Featured Student: Veronica Rochaadmin
Veronica Rocha is pretty fearless. Not everyone would leave the security of an almost decade-long career in banking to enroll themselves in cosmetology school – not in today’s precarious job market, & especially not at the age of 32.
Rocha’s intrepidness is undoubtedly what helped her edge out 80 classmates to win a professional photo shoot awarded by her school – the University of Cosmetology Arts and Sciences (UCAS)–McAllen, TX campus. The coveted prize was handed to the student who grossed the highest in total sales over the course of three days.
“Veronica grossed $500 in sales, exceeding everyone by a good $300, and haircuts at our school average $6 a cut,” says Anna Chablet, UCAS student salon director. “She was working back to back haircuts and color. You could tell she really wanted the portfolio.” Rocha’s stealth strategy involved all of the principles she’d been learning in her Nuts and Bolts training.
“I talk to my clients to see what they want and what they need; it’s about understanding them, and having them trust and believe in what you can do for them,” said Rocha.
And at times when her peers would aimlessly fret over vacant chairs, Rocha would make it a personal mission to get her seat filled.
“I’m the kind of person who believes it’s always up to the individual to change a negative situation,” says Rocha. “I have to make sure I have appointments, and I have to make sure I have clients – I need to do this to succeed. I guess that’s where I’m different.”
So Rocha would sound the calling bell: getting on the horn with new and existing clients, advertising herself, and letting everyone know she was available to take them on. It’s the kind of NaB attitude that also led to Rocha being named UCAS’ first NaB student of the
month for the year.
”I want to grow very big in this field,” says Rocha. ”This is something I see myself doing for the rest of my life.”
This definitive vision is what drove Rocha to leave a career where she had already established a good measure of success, having worked her way up from bank teller to supervisor. Everything was stable, everything was safe; but she knew there was more to
her life than stable and safe. So Rocha decided it was time to take a big leap and go all out to make her childhood dream a reality.
“I was already enrolled in UCAS part-time, but I decided that if I wanted to be successful, I was going to have to be there for more than 3-5 hours at a time,” says Rocha.
And her game plan doesn’t end there: Rocha has been busy hunting down the perfect spot to open her own salon, and she already has a staff of prospective employees eager to jump on her ambitious bandwagon. She’s also been speaking to various salon owners,
mulling over their advice and feedback.
“My goal is to have my own chain of salons, not only in South Texas, but throughout the nation,” said Rocha. It’s a dream she’s been nurturing since an age when most kids are still struggling with their mud pie shaping craft.
“I’ve been doing my own hair since I was in kindergarten,” Rocha recalls. “I would do my hair in braids and ponytails. They probably weren’t perfect, but I would do them myself. This is the passion that I’ve always had.”
The little girl in braids with big dreams has come a long way since then – her sense of fearlessness propelling her along the way. And Rocha knows, without a doubt, that she will be a success. “That’s why I’m working so hard,” Rocha says. “It’s incredible how I
see myself being able to do the things that I can do. That’s how it is with me – I just do it.”
Rocha’s vision for the photo shoot featured a variety of cutting techniques and styles, as
well as bold contrasts in color – specifically blue, purple and blond. The colors signify
her husband, her son and herself.