Nails 101: A Student Blog

Week 12: Beyond School to Infinity of Nails

by NAILS Magazine | April 1, 2011

These past few weeks have been something of mixed emotions. I am happy because my school days are coming to an end. Yet, I’m sad because I have made some really good friends and love being in school. I loved talking to other students, learning, and building a relationship with my instructors. I want to take a moment and thank two instructors who have been amazing and helped me with so much in my school life. When I first met Rebecca Klaus I did not know what to think. After a few weeks, I realized we have a lot in common. She has been a fun teacher who made the time fly by. She loves what she does and she knows what she is doing and that is what made her an awesome teacher at this school.


The owner inspires me to be the best nail tech out there. She made me believe I can achieve whatever I wanted. She also taught me the importance of doing nails. When I walked into this school on the first day, I never knew what to expect. I thought it was just going to be a way to earn a living. Now, everything that I think about regarding nails is so different. My goal in life is to provide a service to help people in wellness and age gracefully — to teach people the importance of nail care, skin care and to not be afraid to feel beautiful. Many of you will feel like you are just going to do nails as a job or that it is just to get by. I tell you this: You will change your mind and you will start to see things differently. The owner of my school not only cares about school but the students in this school. I feel like I am leaving home.


My board tests were nerve racking but I succeeded and passed. I did my physical practical where I had to do my manicures, pedicures, and a set of acrylics. It was tough, and the funny thing is even though I am so used to doing them, being watched during the procedure made me nervous. The main issue to remember is to always keep the client safe. You must remember to sanitize. My instructors drilled it into my head saying not to get into the habit of following others when it comes to sanitation issues. Always remember to wash and disinfect.


After I finished taking my practicals I completed the book and now I’m focusing on just working on services for the school. I am excited to start the quest for a job. We took last week to learn how to look for job, apply for jobs, and do interviewing techniques. I actually took those skills and started responding to local job placement websites. I ended up getting a call back. I went on one interview for a manicurist in the area where I live. It was interesting and I am glad that I went because it is a place I do not want to work.


My instructor told us to go on interviews at places that are not necessarily our dream jobs. This allows you to get some practice since we’ve never gone on an interview at a salon. Believe me, it is completely different then any other job interview I have ever been on. I dressed very trendy in all black. I added color extensions to my hair in bright blonde. (I did this because not only did they do nails but also hair.) It was not a wellness spa but a salon. I walked in and filled out an in-depth application. After the application, I was given a tour of the salon. The owner and I finally sat down and talked. We talked about why I want to do nails and not the whole cosmo program. I answered in the most honest, direct and positive attitude that I could. I was then asked to come back and given a date to come in for the practical part of the interview. The owner (interviewer) asked what service I liked doing. I like pedicures, so she set me up for a practical interview doing a pedicure on the receptionist.


I prepared for the second interview. I left work for a few hours so I could do this. I walked in with all my things. I set up my station. It was a different pedicure throne than the one I use at school. I set it up the best I could and even added a spa treatment in the water. I did the procedure as I would at school. I was sweating with nerves. The lady who I was giving the pedicure to wanted nail art. I have been good at school but having to do it and be judged on whether I would be working there or not made me nervous. I ended up not doing so well on the nail art design. I tried to put more cuticle oil on it to smooth it out.


The owner (interviewer) came out afterwards and said they looked good. I was not happy with my work. She explained how the compensation works. I didn’t know that most jobs where based on commission. The commission for this job would be 50% and the salon would provide all the tools and product. I left feeling uncomfortable about that. She also asked if I had someone who would help support me because it takes time to build a clientele.


I went back to school and asked the instructors about how jobs were placed and how jobs were paid. I was told that different salons and spas are all done differently. I went back to my desk and I started thinking about the places I wanted to work. I know that getting my dream job isn’t necessarily going to happen right out of school. But I can strive and work for that goal.


This has been a stressful week and I am exhausted. I can’t wait to be done with school. But the other side of me is scared because I feel like I will have to leave the nest and go into the real world. It is funny because I am an adult yet I feel like this is completely out of my realm. I am scared but excited to actually start working. I can’t wait to see what kind of job awaits me. Have a great week and I will see you next week.


— Susan

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