My Beacon 2016 Experience

My Beacon 2016 Experience

The Professional Beauty Association’s Beacon program is a renowned program designed to encourage and inspire beauty industry students to effectively and aggressively prepare for successful careers. This program provides the nation’s most promising cosmetology students with education and opportunities to network with the industry’s highest profile salon owners, professionals, and stylists during PBA Beauty Week.

By submitting an application to the Beacon competition, 100 winners and 200 honorable mentions will be chosen to attend PBA Beauty Week with specialized student education in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Two Aveda IBW students, Cortney and Rolan, were recipients of the Beacon 2016 award. Here is a recap of their experiences from their perspective.

Rolan’s Experience

Of course it was amazing, right? We are talking Beacon, NAHA, and Aveda all in Vegas. Yes, it was amazing.  The industry leaders and teachers they had speaking to our group were so good – each one better than the next. They were speaking with so much passion that it was contagious.  Their words were so motivational and encouraging, I am excited to continue my new career as a barber.

Going to the NAHA event was surreal. Walking in on the red carpet and rubbing shoulders with some of the best in the industry. I was thrilled to be there.  I met so many leaders who wanted to know about me and were excited with my work. Even people who had scouted me previously and were looking to invite me to their team! I was honored and treated so well. On one of my breaks I was walking around and met and hung out with two of the barbers from Schorem from Rotterdam! These guys are the best of the best and here they are talking to me, shooting the breeze with me, treating me like an equal. It was honor to meet them.


Cortney and I teamed up right away as most schools had multiple Beacon winners there together.  It was so nice to have her there with me. Sunday night Susan Haise (Institute Owner) treated Cortney and I to a delicious dinner. It was so nice to spend time with her and talk with her.

beacon dinner

I am so glad my teachers pushed me to apply for Beacon. It was incredible experience and a true honor to represent Aveda IBW Milwaukee there. Thank you so much to all my teachers, Susan, Gaya, and Aveda IBW Milwaukee.

Cortney’s Experience

PBA beacon week was a once in a lifetime opportunity that I was fortunate to be a part of this year.  There were numerous motivating guest speakers that completely changed the outlook of my career. Each speaker broke down the different steps it takes to be successful in the hair industry.  Hearing their own heartfelt stories of where they came from and how they got to be who they are today, reminded me that it is possible to someday reach that level. It was refreshing to learn that each person started with a simple vision and acted upon their dreams to achieve their goals. Hopefully, some day I will get the chance to be in their shoes motivating others on their journey to success.



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