WHS Intern Spotlight - Kinley Soeken
By: The Pottawatomie County Economic Development Corporation (PCEDC) | 03.05.21
Despite the challenges brought onto schools by COVID-19, the Career and Technical Education Program (CTE) at Wamego High School has persevered in facilitating student internship and professional development training (with proper precautions, of course). For WHS senior Kinley Soeken, interning during a pandemic created a unique opportunity to gain perspective of the value her chosen career field, cosmetology, offers in helping others.
After working as a receptionist at the salon for several years, Kinley elected to complete an internship with Family Haircutters in Wamego. This internship choice is especially relevant because she wants to pursue a career as a hairstylist after high school. Although she was already an employee at the salon, Kinley said the internship opportunity helped her gain foundational hands-on styling experiences.
As an intern, Kinley began practicing styles on mannequins and shampooing and styling clients' hair. According to Kinley, these experiences helped her gain confidence working with customers in the styling process. She also learned about the hair care products at the salon and their ideal uses across hair types. Furthermore, Kinley learned about Family Haircutters' inventory system through her internship and is now in charge of regularly updating the system.
Along with these skills, Kinley also gained a new understanding of the value of cosmetology services. She noted that she was hesitant to become a hairstylist before the pandemic, thinking she would not have a significant ability to impact others' lives in this role. Interning with a salon as cosmetology services grew to be missed and appreciated during quarantine, however, changed her perspective; she is now excited to pursue a career in the field with new inspiration from knowing that her job will matter and make a difference to others.
Within the next few years, Kinley plans to begin training to become a professional hairstylist. She is currently considering attending Bellus Academy or Washburn Tech in the coming years.