Salon Reality: Cosmetology Students “Get Paid” to Learn

Students at the Minnesota School of Cosmetology (MSC) will be making “money” hand over fist in the month of February! Participating in an educational experience called Salon Reality, MSC students will be treating school like a real salon. School Manager, Angie Durkee, created Salon Reality to prepare our students for employment after graduation and to show them the value of the work that they do. The goal of Salon Reality is to show students that their hard work and dedication can really pay off.

MSC students, Jenn Hawes (left) and Devon Chadwick (right). For the first week of Salon Reality, Jenn is the manager and Devon is the assistant manager of Team Phre$h and Fierce

Broken up into five mock salons, students will compete with one another to see which business will have the highest retail sales for the month. Using the business and retail knowledge they have learned in the classroom and the hands on practice they have gained on the clinic floor, MSC Salon Reality participants will get the chance to see if they can keep a salon afloat in the face of competition.

Each week the five salons will appoint a manager and assistant manager to oversee their teams. The managers’ responsibilities will be to keep track of the stylist’s retail sales, attendance, and daily sanitation duties. Ideally each student participating will get a chance to gain some management experience during the month.

Students will also earn commission based “paychecks” for their retail sales. They can then use their Salon Reality money to purchase rewards such as professional dress or the chance to pick the radio station on the salon floor for the day. In an actual salon, stylists are typically expected to have 10-20% of their sales come from retail items such as shampoo, conditioner and styling products.

Another important aspect of salon life is good attendance. To encourage students to have good attendance once in the job force, an attendance incentive will be incorporated into Salon Reality. The team(s) with perfect attendance each week will get to split the in-house retail sales to increase their mock “paychecks.”  Students will see a direct correlation between the paychecks they receive and their sales and attendance.

At the end of the month, MSC staff hopes that the students will see that those who are motivated to show up and work hard will be successful!

Written by Katie Savior, MSC financial aid manager

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