Customer Service a Two-Way Street for SRTC Cosmetology Students

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Slender fingers gently massaging my face, a darkened room, and the sweet, light scent of cucumbers … with my eyes closed, I could easily imagine that I’m on vacation somewhere tropical, but I’m actually enjoying this treat much closer to home. I am having a spa facial with Jasmine: an adorable, freckle-faced, curly-haired 19-year-old cosmetology student at Southern Regional Technical College.
Jasmine started in cosmetology in the 11th grade with Colquitt County High School’s Move On When Ready program. She will graduate as a Master Cosmetologist in just a couple of months, with plans to start her career in cosmetology right away. Though her passion is hair, she does a fantastic job with my facial. Sonja McDonald, one of her instructors here at SRTC, explains, “We want our students to leave here well-rounded and ready to work at any salon. We teach them everything: hair, nails, and skincare. Most importantly, we are always teaching customer service.”

Cosmetology Program Chair, Paul Tompkins adds, “I believe that 85% of a salon’s success comes from good customer service. We spend the first two semesters teaching our students techniques, but they can’t really be an asset to a salon without that real-world experience of working with people.” Mr. Tompkins speaks from plenty of experience. He’s been in the salon industry for almost 40 years, and a teacher for over 20 years. He currently co-owns Beauty Beyond in Downtown Moultrie. “Clients coming to our lab here at SRTC are a real benefit to our students. They can learn techniques on a mannequin, but providing excellent service to a client doesn’t end there. The experience they gain from clients coming into our lab is vital for building confidence in our students.”

Mr. Tompkins and Mrs. McDonald both speak of the importance of strengthening their student’s self-reliance before sending them out into the world. Mrs. McDonald mentions that “this is the place to build confidence while we are standing here. At the beginning, we are right at their elbows while students are working with clients. As they gain confidence, we back up and let them deal with customers by themselves. After all, they will be in the salon without us soon.” With a 100% job placement rate, Mrs. McDonald’s confidence in her student’s futures is not without merit.

To fully prepare students for their first salon position, the cosmetology lab at SRTC offers an incredible array of services for remarkable prices. My nearly 1-hour long facial included 20 minutes of refreshing massage, and only cost $10. Mrs. McDonald, a true nail artist who spent years representing OPI as a platform speaker and featured artist, teaches all of the students’ nail care classes. Her student’s nail services start at just $2. Hair care services also start at $2, and include shampoo, treatments, cut, color, perms, and the lab’s most popular service, a relaxing scalp massage. More extensive facial services, including chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and light therapy, are also offered at prices ranging from $8-$40. All of these services are offered to the public, and appointments can be made by calling

For their full list of services, visit:
SRTC offers over 148 degree, diploma, and certificate programs that are designed to get you quickly into your desired career, and 27 general education courses that transfer to the University System of Georgia institutions and 19 private colleges and universities in Georgia. SRTC has instructional sites located in Ashburn, Cairo, Camilla, Moultrie, Thomasville, Tifton, and Sylvester for the convenience of our students. The College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). SACSCOC is the regional body for the accreditation of degree-granting higher education institutions in the Southern states. For the most up-to-date information on registration, class dates, and program offerings, log on to or call (888) 205 – 3449. Summer Semester 2017 Begins May 18th. Don’t wait, enroll today!

Contributed by Carrie Viohl