How To Expand Your Education With An Externship

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The Beauty Buzz wants to get you ready for life after graduation. That’s why we’re writing a five-part series that’s dedicated to giving valuable career advice to new stylists. We’ll cover everything you need to know to help you land and excel at your first job out of beauty school. Students can start getting work experience while they’re still enrolled in beauty school, thanks to the state externship program. For the first installment of this series, we’ll tell you how to get an externship and get the most out of the experience.

An externship can be beneficial to your career in the beauty industry for many reasons. You’ll learn from salon professionals, get hands-on experience and a feel for salon culture. You’ll also get a step-up on getting hired after graduation, if you make all the right moves.

To be eligible for the externship program, a cosmetology student must have clocked 960 hours, while an esthetics student must have clocked 450 hours.

First, you’ll need to find a salon to do your externship in. You’ll want a salon with a good atmosphere, but also one that’s a good fit for you and your career goals. Start by walking into nearby salons that you admire and ask for a tour. Try to see as many salons as you can and ask lots of questions, so you know exactly what’s expected of you as an extern.

Once you’ve selected the salon you’d like to do your externship in, it must be approved by the California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology. This is something that the staff at Salon Success Academies can help you with. Once it’s been approved, you can work in the salon once a week (8 hours), which will count towards your hours needed for graduation.

When you start your externship, remember that you still have to prove yourself. As an extern you’ll most likely be assisting a stylist and shampooing clients, but always try to go above and beyond your daily duties. Sweep the floor, fold towels, answer the phone, and do anything else that needs to be done in the salon. Take full advantage of this learning opportunity and do everything you can to gain more experience. The salon management will surely take notice.

If you have more questions about applying for an externship, you can find a list of Frequently Asked Questions on the California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology’s website.

Coming up in the second part of this five-part series on the Beauty Buzz, we’ll tell you how to update your resume and start your job search.

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