Meet Laura Mushenheim – Douglas Education Graduate
Douglas Education Center Student Matters
Douglas Education Center
2005 Graduate of Tom Savini Special Make-Up Effects Program
2009 Graduate of Esthetics Program
2010 Graduate of General Cosmetology
The saying goes that, “The third time is a charm!” Just ask Laura Mushenheim about that saying and she would probably concur, with a bit of a twist. For her experiences, we could probably say, “All three times were charms!” Laura attended and graduated from three Douglas Education Center programs starting right out of high school in 2004.
Laura first attended The Tom Savini Special Make-Up Effects Program graduating in 2005. She went on to work for Mac Cosmetics and after some time, she lost her interest in selling make-up and wanted to expand her job opportunities. Laura felt that in order to gain a bigger market, she would have to gain more hands-on experience. So, she attended the Esthetics Program in the summer of 2009 and graduated that fall. Laura then made the decision to learn more about Cosmetology, so you guessed it, in 2010 she returned for her final program in General Cosmetology, which she graduated from one year later.
Originally, Laura was very drawn to the special make-up effects program because in her words, “No other place in this area had a program like Douglas, except perhaps the Art Institute.” Laura felt Douglas had a stronger program that would allow students to concentrate more in the arts and skills. And when she was considering returning to school for Esthetics, Laura needed a school that offered night classes because she was working full time. DEC, again, was a school that offered her what she needed. Finally, when it came down to getting her full Cosmo license she said, “I’m from the South Hills and could have easily gone to South Hills Beauty or Empire, but since I already knew the teachers and thought DEC had an overall better facility than the others, I decided to return one last time. Also, since I was an adult and paying for my own schooling I wanted to go to a place that was the right fit and I was going to learn something and not waste time. Douglas was just that place for me.”
Laura, as you can probably ascertain, is a highly motivated individual. She has recognized areas where school could impact her career options and has enjoyed the success that has followed. Currently, Laura is employed by Deka Lash, a franchise with four locations in the Pittsburgh Area. Laura is the manager for the Wexford location. In this position, she also works with clients to provide various types of lash extensions and Micro Blading which is a semi-permanent eyebrow tattoo. “That required a certification which I received back in January. It’s been a huge thing at the company since,” she states.
Laura is flourishing in her career. She is at the point where she is able to weed through clients and choose who she wants to work on instead of taking whatever she can get. She says, “I enjoy having regulars that request me. It’s all about making yourself more valuable and in demand.” She also says with a laugh, “I know this probably doesn’t sound like the best answer in terms of motivation, but money motivates me. That takes working at being the best at whatever it is that you choose to do.”
Looking to the future, Laura feels that she has a lot of opportunities still to come with Deka Lash. “My boss is franchising Deka Lash all over the United States, and since I was the one that brought Micro Blading to the company, there is talk of becoming a corporate trainer and being able to travel.” Laura feels that there is just so much potential growth for her in this company that she hopes to be with Deka Lash through that growth.
For now, she is pleased with her career path. She is building a wonderful portfolio and building a following on Instagram where she has secured business, including a woman that comes from New York and a woman with Alopecia whom she gave eyebrows. She says, “It shows that people have a lot of trust in what I’m doing to their faces and that’s pretty big. I’m not a hugger, but after I was done giving the woman eyebrows, she gave me a big hug and was pleased with my work. Knowing that I made her feel better about herself was just such a great feeling.”
In remembering her time at DEC, a couple of instructors had a particular influence on her as a student. She mentions Mr. Nestor (Supervisor of The Cosmetology Programs) saying, “I felt like he was the one I learned the most from. He was very particular and a bit hard at times but I felt that was his way of making me better at what I was doing and I appreciated that.” Laura also mentions Ms. Bonnie Pitzarella. “I had her in both the Savini Program and Esthetics. She taught a Glamour Make-Up course that I really enjoyed. We just had a lot of fun in her classes.”
As for now, Laura is pleased with her academic choices and has successfully pursued a career path where all that was learned at DEC is applicable to her job. Her learning and hands-on experience has given her an edge in her market and she is working hard at becoming a leader with the company that she is currently working through. We wish Laura continued success!
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Learn more about Cosmetology Program at DEC
Learn more about Tom Savini Special Make-Up Effects Program at DEC
Learn more about Esthetics Program at DEC