Tips from Career Services: No. 1 Mistake to Avoid When Job Hunting

At Minnesota School of Cosmetology (MSC), help finding a career doesn’t stop when you graduate. One of the biggest advantages of going to MSC is the continued help you will get throughout your cosmetology career. Whether is your first job or a transition in between, out dedicated career services staff is there to help you.

Our employment assistance starts with our curriculum to ensure students are educated on being Jobs Search Applicant Career Employment Hiring Conceptprofessional, job search tools and resources and career-planning strategies.

MSC cannot guarantee you a job after you graduate, but we can do the best we can to help you find it. Some of the services we help with include:

  • Finding current job openings in cosmetology
  • Cover letter writing, resumes and portfolios
  • Interview do’s and don’ts
  • Networking and advice

“Since the average job search can take about 6-9 months, I advise students to make an appointment with me early to begin planning their career,” said Mindy Meyer, career services coordinator at MSC. “I encourage them to get acclimated to school during basics class and then seek assistance with their job search when they reach intermediate class. This gets students thinking about what type of salon they would like to work for so when they reach advanced class they can apply to salons and land their first job before they graduate!”

Resume Building Tips from MSC

Get Involved in School! Join MSC Student Council, work as a tutor or volunteer as a mentor.

Develop Professional Relationships with your instructors, MSC staff and peers.  They are a built-in network and will become very valuable to your job search!

Get Good Grades and include them on your resume: Graduate with honors with an overall grade 95% or higher, perfect attendance, highest retail sales, etc.

Join a Professional Organization such as Salon and Spa Professional Association. Attend beauty shows, outside classes by industry leaders and learn new trends!

Gain Relevant Experience now through part-time employment or even volunteering at a salon! . It’s a great way to gain experience, make contacts and get your foot in the door at a salon. Contact a salon of your choice. Introduce yourself and ask if they need any help sweeping hair, stocking the dispense, etc. You will learn a lot from observation and will begin building your network!

ALWAYS Look for Ways to Enhance Your People Skills.

The following list will help job seekers locate job postings and research their field and prospective employers.

If you are looking to enhance your career, you could go back to school for a degree in business administration or business management. MSC graduates can qualify for a scholarship or transfer credits at Globe University, a member of the Globe Education Network.

If you are ready to get starting on a career in cosmetology, email us or call 651-432-4635 to speak with a representative today.

MSC Staff Selected for State Board Committee

 After submitting applications to be a part of the Minnesota Theory/State Exam Subject Matter Expert (SME) Committee, both school manager Josh Luhmann-Woodbury and instructor Irene Grossklaus from our Woodbury Campus were selected to participate in the committee. 

Josh will be reviewing the school manager, salon manager, and instructor exams and Irene will be reviewing the general cosmetology exam. The focus of the committee will be to review the state board exam content outline, and define the acceptable level of competence required by a new licensee to correctly practice in the field. The team will be especially 
focusing on skills and abilities that a competent Cosmetologist, Esthetician, and Nail Technician must demonstrate. 

Having our instructors be a part of this integral process will give us a better understanding as to what is all encompassed in the state board testing, how it will be changing and overall how we can prepare our current students to pass their general exam and graduates to help them continue on their journey to become managers in the future.

Congratulations to Josh and Irene for going above and beyond to setting the bar high for MSC!


MSC Student Awarded TwinWest Foundation Career Path Scholarship

Kaboa Yang, MSC student and TwinWest Foundation Career Path Scholarship recipient“Don’t wait on your dreams. Just do it!”

That is the advice from Minnesota School of Cosmetology student, Kaboa Yang. She is one of 24 adult learners awarded the TwinWest Chamber of Commerce’s Career Path Scholarship during a luncheon on October 6, 2015.

The scholarship rewards adult learners who are pursuing career education, particularly those seeking vocational or technical skills. The scholarship creates a win-win situation by helping those who are motivated and passionate achieve the training they need, which in turn helps boost the skilled workforce for local companies.

Kaboa definitely has the motivation and passion. In fact, she has known since middle school that she wanted to pursue a career in cosmetology, but says nerves and cultural pressure side-tracked her for a little while.

“The Hmong community I grew up in does not look highly on cosmetology as a career,” Koboa says, “I not only want to change that perception, I want to show them how much you can do with a cosmetology diploma and the career options you can build off of it.” It was that passion and drive that impressed to scholarship selection committee.

Kaboa toured Minnesota School of Cosmetology when she was a freshman at Patrick Henry High School and says she knew then she wanted to come here.

Kaboa Yang and instructor, Dayna Hunt at the luncheon

“My cousin and aunt both went here and loved it. When I saw pictures of them doing hair, I knew I had to be here too,” she says. But she adds high school counselors, along with her family, really pushed the idea of a traditional college. Feeling pressured and nervous, Kaboa followed their advice and enrolled in community college after high school with the intention of pursuing a degree in business management. But that passion for cosmetology kept tugging at her, and she quickly realized she could not give up on her dream.

Kaboa began the cosmetology program at MSC in March of 2015 and has not looked back since.

“I have gained so much confidence, and unlike many students at a traditional college, I know what I want to do when I graduate,” she says. “By starting here, I am already on a career path.” Kaboa’s real love is makeup and she hopes to use that passion to help others feel great about themselves in the future.

