Where are they now? 8 Questions for MSC Graduate Miranda Hills

Minnesota School of Cosmetology’s (MSC) primary mission is to produce employable graduates for 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 Miranda Hills who graduated in 2013. We love hearing graduate success stories!

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

Before attending MSC, I worked from home as a graphic designer. I always had a passion for the beauty industry but wasn’t able to commit to the time requirement with my children at home with me. Once they started school, I was able to pursue my own aspirations and communicate in person with people other than kids.

2. Why did you choose to attend MSC?

I loved the aspect that MSC was a new school and in the suburbs where I felt comfortable. I didn’t even consider other schools after my initial visit at MSC. The flexibility of schedules and fast track to finish in under a year was such a great feature.

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

The education that I received at MSC was something I don’t think I could have received anywhere else. There were always opportunities to learn advanced techniques, specialty classes, and the instructors were always willing to help you learn the latest trends. If you wanted to learn something specific, they found a way to bring you the information or training. I love diversity and a challenge, so I knew right away that I didn’t want to do anything simple. As cosmetologists, there are many options available to be successful, I love that so many opportunities were given to us at MSC.

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

I would say, jump in and learn everything you can during the time you are in school. The opportunities are endless so enjoy the year you are there because it goes fast. The industry can be a lot of fun so learn how to do everything really well.

5. What do you enjoy about the cosmetology industry?

I love how unique the cosmetology industry can be! The trends are always changing so there is always something new to learn. The best part about the cosmetology industry is the positive impact you can make on someone.

6. Where has your job taken you?

After graduating, I went on to receive advanced training for eyelash extensions and hair extensions. I fell in love with eyelash extensions! In my opinion, there isn’t any job or service that can change someone’s appearance as fast as eyelash extensions. I have one of the coolest jobs out there. My clientele grew so fast that I was able to open my own storefront salon, Flair, in Minnetonka in under a year from graduating.

7. How has your education at MSC impacted your professional life?

The education that I received from MSC is indescribable.  he techniques and attention I was given to achieve success in all aspects of the beauty industry will never be forgotten. I feel confident in performing specialized techniques because of the instructors at MSC.

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

MSC focused on more than the general practice of cosmetology. They made an effort everyday to teach above and beyond to create the best cosmetologists they could. I consider everything I was taught at MSC to be valuable information.  Formulating color, safety and sanitation, laws and rules, product knowledge, customer retention, sales, customer service, management and numerous other practices that continue to help me in running my own salon.

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!


Tips for Cosmetology Student Loan Repayment

Written by Katie Savior, associate campus director/financial aid director

So you have graduated from Minnesota School of Cosmetology and you are working in your dream salon. Now it’s time to start paying back your student loans. Here are some tips on how to stay on top of the process, and what to do if troubles arises. 

Communicate with your loan servicer

Communication is key when it comes to student loan repayment. You will want to keep in contact with your loan servicer and make your loan payments on time every month. Contact your loan servicer when you:

  • need help making your monthly payments
  • graduate
  • withdraw from school
  • change your name, address, or Social Security number
  • transfer to another school
  • experience a change in your life that might impact your loan payments.

Trouble Making your Payments?

Maybe that first salon job didn’t work out, or maybe your family is growing or your expenses are increasing.  Whatever the cause, if you have trouble making your student loan payments, there is help available. Remember communication is key.

If you are having trouble making your monthly payments, contact your loan servicer immediately. Your loan servicer can help you understand your options. You may be able to

Avoid going into default

When you originally signed your promissory note for your student loans, you agreed to pay back your student loan as scheduled. If you fail to make these payments, you risk going into default. One or two missed payments does not put you into default. However, if several scheduled payments have been missed, you are at high risk of falling into default.

