When it comes to succeeding in the beauty industry, knowledge is power. That’s where great educators come in. At American Institute of Beauty, we think our experienced, passionate educators are the best around. Jenifer Rodgers, Cosmetology Phase 1 educator at our Largo campus, is an excellent example of someone who’s dedicated to her students’ success.
Jen has always been into hair. However, she hasn’t always worked in beauty. Before becoming a stylist and eventually a salon owner, she was a graphic designer. “I’ve always been artistic. I think of hair as another form of artistic expression,” she says. “I loved graphic design, but the personal interactions with people [in beauty] is great.” When Jen made the switch from graphic design to beauty, she found that it offered the socialization and self-expression she’d always wanted. It also gave her a chance to utilize her in-depth knowledge of color. “Graphic design involves a lot of color theory,” she says. “I did a lot of corrective color as a stylist because I know what colors need to be there to make something work.”
Styling hair made Jen realize how much she loved coloring, cutting, and chemical texture services. Her passion is to make a client happy without compromising the hair. She’s all about fixing existing problems, preventing damage, and creating glossy, healthy, beautiful hair.
Becoming an Educator
Working as a salon manager for almost five years introduced Jen to education. “I found myself mentoring new cosmetologists and in doing so, I felt like an educator already,” she says. “[I was] training and hiring people who were new and it showed me what they needed once they were out.”
As a graduate of American Institute of Beauty, returning as an educator felt like coming home. “I came back to school at an older age than the people I’m teaching now, but I can tell [my students] that I went to school here,” she says. “I think this helps them find me more relatable.” Being a Phase 1 educator means that Jen is there for students at the beginning of cosmetology school. She teaches fundamental concepts like theory of styling, symmetry, and of course, color theory.
Many students come into cosmetology school and think it’s going to be easy. When they realize it’s harder than they thought, it’s easy to get discouraged. Jen’s experience and positive attitude help them persevere. “My favorite part [of my job] is when a student really gets it and really wants it,” she says. “It’s great to see them figure out the ‘why’ not just the ‘how’.”
Why American Institute of Beauty?
AIB can offer students one-on-one attention that other schools can’t. “We are really hands-on,” Jen says. “The class sizes are small. I could have eight people in my class doing different things but give everyone specialized attention.” This means that American Institute of Beauty students get individualized help from educators every single day. Receiving personal guidance and training from long-time educators like Jen is a great way to prepare for a career in the beauty industry.