We provide students externship placement opportunities with partner salons where they practice their skills with experiences in real-life work settings. In My Externship series, our students talk about their personal experiences at each of their own locations and how they have contributed to their educational growth at their time in our program.
What is your name? Can you tell us a bit about you got interested in pursuing cosmetology at IBW?
My name is Alexis Shutic and I am a student of the Institute of Beauty and Wellness’ cosmetology program. As a child, everyone goes through different phases and interests, but my interest in beauty and fashion never faded for me. Whether it was doing my sister’s hair or practicing on my dolls, this was something that never got old. After high school, I enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee to pursue a degree in Chemistry with the hopes of becoming a pharmacist. While taking classes there, it did not feel like this was what I was meant to do. After my third semester, I decided to take a break and work full-time at Neroli Salon and Spa, where I have been working for the past seven years. While there, I was promoted to Assistant Team Lead; this is when I realized that this is what I wanted to do. Being around all these amazing women and men who use hair as a medium to create beautiful works of art, it made me realize that I wanted to do that too.
What is something you learned in the externship?
I learned a lot about how to conduct a thorough consultation and how important they are for every single guest that visits. Even if you see a certain guest every three weeks for a retouch and they never want to do anything different, it makes them feel listened to and cared for. To check in with them and see if anything has changed since their last visit, if they had any concerns from last time, or if they want to adjust anything during this visit. I have had multiple clients tell me that even though they have been seeing my mentor for years, they love how thorough she is with her consultations; it reassures that she does care and wants them all to look great.
What skills did you improve on while in the externship?
I definitely feel that a lot of my skills have improved so far, but one skill in particular has been my short-medium women’s haircuts. While shadowing with Sarah, my mentor, she had a lot of clients reserved for bob haircuts, which is something I did not get a lot of experience with while I was in school. She showed me many little tips and tricks to be able to get the perfect crisp bob which has then increased my confidence in that area of hairstyling.