By Jeff Bishop, career services coordinator
My name is Jeff Bishop and I’m the career services coordinator at Minnesota School of Cosmetology-Plymouth. I have been with MSC since our Plymouth campus opened more than three years ago, and I have a passion for working with college students and seeing them achieve their goals.
At MSC, I work with students to help them obtain employment in the cosmetology industry. I help students with resumes, cover letters, interviewing skills, professionalism, job searching and job applications, so that they feel prepared to go out into the professional world of cosmetology.
As part of our Employee Learning Week, I had the opportunity to visit 37 different salons in the Plymouth, Minnetonka, and Wayzata areas. I was able to network with salon professionals, share information about MSC’s education and learn about potential employment opportunities for our students and graduates. I learned a lot from my visits and wanted to share some of the things I learned.
- Employers love meeting students. I heard so many times that employers love meeting prospective employees. Almost every salon is open to students taking time to schedule a visit so that they can network, see how different salons operate and really get the “vibe” of various salons. MSC students are even able to get school credit for salon visits!
- Visiting salons helps students find the perfect fit. When starting a cosmetology career, I feel that it’s very important to do some research in order to find a salon that’s the right fit. After all, no two salons are alike — every salon has different stylists, atmospheres, and clienteles. By researching and touring multiple salons, students are able to find a position they love and can grow into future success.
- Job opportunities aren’t always posted online. I think we’ve all heard statistics stating that the majority of available jobs are not posted or advertised in any way. I learned that this is partially true for cosmetology as well. I spoke with salon owners who are always looking for fresh talent, but do not post jobs or even take applications! They are looking for potential employees to do their research and seek out career opportunities. This is another reason why visiting and touring salons is important to a job search.
- Salon owners, managers, and stylists are really friendly! They just are! I’ve heard from some MSC students that they’re nervous about networking or setting up salon visits, and I understand. It can be really nerve-racking to walk into a new place and introduce yourself. But don’t worry, I found that almost everyone in the industry is really friendly and really excited to talk with up-and-coming stylists! So take the plunge and start networking. I think you’ll be happy you did.
Overall, I had a great time going out into the community and meeting some wonderful salon professionals. I encourage all students to get out there and start networking. You never know when you could meet the right owner or tour the right salon and start the job that changes your life.