April! Finally, the first whole month of spring and with it comes renewal and sun-filled days! This month at AGA we are very happy to share an alumni story with you that has turned into something amazing for AGA! Juliet Blake graduate of AGA, became a staff member after graduating, and now has risen to the rank of team lead. Could Grooming instructor be in her future path? This month we celebrate the AGA alumni story of Juliet Blake!
“Juliet? She wasn’t the MOST involved student in lecture, She started as average, learning what she had to without many questions. I knew she would do good at this career but didn’t really know if it was the “life” she wanted.” Instructor Kat Marchant recalls this about Juliet’s first weeks in class.
Juliet loved animals,and was recently married. She enrolled at AGA with hopes of making money and a new life. “A common goal among our students is to have a career where they always will have the ability to make a living.” Instructor Angela Clark said. “Pet Styling is a lucrative career and groomers have the ability to earn as much or as little income as they want and willing to work for.”
After graduating, Juliet expressed interest in working for AGA. She was hired as an assistant, as well as a professional, Certified Pet Stylist. She assisted with the needs of new students along with performing general duties around the shop. With the recommendation of Instructor Kat, AGA requested Juliet accompany them on events, including various community, career, and school expos. She hit her stride and proved to be a natural in the field. After the first event owner Angela Clark knew it was a good fit. “Juliet’s ability to start conversations with just about anyone is something really needed at these events.”
Juliet excelled in all things related to AGA. Soon the decision was made to promote her to lead. Juliet was given three months to prove her ability to groom, teach and manage. She showed it was something she was not only capable of but also had a passion for. After three months Juliet accepted the lead role and made it her own. She is now a valued member of the American Grooming Academy staff and an invaluable fasset at events and social occasions. Is AGA grooming instructor a goal for her future? We sure hope so. Becoming an instructor at AGA isn’t easy. Instructors are required to demonstrate high standards in grooming, teaching and leadership skill . Qualifications include: master Certification and experiential hours. AGA instructors are teachers who not only instruct correct technique, but are passionate and knowledgeable on how to instruct all varieties of adult learners. We interviewed Juliet to see how she felt about being an integral part of AGA!
We asked Juliet “ What was it like when you first started working at AGA?”
“I was so nervous! I was about to be working with all of the same people who had taught me, so I definitely felt intimidated. But all of that went away within a few weeks and AGA quickly became my second home. I also remember feeling excited. I knew that the learning didn’t end just because I graduated. By working in a school environment I would be constantly learning and refresh myself, I was ready to be even better than I already was.”
If you ask anyone about their job there is always something they LOVE…We asked Juliet “What do you LOVE most about your job?”.
“The pets are a given… so I would have to say I love the people! I have an opportunity to interact with so many different types of people every day. From my co-workers to students, to clients, I’ve built a lot of friendships through AGA. I always joke that we are one giant family, I can always count on somebody to make me laugh or smile while I’m at work, and I’m so grateful for that!”
The Jobs, careers, and things we want, all have an aspect that to learn. It’s no different here at AGA. We are an educational facility first , with many facets as a result.
”AGA is very complex. We are a school, we are a grooming salon, and we have a mobile service. The hardest part for me has been being able to wear all three of those hats and excel in different areas of the business. It took a while before I was confident enough to jump in and not be afraid of new skills. But that is also an amazing part of working for AGA. I started with no experience and now I can do everything from a long-legged terrier pattern, to haul a trailer. It hasn’t been easy, but I’ve grown so much not just as a groomer, but in my personal life as well.”
Our students ability to excel is one of the things that makes AGA so very special. We are as committed to their goals and dreams as we are to our own, Students gain confidence in knowing we will always be there to support them. Although it is extremely important for students is to experience the real working salon environment , it can also add anxiety to the already disciplined school atmosphere. We asked Juliet about this.
“This is going to sound silly but I had zero patience before I started working at AGA. That is something I learned very quickly and wished I had during my program. You can’t rush the learning process. As a student, I was also so frustrated that I wasn’t moving along as fast as my peers. Now that I’m on the other side I realize everyone learns at difference paces and different ways. Getting it wrong the first time isn’t the end of the world, it just means you have to try harder next time.” “As an Instructor, I don’t think I have ever been more proud of a students’ response.” replied Instructor Kat Marchant.
When asked what her future goals were, in going forward with AGA… we were thrilled with her response! “My biggest goal right now is getting all of the necessary certifications to become an instructor. Next year I will have been grooming professionally for three years, and that seems like the perfect time to add another skill in my tool belt. I love to challenge myself and AGA is the best place to do that in, so who knows what othe
r goals I’ll come up with. But I do know whatever I decide AGA will be there to help me along the way.”
We asked Juliet to give the future students she MAY be teaching some advice, she replied, “It’s okay if you aren’t an amazing groomer right now, that’s what practice is for. The only difference between you and your instructors is time. So take a deep breath and don’t be too hard on yourself. You are capable of anything you put your energy into.”
We are proud to be part of Juliet’s success story. That’s what American Grooming Academy is all about. Pet’s, People, and Education. Stay tuned to for more alumni success stories to come, as well as AGA’s first ever Campus Open House where you will have the opportunity to meet Juliet and the staff of AGA, along with other influential alumni and current Students!