Dale Shultz has created his own career path. A 2013 graduate from Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College-Rice Lake’s cosmetology program, he’s combining that experience with a business management degree with emphasis areas in cosmetology and international relations to take his craft overseas.
The first building block was getting his cosmetology license.
“I chose WITC based on its reputation, small class sizes and attention to students,” Shultz said. “I felt my education provided me with an excellent foundation for my job. I definitely felt comfortable with my skills from school and quickly adapted that knowledge to the working environment.”
Shultz, currently a stylist at Regis Salon in Rice Lake, is making a name for himself in the company. He says his cosmetology background, along with his associates in business management, will lay the framework to quickly advance within in the company.
“I would like to do something that has an international aspect to it. Regis Corporation is an international company. They have salons all over the world, and I would love to go around and teach others my craft and help new or troubled salons work out their issues and open new stores.”
Thanks to WITC’s international programs, Shultz has already been able to explore salons and cosmetology schools in Japan and Germany, and in the spring of 2014, he’ll be doing the same in Scotland. He’s learned about regulations, apprenticeships and the business side of salons in each country.
“My program definitely encouraged me to grow and challenge my own skill set, attend competitions and think outside the box,” Shultz said. “It encouraged me to work hard.”
He encourages others to pursue what they truly want to do, saying he had great experiences and opportunities at WITC and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone.
“You can build your future. You can take a base and add to it,” Shultz said. “I like to travel. I like business, and I love cosmetology. Now, I put them together to create a career that has all those focuses.”
Dale Shultz is also the WITC-Rice Lake campus 2013 student ambassador.
Amber McGregor, a 2000 graduate of the cosmetology program at Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College-Superior, checked off an item on her bucket list when she became a co-owner of her own salon, Parlour 53 in Hermantown, Minn. The shop is elegant and modern in design and has been operating since 2012.
McGregor says she looked to Superior cosmetology instructor Jean Engebretson as a mentor.
“Jean knows so much and has worked in so many different salons. She gave me the encouragement to go to further my career and open a salon.”
Having worked at salons in Superior and Duluth, McGregor said she quickly realized how her education at WITC stood out after graduation and made it easier for her to progress in her career.
“We just got to do a lot more hands-on work. It was a very professional atmosphere, and there was a good variety of people to work on,” said McGregor. “Others were sloppier and their skills not as honed as WITC graduates. Plus, it’s a lot easier to get licensed in other states once you have the Wisconsin license.”
Besides learning the usual cutting, perming, styling, manicures, facials and coloring, she says she also took away soft skills too, like how to handle clients, customer service and salon politics.
“The program at WITC was like a job. I felt very prepared for working in the industry.” said McGregor “My instructor never believed we couldn’t do anything.”
She says she’s thankful for her education and mentors that have given her inspiration and motivation to make her vision a reality.