For the City Times
New Cosmetology program students at Mid-State Technical College enjoyed a crash course in the tools of the beauty trade at the college’s “Unpacking Day” on Friday, Jan. 13.
The twice-yearly event takes place the week before the first day of classes and provides incoming students a chance to be mentored by returning students while exploring their extensive personal kit of approximately 120 professional tools. “Unpacking Day” grew into an event six years ago when instructors Pat Lemke and Stacy Brock saw the chance to turn the requirement into a more dynamic mentoring experience.
“In the past, new Cosmetology students unpacked their kits in the classroom, but as the kits grew to incorporate the latest tools, we recognized the need for more space to spread out in the gym,” said Lemke. “It also presented an opportunity for a fun mentoring event that accommodates visual, linear, and social learning styles.”
Each student is responsible for purchasing the $1,700 kit, which contains most of the items they will use in their future career—including curling irons, perm rods and a blow dryer—as well as a variety of training manikins to support hands-on practice.
The students are also required to organize and store the entire kit, mirroring the realities of real-world salons, where space is tight and having the right tool at your fingertips is essential to staying focused on the client and the creative side of the work.
Griscelda Ramirez, a returning Mid-State student, noted that organization is where she can really help new students.
“It’s not always obvious what tools should go where,” said Ramirez. “There isn’t really one right way to do it, but things like hair-setting rollers take up too much space in the roll-about and don’t get used as often.”
Later in the program, real-world training for Mid-State’s Cosmetology students comes in the form of extensive hands-on experience in the college’s on-campus salon. The Salon@Mid-State is open to the public and offers a variety of beauty and hair care services, including cuts, color, manicures, pedicures and facials.
Clients can schedule daytime or evening appointments on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays by calling 715-422-5531.