Next Up: HR Manager
During the pandemic, Chrishelle York enrolled at Brightpoint in search of a career change and more stability. She juggled coursework, homeschooling her daughter and managing her salon. Now, she’s transferring to VCU in pursuit of a career in human resources.
After pandemic lockdowns temporarily closed her salon, Chrishelle York enrolled at Brightpoint in search of a career change and more stability. As a full-time student, she juggled homeschooling her 6-year-old daughter, serving her clients once her salon reopened, and taking on a new management role.
Now with an associate degree in general studies, she’s transferring to Virginia Commonwealth University in pursuit of a master’s degree in behavioral studies and a career in human resources.
Here’s how Chrishelle is redefining her career:
Explore what interests you
Of all of her classes at Brightpoint, Chrishelle loved anthropology the most and the discussions that illuminated different perspectives.
“I went from working in a very busy salon with a lot of people to it just being me with a client. And I really like it just being me,” Chrishelle said. “So, I was surprised that I liked studying people — how they move, what they’re doing, their reasoning.”
“My biggest surprise at Brightpoint was the age difference between other students and how that influenced our discussions,” Chrishelle said. “It was interesting to see the different viewpoints that my classmates offered. I would always want their opinions because they were fresh and new. I wanted to know what they thought about it, if they thought it was handled correctly, did they think it was solved.”
Make your schedule work for you
Online classes allowed Chrishelle the flexibility to plan field trips for her daughter’s education, see clients, and manage the 22-suite suite salon.
“I’ve learned that I could juggle a little more and that I could use the hours in my day to my advantage,” Chrishelle said. “It takes discipline to manage your time. Even though you don’t have to meet at a certain time for class, you still have to get the work done.”
While valuing the flexibility of online classes, Chrishelle was skeptical that some classes like public speaking would carry the same weight in an online environment.
“I wondered how it would work over Zoom, but it worked!” Chrishelle said. “Public Speaking was interesting because you see that people get the same nerves that they would get if you were looking at them in-person, on stage.”
“I’ve learned that I could juggle a little more and that I could use the hours in my day to my advantage. It takes discipline to manage your time. Even though you don’t have to meet at a certain time for class, you still have to get the work done.”
Make a transition plan
After she transfers to VCU, Chrishelle will train a stylist to acquire her business and develop relationships with her clients.
“For most of my clients, I’ve been doing their hair for almost 20 years, if not more,” Chrishelle said. “They’re like family now. I’ve done weddings, kids’ first haircuts, some monumental things. I can’t just drop this business. I plan to take on an apprentice, teach them what I know, and pass it on.”
At VCU, she’s looking forward to exploring different avenues in psychology but is considering a human resources career in observational studies.
“I’d like to take on a project manager type role, looking at statistics and seeing how things like productivity are functioning,” Chrishelle said. “Then I want to figure out how to make different departments function better.”
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