The start of a new year is the perfect time to consider making some adjustments in your life. Being in the business of beauty and education, we pride ourselves on being experts on supporting people through changes, both personally and professionally.

For this Alumni Feature, I chatted with Amber Artinian, Admissions and Placement Coordinator at the Aveda Institute Calgary. She is definitely the go-to girl for anyone seeking advice on how to make career moves in the most effective way!

Amber has a very unique first-hand perspective on Aveda education and professional reinvention that is unmeasurably valuable to potential students. From Salon Assistant, to Institute Alumni (yup, that’s right – she graduated from Toronto’s Institute program in 2010), to Administrative Assistant, to Admissions and Placement Coordinator- she’s run the gamut as far as hair school goes.

Read on for some words of wisdom that could help you navigate the best path to your dream job!



Rebecca Carr: How do you find most people come to the decision to change careers and work the beauty industry?

Amber Artinian: I’ve found that a lot of prospective students come to the decision to make a career change when an opportunity arises for it. They’ve been let go from a job, their kids are now in school and older, their parents pushed them into academics when they were younger, etc; and now they have the chance to do what they have always loved doing and had a passion for!


RC: What is the biggest challenge you hear from people in this process?

AA: Many prospective students find this difficult to talk about - some don’t talk about it at all - but I feel one of the biggest challenges they face is the fear of the unknown or change. This industry is very different from others on its own, and it can be even scarier for those that don’t know what to expect especially if you have a family and other responsibilities to take care of. Most people want to know that they will be successful before entering a career. 


RC: What do people find the most rewarding after making this change?

AA: It’s amazing knowing how big of an impact you can make in someone’s life just by spending a few hours with them. I think is the thing most people come to realize and find rewarding. To us, these are things we do every day all day. To our guests, this is their “me” time, their time to relax, their time to often feel the most beautiful. Your guest will always remember how you made them feel over the technical ability of the service. 


RC: What are the most important things to consider before moving forward?

AA: I think the most important thing that people need to consider and know/understand is that there is no fast tracking in this industry. Unlike others, you need to work from the bottom up. Start by doing the grunt work - pay your dues. There is a work ethic and commitment required in hairstyling that most people aren’t aware of! You have to keep working hard, and go to as many workshops and classes as possible. Stay current. Don’t get stuck doing the same thing every day. That’s when you stop growing, learning, and lose your passion. 


RC: Having done this in your own life, what is the best piece of advice you can give to someone who is thinking of changing careers?

AA: Be patient – with yourself and with your guests as well. You’re learning something new; don’t expect to get it on the first try - it takes years and years of practice! Be patient when finding a salon to work in; find the right fit for you. Take your time and you will find a home, so don’t get discouraged in that process! Be patient and kind with your guests because they are coming to you for your expertise. They don’t know and understand the processes like we do. It is your job to educate them so they can then understand where you’re coming from. Don’t jeopardize the integrity of your guests’ hair just to try and satisfy them! If you explain a process and help the guest understand the WHY of taking a longer route instead of a short and fast one, they will respect you and come back to you! Always be honest; under promise and over deliver


Have more questions? Great! We love questions! Contact our Admissions team and let us help you get started on your dream career today!