Heather Rikoric is a student at Bellus Academy in Manhattan, Kansas. She has a degree in Journalism/Mass Communications with an emphasis in Psychology from Kansas State University, but decided to pursue her passion for hair in the beauty industry. Read more to see what her post graduation plans are and what her number one hair tip is:
1. Why did you decide to go into the beauty and wellness industry?
I have been obsessed with beauty and didn’t even really know it until it was brought up to me. I did my sister’s hair and makeup while in college and started researching videos on YouTube to find out how to perfect different makeup techniques, nail art and hairstyles. I also have been keeping up with different product lines and trends each season. I went to Ulta one day to get my hair done and talked to my stylist who thought I was a stylist already with my knowledge and she told me I really needed to go to beauty school. So, after hearing my mom say it, my dad, my sister and now my stylist, I decided that it was time to turn my obsessive hobby into a successful career and make it my life instead of a hobby.
2. Have you been able to combine your two interests thus far?
Believe it or not, I have! It’s kind of funny because the Admissions Department saw that I have a journalism background and told me “Hey! One day you could be combining these!” I feel that is probably where I will go since it was my dream to work at a magazine. Obviously, journalism is more than just writing stories. Journalism also involves using social media and theories of mass communication, so I log into Facebook when I can and let people know what I am doing and how much I love doing it. I have posted pictures onto my Facebook so people can see what I do, which has actually gained interest with some followers considering going to beauty school. I want people who were like me at the beginning to honestly realize there is more to beauty school than just hair and makeup and “oh, wow we played with some polish today”. It’s SO much more than that!
3. What is your favorite lesson you have learned at Bellus Academy?
There are so many things I have learned from Bellus! I have learned how to better take care of my hair and I like sharing with others what I have learned about hair products and hair techniques (like holding the blow dryer above my head so I don’t frizz out my hair). What I love about the college is you don’t just learn stuff about cosmetology. I guess the most important thing I have learned is self-confidence and learning how to motivate myself to get where I need to go. They have a program that is called “Pacific Institute” so I have learned to be a better “me” and it has seriously changed my life.
4. Any advice for people thinking about pursing an education at Bellus Academy?
Bellus is what Mr. David, the Academy Director, has said it is, a beauty and wellness college, but it’s not just a wellness school for our future clients, but for us as well. This school has plain and simple changed my life. So, if you are thinking of enrolling, DO IT. When I first thought about enrolling, I was terrified because this is a huge career change and I already had a degree so this HAD to be it. It has been the best experience I have ever had and it doesn’t even feel like school. The teachers are SO knowledgeable and they teach you what you need to know and THEN some. I have learned way more than I thought I would learn so you are going to get more than your money’s worth at this school. There are schools out there that will teach you basics but if you want to learn basics and more, Bellus Academy is for you.
5. What are your plans after you graduate?
I want to start off by working at a salon to build my clientele database. I also see myself doing theatre makeup which will help me on my career path to the film industry! Of course, I really like cutting hair or so I have discovered in inspiration class. I could also go back to my original dream of working for a magazine and writing beauty products and trends.