Student Success Stories: MJ

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What year did you graduate and from what campus?

I graduated from the South Campus in 2008.

Why did you choose a career in cosmetology and why GJA?

I was always interested in cosmetology. I remember being 4 years old and telling my mom to fix her hair! I became a cosmetology student at Gene Juarez Academy because I actually worked at the front desk in their Tacoma salon prior to starting school. Seeing the professionalism and quality of work made it a no-brainer.

What are you currently doing now and what other industry related experience do you have other than your current position?

Right now I co-own a salon, as well as doing freelance work. I’ve been able to do hair for two magazines, lots of on site weddings, fashion shows and photo shoots.

How did your training with GJA prepare you for the industry and the work you are currently doing?

While I was a student, I got to assist Team Artistic. Once I did that, I knew I eventually wanted to do that kind of work – and I made it my goal. After I graduated the academy, I went on to the Advanced Training Salon, and became a designer. While I was a designer at Westfield Southcenter, I got the opportunity to be a product educator, and Team Artistic Associate.

What do you enjoy the most about your current position? What is your typical day like?

I love working with my clients. I love that everyday is a different challenge, or situation. A typical day consists of me being behind the chair, but you really never know what can happen! One morning I came in to work and my coworker was doing a bride that was featured on TV. Never a boring day!

What is your fondest memory of GJA?

My fondest memory was getting to state board training! That’s when I realized all this hard work and hours were about to pay off! It was a good feeling knowing I was about to start my career.

What advice do you have for current students starting out in the program, and those getting ready to graduate?

Right now to really learn the rules, and foundation of hairdressing. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to bend and break them but right now perfect the basics!

What advice do you have for people that are interested in going to cosmetology school?

I would just say do it because you love it. If you are doing it because you think it’s easy or a quick way to make money, it will just end up being like any other job. Always keep learning and building your skills.

Anything else that you’d like to add to your story as a Featured Graduate

No matter where you plan on taking your career – stay inspired.

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