New cosmetology externship model connects students to industry
When Jill Mion, owner of Temptd Salon and Spa in Monona and a senior part-time instructor at the college, heard about the cosmetology program’s shift to an externship model, she was thrilled.
“This is exactly what students and the future of cosmetology needs,” she says. “By being in a salon, students will be closer to trends, they’ll see a diverse clientele, and they’ll be alongside industry professionals showing them the way. When students are in that environment, they are only going to grow.”
For the past six years, students in the Cosmetology technical diploma program have gained their industry training and honed their skills at the college’s Trustyle Salon, an open-to-the-public salon located in the Truax campus.
Starting in the spring of 2024, the externship model will pair students with local partnering salons to fulfill most of these training hours. Trustyle will continue to stay open with reduced hours.
With the support of salons such as Temptd Salon and Spa as well as others throughout the area, the model bridges the gap between school and salon. This partnership also helps students gain industry knowledge and a build robust clientele sooner.
“Students will have an orientation period where they’ll work with Trustyle salon clients, interview with partnering salons, establish an online portfolio and create business cards. This will prepare for them for their extern role,” she says. “Then, they’ll transition to a hybrid model; spending time on campus for theory and lab work which creates a bridge to their externship role in salons. Throughout this time, Madison College Trustyle Salon will be open (one day a week) for students to continue serving longtime customers and the community.”
A key advantage, says McNally, is how quickly students will be immersed in the industry. “They’ll be working alongside and learning from seasoned licensed professionals and practicing trends in real-time. Students can begin building a stable and vibrant clientele for themselves that will translate to success after graduation.”
Patti White, operations manager for Cost Cutters of Madison, Inc., who oversees 25 salons throughout the regional area, is also looking forward to welcoming externship students.
“There’s a huge benefit in having the students introduced to the salon environment sooner,” she says. “They’ll see a wide range of clients; men, women, and children, all with different service needs. And we’ll be partnering them with experienced professionals who will know how to strengthen their skills and help them grow professionally. It’s not just the cosmetology skills; there’s learning customer service, the retail aspect, the operations, and all of it is critical.”
White says that when students are done with school, not only will they feel more comfortable, but they’ll also likely have a job waiting for them. It gives them a place and “work-family” they’ve gotten to know, and built-up clientele.
And, when asked if Cost Cutters plans to hire the students placed in their salons through the externship model, White’s answer was an enthusiastic “absolutely.”
Open for Business
Trustyle customers can continue to book services directly through the salon during the summer and fall 2023 semesters. Once the new externship model is in full swing, public hours will be reduced and communicated to the public.
For those looking to support students at their externship salon, the Cosmetology program will keep the salon's webpage up-to-date on where our students will be placed and how you can contact those salons to book an appointment.