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What year did you graduate and from what campus?

I graduated from the North Campus in 2014.

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

I chose a career in cosmetology because I wanted to do something creative as well as help people. So far I have gotten endless opportunities to do just that. I love what I do! I chose the Gene Juarez Academy because I liked their attention to detail and professionalism.

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

Currently I am a hairstylists assistant at VAIN in West Seattle and I love it. I also do donation based haircuts as well as photo shoot styling outside of my regular job.

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

GJA was great at teaching you the basics of hair cutting, coloring, styling as well as safety and sanitation. I felt like I left school with a solid foundation to build on as well as quality education about the state board testing.

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

My favorite thing about my current position is how much opportunity I have to learn. I work in an awesome salon with people who come from all over and all use different techniques. Its interesting to see how they can all do the same thing but get there in different ways. A typical day in the salon for me includes keeping up with all of the house keeping in the salon as well as washing clients hair and helping stylists do blowouts. I also have the opportunity in my down time to practice new techniques on a mannequin or work with a stylist on new haircut or coloring techniques.

What is your fondest memory of GJA?

Graduating!!!! Its such an awesome moment when you finally get what you have been working for all that time. The graduation ceremony at Benaroya Hall is something I will remember for the rest of my life.

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

My advice to those just starting is to stay constantly inspired and excited! You will come across things that are challenging but you will have so much time to practice them. Just stick with it! Its only a year, and the real fun begins when you get out of school. To those about to graduate, congratulations!! You have worked so hard and now have something truly special. Take your time when looking for your salon. Many salons require you to complete their apprentice training program before you can begin working as a stylist, so if you find a salon that you love to start with it won’t feel like as much work. You also don’t want to get most of the way through a program and then have to start over somewhere else. So go to lots of interviews, ask lots of questions, and be sure to have an idea of what kind of salon you want to work in.

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

Do it! Go check out a cosmetology school, take a tour, talk to the students, get a service done. See if you could really picture yourself in that school learning about hair. It’s harder then I ever thought it would be, but extremely rewarding.