For many people, a career in the beauty industry is a lifelong goal that they dream about at a young age. We’ve heard stories from pros about styling their friends hair before middle schools dances or practicing their amateur cutting skills on a beloved doll in preparation for their imminent career as a hairstylist. But the truth is, whether you know that hairdressing is for you at the age of 10 or 35 or 65, success in this industry merely requires a willingness to learn and a passion for being creative. We’re excited to spotlight two of our Paul Mitchell Insiders this week as they share their experience of turning their love for the beauty industry into careers with the education they received at Paul Mitchell The School (PMTS). First up, is Lisa Gomez.
What Paul Mitchell School did you attend?
I attended Paul Mitchell The School Phoenix.
How did you learn about Paul Mitchell The School?
I first learned about Paul Mitchell The School through my sister when I was a freshman in high school. I researched PMTS throughout my four years of high school and fell in love more and more with every piece of information I gathered.
What was your initial feeling when you toured the school?
I first toured Paul Mitchell The School San Diego since it was the closest location to my hometown. My initial feeling was "Yes! This is it!" but then I thought it might be worthwhile to explore other locations. I knew I wanted to attend a Paul Mitchell school, and as soon as I stepped onto the Paul Mitchell The School campus in Phoenix, I knew it was the school for me. When Paul Mitchell Artistic Director for Professional Hair Color Scott Cole walked into my interview and told me that he and fellow Artistic Director Linda Yodice owned the school, my decision was made.
What was your favorite class?
My favorite class was Creative because I was able to start applying the things that we learned in the fundamental classes. Also, Creative was when I was able to join the honors program, Phase Two, which is where I really began to grow as a Future Professional. It was in Phase Two that I learned my strengths: haircutting and styling.
What is your best memory from your experience at your school?
My best memories are centered around the activities that brought my fellow Future Professionals together, such as Yard Sales, CutAThons, Princess and Pirates, Halloween Haunted House, Winter Wonderland, etc. Another stand out experience was interacting with Scott Cole╌he let me hover over him and watch his process when he was on the floor. I learned so much from him! Several people would call me his shadow because, when he was on the floor teaching, I was right behind him, studying his method from his point of view.
Did you attend any schools related events? What was your experience like?
Yes, I participated in a Color Run, fashion shows, two Be Nice (Or Else!) motivational speeches given by Winn Claybaugh, Chroma Tour with Debra Dietrich, two Nights With Scott Cole where he gave mini classes on cuts/styles, and so many more. I am grateful to have had these experiences.
Were you involved in any student run programs?
I was a part of all the student run teams my school offered including Social Networking Team, Design Team, Be Nice (Or Else!) Team, Student Council, Phase Two, and Take Home Team.
Who were your mentors?
My mentors were Paul Mitchell industry leaders and stylists, including Winn Claybaugh, Scott Cole, Larissa Whitwell, Wendy Bowman, Kari Jo Hahn, Cassandra McGlaughlin and Courtney Van Wagoner. I have so many more mentors but I don't want to make this too long.
Cosmetology related or not, what was the best lesson you learned from Paul Mitchell The School?
The best lesson I learned in school was to be nice and always have a positive attitude. I was known at my school for always being nice and always having a smile on my face. I can thank Winn for teaching me that.
After graduating from Paul Mitchell The School, how are you now applying your education to the real world? Where are you working?
Now that I'm a licensed Paul Mitchell Professional (it always feel so weird saying that!), I apply all the techniques I learned in school to my everyday salon reality. I follow lots of hair networks to keep up with what's going on my industry, especially in the Paul Mitchell world. When I don't have someone in my chair, I set up my doll head and practice the things I learned in school or try new things that I want to master.
Stay tuned for another insider’s experience tomorrow!
Be part of something big! Find your creative calling in the beauty industry at our coast-to-coast open house event on May, 7! Click here to read more and RSVP.
Angela Hauk is Paul Mitchell's Brand Advocate Manager. When she's not conversing with the Insiders or sending them swag, she enjoys painting, writing, and exploring new places. Someday she'll own a card shop where her obsession with quotes will be put to good use!