If you default on your student loans:

  • Your credit rating will suffer, which may make getting other loans difficult, if not impossible
  • You will likely receive calls and letters from collectors
  • Your wages may be garnished, or if you are due a federal income tax refund, your refund may be seized
  • You will pay more in the long run with a defaulted loan, after collection costs are added.
  • You are unable to obtain future student aid (Stafford loans, Pell Grant, etc.)
  • The debt doesn’t go away. Unpaid loans stay with you until paid back in full.

To avoid default, do the following:

  • Make your scheduled loan payments on time. Remember, you should expect student loan bills six months after you leave school.
  • Be sure your address, phone and email are current with both Minnesota School of Cosmetology and your lenders/loan servicers.
  • If you can’t make the scheduled payments, don’t worry! Contact your loan servicer for different repayment options.

Additional tips regarding student loans can be found by visiting www.studentloans.gov. To access your own personal student loan summary, you can also visit the National Student Loan Data System for students at https://nslds.ed.gov/nslds/nslds_SA/


“We Care” at MSC

Cosmetologists are generally very caring, thoughtful and generous. At the Minnesota School of Cosmetology, our students and staff give back to the community year round. Currently for the holidays, we are donating toys, stuffed animals and other gifts to Toys for Tots. We also sponsored a Wisconsin family that recently lost their house to a fire. By donating household items, clothing, and gifts we hope that the family, including a 3 year old boy and 1 ½ year old girl, will be blessed with more cheer and less stress on Christmas.

MSC students and faculty give backOur caring nature is not only evident during the holidays. Over the past year, we have also collected hundreds of pounds of food for the Woodbury Christian Cupboard, donated money from jeans days and other fundraisers for deployed veterans, Make-A-Wish, Children’s Hospital and Relay for Life, and had a bake sale to benefit breast cancer research.

In addition to monetary fundraisers at our Woodbury location, we also offer free haircuts to veterans on Wednesdays, do complimentary manicures for the elderly at Oak Meadows Senior Living in Oakdale and haircuts for the homeless at the Listening House in Saint Paul. We have also pampered clients at Harriet Tubman Center, Shriner’s Hospital and many other locations to help people feel beautiful inside and out.

The students and staff of Minnesota School of Cosmetology live by the words of Margaret Mead: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”


MSC Collecting Nonperishable Food Items

Written by Dani Vetrano

Minnesota School of Cosmetology’s Plymouth campus is collecting nonperishable food items for Interfaith Outreach & Community Partners (IOCP).

The Sleep Out is IOCP’s annual campaign to raise awareness of and funds for housing, employment, child care, food and transportation needs of families living in the eight communities that they serve.

The goal that IOCP has set for the 2014 Sleep Out is to raise $2 million and help 1,875 families.

Interfaith Outreach & Community Partners responds to emergency needs, moves families toward stability and positive change, and engages volunteers and partners in service, leadership, and capacity building.

IOCP serves families and individuals living in Hennepin County:

  • Hamel
  • Long Lake
  • Medicine Lake
  • Medina
  • Minnetonka Beach
  • Orono
  • Plymouth
  • Wayzata

Minnesota School of Cosmetology students have a dress code: everything they wear is black. This allows for our clients to distinguish who the students are. Having a black dress code is very common in many salons. Although having the all black dress code looks very professional, at times our students like to express their own style.

For every nonperishable food item a student or staff member brings in, they are allowed one article of clothing out of dress code (but remains professional). This has been a fun way for students and staff to participate and collect food items for a great cause! W

e couldn’t have chosen a better time of year to do the collection because it helps us to remember and recognize all the things we have to be thankful for.

Hope everyone has a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

Campus Preview Night

Minnesota School of Cosmetology (MSC) and Minnesota School of Business (MSB) would like to invite all high school seniors to our upcoming Campus Preview Night. Join us Tuesday, November 18th from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm at our Plymouth locations!Minnesota School of Cosmetology Plymouth

Curious about one of these exciting potential careers?

