This week we’re spotlighting a student from one of our nighttime classes. We hold our part time students in high esteem; after working full-time jobs during the day, they show up each night to clock up a few more hours toward a new career in cosmetology.
From 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, Diane Samuels is a Human Resources manager at a major global foundation. She moved from Jamaica to Manhattan 13 years ago to earn a Master’s Degree, but Diane says, “I’ve been interested in the beauty industry practically my entire life. There was a definite pull for me that I could no longer ignore. Once I made my decision to pursue a cosmetology education, I took the approach that I wanted to attend the ‘Ivy League’ within the beauty industry. With that in mind, ARROJO was an easy choice.”
Diane says she was initially attracted to the small class size. “It allows our educators to really focus on each student and provide individual support; even the daytime classes are deliberately small. I didn’t see that when I visited other schools.
Attending school part time allows me to maintain my lifestyle while still going after my dream. I like the hours, 5:30 to 9:30 pm, because it fits into my schedule. I have a family - it wouldn’t have been easy for me to quit my day job in order to do this. The length of the program provides me with enough time to think about how to transition fully into my new career.
The curriculum enables us to think about the industry without boundaries. The more we do and learn, the more I am compelled to continue. As I get closer to completing the program, I’m more excited about my potential. I’m willing to take more risks to go after the dream I’ve had for my whole life.
I started the program willing my hands to do what my mind wanted them to do, and often it’s frustrating when they don’t cooperate! As we get further into the program, the tasks become more natural, and I actually envision myself working in the industry. I’m that much closer to reality!
After graduation, I’m looking forward to continuing to learn and grow as a stylist. I definitely want to learn more about hair, but also about the ins and outs of building a brand. I want to be well rounded as my ultimate goal is to own a day spa.
It is a challenge to not be able to spend time in the evenings with my family, but what gets me through the difficulty is knowing that I am going after something that I’ve wanted for a long time. My son will have a mother who is happy in her career; I see that as a gift to him. I really love what we’re doing. My classmates are great and it’s like entering another world once we’re here.”
(Photo: Jena Cumbo)