master the concave haircut Ms. Chris teaches.

“It’s the best blended layer haircut out there and the one that many salons will drill into your head,” Chantel says.

Chantel found this to be true when she was hired at her first salon, Spalon Montage, and where she is currently employed, Embellish Salon in Bayport, Minn. Chantel wasn’t the only one who landed a job after graduation. She was one of 139 MSC graduates in 2013, when the job placement rate was 83 percent.

Chantel hopes her advice will help current MSC students because she knows how important it was to her own career success. “Good luck to you all!” she says.

Visit www.msccollege.edu to learn more.


Sky is the Limit for Minnesota School of Cosmetology Graduate

Allie Oliver had looked at a cosmetology school a few years prior to her visit to Minnesota School of Cosmetology (MSC)-Plymouth, but she says there wasn’t anything “super special” about the other school that made her want to go there.

There was something special about MSC, however.

“I didn’t feel like I was sitting in a classroom learning about something that doesn’t apply,” Allie explains. “I not only wanted to, but I needed to have a program that was hands-on all the time in an industry that is constantly changing. That’s what MSC offered me.”

Allie says it was the people inside the school who made her experience at MSC so great.

“My instructors are the people who helped me get through the program,” she says. “I can’t think of a single instructor who didn’t care about me academically and personally. They truly are the ones who taught us the importance of building relationships in this industry.”

In addition to the instructors, Allie says she loves all the other little things MSC has to offer.

“They pay for your boards exam if you pass, they offer free classes within the school if you are an alumni, and they are connected with MSB (Minnesota School of Business), so you can further your education even outside of the salon,” she says.

Allie started her career at a salon just one day after she graduated from MSC, but she says it was hard work that led to her success.

“What you put into the program is what you will get out of it,” says Allie. “If within these ten to 12 months you really commit to the program, then the sky is the limit.”

Allie loves her job and where she is now, but realizes how far she’s come and how much further she has the potential to go.

“There’s so much for me to learn and areas for me to grow, not just in this industry, but in life itself,” explains Allie. “The things that being behind a chair has taught me are applicable to many areas in my life: building and maintaining relationships, having an open line of communication, and choosing to help people feel better or happier than they were when I first came into contact with them. So, to be honest, I’m a work in progress. Where I am now is light years away from where I was even when I started at MSC.”

Visit www.msccollege.edu to learn more.

Where Are They Now? 5 Questions for MSC Graduate Brooke Reardon

Written by Mindy Meyer, career services coordinator 

Minnesota School of Cosmetology’s (MSC) primary mission is to produce employable graduates into the cosmetology industry. Since we are a career college, our number one goal is for all graduates to be successful in their field!

We were happy to interview our MSC-Woodbury alumni Brooke Reardon who graduated in 2012 and works at Regis Salon. We love hearing graduate success stories!

Describe your career path before graduation from MSC?

I was in my senior year of high school when I decided to attend MSC. I had been accepted to a few different colleges but wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life. I guess you could say cosmetology chose me!

Why did you choose to attend MSC?

I chose MSC because of the people that I met while I was touring. My admissions representative and the instructors seemed like great people with an excitement and passion for the industry. It was also a smaller campus, so the training was more individualized than other schools. MSC was also one of the more affordable schools I was looking at.

How did your education enhance or change your current career path?

MSC taught me the basic knowledge I needed to know before I got out into the field. The instructors really “hammered home” color theory for me, which I am extremely grateful for. Knowledge is key. The more knowledge you possess, the more you can rightfully raise your prices in the salon. You have to be able to grow your skills along with the industry.

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

Ask to go and observe for a day. When I was considering cosmetology school, I asked to sit in on a class that was being held. That class made my decision pretty simple. A good way to learn something is to just jump right in and experience it! You have to be willing to go with the flow and learn on the fly in this business.

What do you enjoy most about the cosmetology industry?

What I enjoy most in this business are the people I get to work with, both stylists and clients alike. There isn’t a day that goes by where I’m not laughing or smiling because of the people that have been brought into my life. Not only am I changing their life with a new style or color, but sometimes they’re changing mine. I also enjoy not doing the same thing every day. There’s always a new client, a new cut or a new color formulation. Each day brings a new and exciting challenge. I love my career more and more as time passes!