Even though internships are generally not a required part of the beauty school curriculum, completing an internship can give you valuable experience to list on your resume. When you look for a job after graduation, this will help distinguish you from other entry level applicants.
About Beauty School Internships
Since beauty school students do not have the appropriate licenses, they are unable to directly perform many of the services offered in a salon unless they are being instructed by a supervisor. However, students can answer phones, schedule appointments, sanitize items, and provide advice to customers about cosmetics or hair care products. Shampooing hair does not require a license in many states, so this may be part of an intern’s responsibilities as well.
Every state has its own laws regarding internships that must be followed in addition to your beauty school’s specific program rules. If an internship is unpaid, for example, it is common for states to require that you be earning credit toward your beauty school certificate or associate degree. Accepting tips from customers for your work may or may not be acceptable, depending upon state laws and the rules of your beauty school. There may also be regulations regarding how many hours you can work in a week or what types of duties you are allowed to perform.
Finding an Internship
The best resource for finding a cosmetology internship will be your beauty school. Most schools have an office that deals with job placement and internships, which should have a list of companies that are interested in accepting interns. In some cases, a representative from the company may even come directly to the campus to interview prospective interns.
You can also try lining up an internship on your own by contacting salons that interest you. Many companies don’t advertise internship opportunities, but they are open to the possibility of working with interested students. If you submit your resume to the human resources department or the hiring manager, you may end up with an internship that is perfectly suited to your professional goals.
Making the Most of Your Experience
If you are completing a beauty school internship for academic credit, your internship supervisor will often be expected to complete an evaluation form that is used to determine your grade. This may ask about your work ethic, professional skills, and enthusiasm toward the cosmetology profession. It is similar to the annual performance review that many employees receive.
When completing a beauty school internship, treat the experience with the same professionalism you’d apply to full-time employment. Dress professionally, arrive for work on time, and complete all required tasks to the best of your ability. Keep in mind that many student interns are offered permanent positions after successfully completing their beauty school internships.