One of the many opportunities we encourage our Future Professionals to take advantage of is Beacon, a renowned program designed to encourage and inspire beauty industry students to effectively and aggressively prepare for successful careers. Beacon was founded in 2001 with nearly 1,000 students applying each year.
Alice Ness has been THE TEMPLE’s Beacon Program Administrator since 2012. She answers some of our most frequently asked questions….
What is Beacon?
Beacon is a contest for cosmetology students nationwide. It is self-marketing contest that allows applicants to showcase their personal brand. Future Professionals are asked to submit three images that highlight the skill set they excel in.
How do students enter the contest?
Students submit three portfolio images that showcase their specialty – whatever they feel they’re amazing at. Whether it’s three haircuts or finish styling or whatever. For example, we had a Future Professional in night school whose strength was in her styling. In order to highlight that she had her models appear in military-type clothing with ultra feminine makeup and hair. It showcased the students’ skill set because there was an intense juxtaposition between the two.
What else is involved?
They have to create a marketing piece – it can be a business card, a website, magazine layout – anything to market their work. Then they need a letter of recommendation. (Usually from Sharon Riser.) Lastly, they have to provide a professional resume.
How do you guide Future Professionals through Beacon?
At THE TEMPLE, we walk them through process of portfolio work. We set up professional photo shoots, help them with their social media marketing as well as assist with getting their resumes together.
Where and when are the results?
We’ve had over 25 winners over last 5 years, mind you this is for all cosmetology students nationwide, so I think we’ve done pretty fantastic! In fact, this year we had 60 applicants between Temple Annapolis and Temple Frederick.
Winners will for the contest are announced in the March/April timeframe. There will be a Beacon winner event in Las Vegas during Professional Beauty Association (PBA) Week in mid-July.
What are the benefits of going through the process?
If they win, they get a chance to go to a business forum with the likes of John Paul DeJoria, plus the opportunity to network with industry professionals. At the very least, they have a resume, a marketing piece and three professional images to add to their portfolio. It’s worth the extra effort. Honestly, the experience to participate is so much more that you expect it to be!
I am so excited to be able to help Future Professionals take the lead and enter this contest. It really feels great for me on a personal level because I didn’t take advantage of it when I was a student. In 2015 we had 13 winners from our school. We just keep getting better and better every year!