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Student Profile: Rebecca Murphy

Rebecca Murphy is a recent CBBC graduate who trained in Cosmetology at CBBC’s Regency Training Salon in Halifax. She has been out of school for six months and is already hard at work building a career in a salon. We wanted to hear all about how it’s going in her new work environment, how CBBC gave her the tools to succeed, and what she thinks her future in the industry will look like.

Keep reading to learn all about her inspiring journey!

CBBC Career College: Hi Rebecca! Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us today! To start us off, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your education?

Rebecca Murphy: Yeah, sure! My name is Rebecca Murphy and I took the cosmetology program at CBBC in Halifax. I just graduated in June 2021.

Amazing! Thank you. So tell us, what interested you about cosmetology? Why did you decide to go to school and take this program?

Cosmetology and just hair, in general, were things that I always had an interest in. Then as I got a little bit older, I’m more of a mature student, I was ready to have a career. I was done just doing these odd jobs that I had always had. I’m a very creative person, so it was just always a field that I was interested in doing.

Amazing. You started the program last year and you were able to complete it in that same year. Looking back, what new skills or things were you able to discover and take into your career?

I was always an at-home DIY hairstylist. I was always doing my own hair and I thought that I was amazing, and then I went to school for it and I realized I really had no idea what I was doing. So I learned pretty much everything you could possibly know from colouring hair to cutting hair. You learn the science behind everything, you learn everything about different products, and you also just learn how to interact with clients as well. So if you’re somebody that has never worked in the service industry, you’ll learn a lot that way as well. There are some great skills to be learned.

Tell us how the instructors were during your program.

The teachers definitely always have answers to your questions and they’re always open to answering any question that you have. They’re always there for you, whether it’s a large class or a smaller class, the instructors are always there to help you when you need it, which is very, very helpful in that type of environment. Especially if you’re struggling with something, they’re always there to help you out. Same with the director of the college as well. You could pretty much talk to any faculty member and have them on your side, for sure.

Amazing. Being someone who’s been through the program, if you were to talk to someone who might be interested in entering the industry what would you tell them?

I would definitely tell them to just go for it. It’s very nerve-wracking going into it because you’re doing something that you might have never done before and you’re around people that you’ve never met before. But at the end of the day, it’s a very supportive environment and you’re all there to help each other learn so there’s really nothing to be afraid of. It’s just a really creative space. You get to really, really indulge in that side of yourself and you get to really try new things. It’s just a great support system.

What are you most excited about now that you’ve graduated?

There are a lot of things to be excited about. I’ve been working now for six months and the salon I’m at is fantastic. You can’t learn everything in school, that’s with anything, so I’m learning even more now, But everything that I did learn in school is helping me out in my new career. I was able to get a great job right out of the gate and use those skills that I got in the career that I have now.

That’s SUCH great news. Okay, so there is obviously a lot of hands-on learning in this program. How did that balance out with the practical stuff?

I did find there was a good mixture. I found for me, I used to be a really big hands-on learner, but I realized that now I’m actually more of a book and paper type of learner. So I really enjoyed the tests and I really enjoyed learning theory. I know that there are other people that did learn that way, and then I know that there are people that took more from the hands-on stuff. It’s a great mixture to have that half and half kind of thing so that it caters to both learning styles.

Going through your program and then transitioning to working out in a salon, how did the college support you during that transition?

Yeah, the college was really good for helping us kind of look for jobs. They helped us with our resume building, with our Instagram portfolios and everything. They had different salon people come into the school and kind of give little presentations, and let us know if they were hiring. And then when we were in contact with different salons and different business owners, we could always go to them and say, “Hey, have you heard of this salon?” Or, “Have you heard any good things about this salon? How do you recommend me going about applying?” And they were always to help you through the steps.

So do you think that cosmetology is going to be your career forever?

I think that cosmetology is a very versatile career path. You can learn so many different things. For myself, I focus on hair, but if I ever wanted to, I could take programs to get more hours and other things like waxing, make-up, all that kind of stuff. If you are going through your career and you decide that you just want a little bit of a change, there are always upgrades you can take and there are always other courses you can add on to services that you’re already providing. You’re always going to have a career. There’s always going to be people coming to you for these services and you can do it anywhere in the world, which is one of the best parts about it. You’re always going to have it in your back pocket, even if you do decide to do something else down the line.

You seem to love learning a lot and that’s fantastic! Were there any other skills you were able to learn during this program, outside of cosmetology?

I would say definitely the social media building. You wouldn’t think that that would be such a big focus in the program, but it really was. Growing your social media following and just the business aspect of how to gain clients and everything like that. And I also learned how to work in a place with multiple people. That was a good skill to learn., I think there were 18 or 19 of us, so that really prepares you for going into an environment that has that many employees as well.

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