  • Cosmetology
  • Veterinary Technology
  • Health Fitness Specialist
  • Massage Therapy
  • Business / Accounting

Bring your family and friends to meet with our program experts and current students, take a tour of the campus and watch labs as they happen.

Check out our Financial Aid seminars discussing upcoming scholarship opportunities. Find out how you can start taking college courses now – for free!

Minnesota School of Business Plymouth

For any high school senior interested in applying, MSC and MSB will be waiving ALL enrollment fees for any 2015 graduate that applies now through November 22nd!

Find us at 1455 County Road 101 North — Plymouth, MN 55447

Have questions? Call 763-476-2000

We look forward to meeting you!


MSC – Plymouth Hosts First Annual Fall Fashion Show

Written by Jeff Bishop, career services coordinator

MSC-Minnesota School of Cosmetology – Plymouth hosted their First Annual Fall Fashion Show on Tuesday, September 30th and Saturday, October 4th.

MSC Fall Fashion ShowThe Fashion Show featured an overall Disney theme. Each student or group of students were able to choose their own sub-theme to reflect their creativity and talent. MSC-Plymouth students had a month to imagine and practice their looks, and were allowed to have as many models as they wished. Minnesota School of Cosmetology partnered with Redken representatives, who provided tips to the students and donated fabulous prizes for our winners.

Sub-themes for the September 30th show included: a modernized Snow White, The Cheetah Girls, fairies and pirates from The Pirate Fairy, Ursula from The Little Mermaid (3rd place winner), Princess Jasmine and Raja from Aladdin, Alice and the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland (2nd place winner), and a lion, a high-fashion Zazu, and an everyday Zazu look from The Lion King (1st place winner).

Our part-time students’ sub-themes on October 4th included: Jack Skellington and Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas (2nd place winner), Gem from Tron, Princess Elsa from Frozen, Snow White and Cinderella as Pin-Up Girls (2nd place winner), and Ariel and Ursula from The Little Mermaid (1st place winner).

Minnesota School of Cosmetology Fall Fashion ShowIn addition, local salon owners and stylists were invited to enjoy the show and to observe fresh, upcoming talent. On Tuesday, September 30th, salon owners and stylists from seven salons were in attendance to show their support and act as our VIP Guest Judges. After the runway show, these industry professionals were able to meet MSC students one-on-one, to observe their work up close, and to discuss potential career opportunities. One MSC student was even offered a job on the spot! Salons in attendance included: Regis Salon, The Salon at Macy’s, Simonsons Salon and Spa, Willow Salon, Christopher J. Salon, Alibi the Salon, and Mask Hair Designs and Day Spa.

Congratulations to all of our students on a job well done! Check out pictures of all the looks on the MSC Facebook page.


MSC Students Compete at INsalon Beauty Show

This past weekend was the annual cosmetology event in the Twin Cities, hosted by the Salon Spa Professional Association.

This year, INsalon’s theme was Inspiring Vision. A number of Minnesota School of Cosmetology students competed in the INsalon student competitions. Categories included Women’s Day Cutting Total Look, Men’s Day Cutting Total Look, and Women’s Evening Comb Out Total Look.

We want to congratulate MSC-Plymouth students Emily B. and Lorina M. for participating, and Ingris T. for placing! MSC-Woodbury students Kaylee Strandness, Coral Luoma, Holly Cook and Pa Chia Vang also did an awesome job and Sarah Dodd received fourth place in the men’s cutting competition!

Interview with MSC-Woodbury student competitor, Sarah Dodd

1.  Why did you decide to enter the INsalon competition?

I entered the INsalon competition because I wanted to try something new and see what the expectations were outside of school. Plus I like to be challenged.

2.  Why did you to choose the men’s cutting category?

I have been told I am good at men’s cuts and I wanted to see if people who didn’t know me felt the same way.

3.  How did the competition motivate you?

I know that the next time I do a competition that I’m going to learn new tricks and work harder on my timing.