“Kabao is hard working, professional, and great with clients. We are lucky to have her at Minnesota School of Cosmetology!,” says MSC-Plymouth campus director Elaine Vandenburgh. “She has a very bright future ahead of her!”

Kaboa says growing up in a family of eleven, money was always tight. With this $500 scholarship and a matching GEN Scholarship, she says she will be able to pay off her loans faster and focus more on her new career.

“I am very thankful to the TwinWest Chamber of Commerce for this honor and my instructor (Dayna Hunt, pictured above) who encouraged me to apply, as well as the Globe Education Network who matched the scholarship amount,” says Kaboa. “It only helps solidify my decision to follow my heart!”

Where are they now? 9 Questions for MSC Graduate Ashleigh Carberry

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 alumni Ashleigh Carberry who graduated in 2015. We love hearing graduate success stories!

What was your career path before graduating from Minnesota School of Cosmetology? My career path before graduating from Minnesota School of Cosmetology was working 12 years in the fast food industry at Arby’s.Ashleigh C

Why did you choose to attend MSC? I choose to attend MSC because I loved the atmosphere. When I walked in, all the faculty and students made me feel welcome and a part of the family.

How did your education enhance or change your current career path? I landed a job at JCPenny’s Salon where I have continued to learn and enhance my skills.

What piece of advice would you give to students considering a career in cosmetology? Take your schooling very seriously and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Take a lot of notes.

What do you enjoy about the cosmetology industry? Every day is different. This industry is always changing and you are constantly learning new things. I love building relationships with my clients and making them feel good.

Where has your job taken you? I have started my career and have already learned so much from my mentor, he plans to retire within the next five years and would love to see me replace him. I can just see my career going very far.

How has your education at MSC impacted your professional life? MSC helped me learn how to communicate with clients over the phone, at the front desk, and how to talk to clients professionally during a consultation.

What is your favorite memory of MSC? I have two favorite memories from MSC. My first is I have Turners Syndrome and MSC allowed me to invite the TS girls from my chapter to get mini makeovers. It made them all feel special and gave them a boost of confidence it really meant a lot to all of us. My second favorite memory is when the school did my wedding party’s hair, nails and makeup.  The students did an amazing job and I was asked all night where we had gone.  Everything turned out better than I had ever dreamed and we all looked amazing.

What is the most valuable information you learned while you were in school? Client consultations are very important, and you should be doing them for every client. It is also very important to follow manufacturer’ instructions.


Minnesota School of Cosmetology Spring Fashion Show

Breanna and Bailey

Minnesota School of Cosmetology hosted their first annual Spring Fashion Show recently.  The theme this year was Classic Hollywood Decades.

We set this year’s fashion show up as a reverse career fair.  Allowing for our students to create inspiration boards with their before and after photos.  We encouraged our students to have copies of their resumes available to hand out to the salons and industry professionals that would be attending the show.

After the show we give the Salons and Industry Professionals the opportunity to meet our students and talk with them about how they completed their looks and their career aspirations.

Our students were able to choose if they would like to participate individually or in a group.  As well as choosing the decade they would like to portray through their looks.  We encouraged students to have a few different looks for each decade, but to keep in mind time to get the looks together on the day of the show is limited. The students had been preparing for the show for weeks in advance and all their time and hard work really showed through their looks.

Thank you to all the family and friends who were able to come out to the shows and for the continued support you give our students daily. They wouldn’t be where they are at today without you!

We would like to give a special thanks to all the Salons and Industry Professionals that attended our Spring Fashion Show!   Thank you for supporting our students!


European Wax Center

Fantastic Sam’s


Great Clips

Hair Expressions


Marc Daniel Salon

Pro Cuts

Regis Salons

Spalon Montage


Check out all the glamourous Hollywood looks on our facebook page!

Graduate Turned Salon Manager Says She Wouldn’t Be Where She Is without Minnesota School of Cosmetology

When Minnesota School of Cosmetology (MSC) alumna Leniesa Williams learned how to round-brush hair when she first started at MSC, she says she didn’t like it and thought she wasn’t good at it. Now, she is the salon manager at Blast Blow Dry Bar in downtown Minneapolis and is using the skills she learned on a daily basis.

“I do hair, makeup and waxing. I have request clients every day, and I love doing what I do,” says Leniesa.

Leniesa still speaks to her instructors who helped her realize her full potential in the cosmetology industry.

“I loved the instructors. [They] really cared whether or not I knew the material … and whether I got a job when I was finished with school,” she explains.

Leniesa didn’t just land a job when she was finished with her program, but she was hired by Blast Blow Dry Bar before she graduated. She says MSC’s career services department was there every step of the way – from setting up career fairs to helping her with her resume.

“I was at school during a career fair, and there was Blast [Blow Dry Bar],” Leniesa says. “I sent them my resume and had a technical and interview within a few days.”

A television commercial and its convenient location were what first piqued Leniesa’s interest in MSC, but after taking a tour of the Woodbury campus, she quickly realized that MSC was different than other schools.

“Everyone seemed to be happy and liking what they were doing,” she says. “Everyone seemed nice, and it was clean.”

Now that she’s graduated, Leniesa has noticed other differences in the quality of education MSC provides to students.

“Being in this industry, I have worked with people from different schools, and I have learned that MSC teaches their students more than other schools,” explains Leniesa. “They have the best instructors, and they teach you everything you need and want to know.”

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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.”

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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.

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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.”

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