When embarking on the journey of creating new and improved student experiences here at Bella Elite Beauty & Barber Academy, we decided to interview as many of our newest students as possible to capture the essence and feeling of their first couple of days. We found out a lot about the experience and were able to find ways of making things better, introducing new concepts and making students feel at home.
Here are the top 10 things that our students found surprising in their first days in class:
"It was so easy to make friends!"
Often times as humans we find ourselves in anxious and stressful situations. Starting Cosmetology school is one of those times. When we are placed into a group situation where our fears, anxieties and stresses are similar to our peers we find common ground. Which very often leads to amazing friendships.
"We were amazed at how much information we had to learn, right from the start."
Hair school and beauty courses are just that, courses. Our academy is a post secondary school that prides ourselves on our programs. Right from day one, students learn at a fast paced level to prepare them for their dream career.
"We were doing hair cuts the first day!"
Of course that being on mannequin heads! We love the fact that our educational teams are able to provide hands on training with actual tools on the first day. We know it can be sometimes rare out there, so we wanted to make sure that our students were engaged with their hands as quickly as possible.
"This program is a lot harder than I thought it would be."
Make no mistake, beauty education and hair programs are hard. But they are really fun as well. We try to balance the program to be as fun and light as possible. This helps offset the stresses of exams and book work. Practical hands on work is set to a standard that we believe should be high, otherwise we wouldn't be setting our students up for the dreams that they most certainly deserve. Students foundational knowledge comes from a standardized level of program that is governed by provincial and federal guidelines. So in a nut shell, we try to help students to expect their limits to be tested.
"I didn't realize how much time I'd be up on my feet."
We as stylists, hairdressers and beauty professionals know... We are always on our feet. Once you get used to the standing and the way things are you can make adjustments in your footwear, visits to the pedicurist, chiropodist (skin of foot doctor) and your overall body mechanics. A high quality academy will teach proper body mechanics to avoid long term issues with feet, hands and arms.
"I had no idea how much fun this would be!"
We certainly like to have fun. We try to make sure that everyone knows what the professional expectations are and then lead our students in how to have fun within the guidelines. This helps in a couple of ways. It prepares the student to know how to have fun in work environments. And it helps them to understand that we take our work seriously, but not ourselves. Its always a great feeling to head to the salon clinical floor and see how much fun everyone is having.
"All of my teachers were so much more personal and friendly than I thought they would be."
The educational team here at the academy spends every day with our students, if we didn't get to know them and what they are about, how would we know how to make their dreams come true?
"I didn't expect it to be as strict as it is."
We know that there are a lot of rules and guidelines involved, and we are here to help with questions and understanding. Expectations for dress code, attendance and conduct are all introduced in class on the first days of classes. Once the standards are set and everyone is on the same page, we can have fun and relax... Which is the name of the game.
"There are a lot more steps in doing hair than I thought."
Well said! Because we strive for precision and excellence, our expectations for cutting and chemical process are set at those same standards. There are many steps in everything we do as professionals and once our students get the hang of it, it becomes second nature.
"I didn't realize how big this industry is, or how many decisions I'd have to make to be a part of it all."
The beauty industry is one of the largest in the world. And in turn, all decisions we make about what we do within that industry has direct effect on how much money we make, how much time we are at work and how we live our lives. There are countless professions within this industry... And it only takes one or two decisions to help make dreams come true.
With the amount of response we had and our understanding of how students work with us to attain their goals. It was important to have their input into their experience, especially at the beginning. We hope this article was as eye opening and informative as ours while we compiled it. It was amazing to see our students engaged in their own process.
Thanks for reading. See you next time.