4.  What was your favorite part about the competition?

Seeing all the wonderful work of my fellow cosmetologists! It was exciting to be in a place where we could all be creative.

Minnesota School of Cosmetology encourages all students to expand their skills and creativity by participating in competitions and beauty events. These events showcase students’ talents as well as provide important networking opportunities within the cosmetology industry.

Minnesota School of Cosmetology Competes at INsalon 2014

Minnesota School of Cosmetology students had the opportunity to attend INsalon this past weekend at the Marriott in Minneapolis.  Minnesota School of Cosmetology Students

There were three different competitions that students could sign up to compete in:

*   Women’s Evening Total Look

*   Women’s Day Total Look

*   Men’s Day Total Look

MSC Plymouth had seven students sign up to compete this year.

Our students practiced on their models for weeks leading up to the competition. They were determined to get every detail perfect for the big day!

Here are the specifics for the three events in which students could compete:

Women’s Evening Total LookMSC student

Create an evening look for the appreciation of the customer featuring elegance, grace and beauty based on the elements of the hair, nails and makeup. Clothes completed the total look.

The student was allowed 60 minutes on this competition.

Women’s Day Total Look

Create a total image including haircut and finished style for the appreciation of the customer reflecting current fashion trends. The finished style must exhibit a quality that the customer can recreate, while maintaining a daytime feel. Clothes to complete the total look.

Men’s Day Total Look

Create a total image, including haircut and finished style, for the appreciation of the customer reflecting current fashion trends. The finished style must exhibit a quality that the customer can recreate, while maintaining a daytime feel. Clothes to complete the total look.

How did MSC do?

Minnesota School of Cosmetology Plymouth students took part in the Women’s Evening Total Look competition.

Emily Bloch: placed 2nd overall

Lorina Maya: placed 3rd overall

Ingris Trejo: placed 6th overall and also won the Creative Fashion Award

We are very proud of all our students who competed and are excited to see all the wonderful adventures their futures have in store.

Faculty Spotlight: Angie Durkee

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. Angie Durkee 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?

I chose cosmetology because a cousin of mine took me under her wing and taught me how to do my makeup and style my hair. It really boosted my low self-esteem, and I wanted to be able to help others feel good about themselves, like she had helped me feel good about myself!

Salon Manger Angie Durkee
What was your career path before teaching at the Minnesota School of Cosmetology?

I worked the first 10 years out of cosmetology school behind the chair for City Looks, formally The Barbers Hairstyling for Men and Women. After that I catered with my husband for a little while, but eventually got back into hair with Great Clips. I’ve worked at Beauty Supply and that is what opened the doors for me to get my instructor’s license.

Why did you choose to teach at MSC?

I was back in the salon after finishing my first teaching position, and I realized I wasn’t happy being in the salon, and that teaching was my passion. One afternoon I was driving around and stopped by the school. I noticed my Basics instructor teaching on the clinic floor, and knew I had come full circle and was finally home. I still keep in touch with Ms. Jeannine to this day.

Describe your role as an educator.

As MSC’s school manager, I am responsible for overseeing the team of educators as well as ensuring the students are receiving the best education and having fun while learning. I have been in the salon manager role for a little over five years and have loved every minute of every day. I get to get up, come to work and see growth and learning progress for each and every student at MSC-Plymouth.

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

My favorite part of instructing is getting to be there when the students have their “ah-ha” moments. There’s nothing like watching your students understand what you’ve been asking them to do all this time.

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

Don’t let others make your choices for you, if you want it, go for it! I pushed myself when I didn’t want to and when I couldn’t push myself any further, others were there to help me through the rough spots. Don’t give up, it’s so worth it in the end! I’ve never worked a day in my life, because I love what I do.

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

I love cutting hair, and hair color is a fun and exciting avenue, too. When I had my “ah-ha” moment, I colored everyone in sight.

This is a great industry. I guarantee you won’t ever be bored!