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Graduate Profile : Denise Romero

Milan Institute Graduate Shares Her Journey To A Rewarding Career

Milan Graduate Shares Her Journey To A Rewarding Career: Denise Romero

Milan Graduate Shares Her Journey To A Rewarding Career: Denise Romero

To listen to Denise Romero talk, you would never guess the level of despair and hardship she has faced. However, adverse circumstances are not always a limiter of success. Denise has been able to rise above her troubles, and today, she exudes happiness, confidence, and a spirit of determination.

At one point, after her husband lost his job of over 30 years and experienced tragedy in the death of his 14-year-old daughter, Denise and her husband found themselves in Central California without a home and not knowing where they were going to turn. “The first year here in Fresno was horrible. We sold everything just to get by,” Denise remembers.

There happened to be a Milan Institute campus just down the street from where they were staying. Denise had seen the Milan Institute commercials on TV and recalls: “Something kept telling me ‘do it, just do it.’ I had to believe that something good would come out of it.”

Despite not even having enough money for gas to drive, Denise was determined to find a way, even if she had to walk to class. With that resolve, she went to the campus to enroll. “After that, everything just got better,” Denise says. Being a military veteran’s spouse, she found out that she was eligible for military spouse’s financial assistance to help offset her tuition. Things were finally looking up.
“The very first day of class when I walked in and saw my name up on the board saying ‘Welcome Denise,’ I knew I’d made the right decision by choosing Milan.” Denise was so excited about becoming a massage therapist that she never failed to complete any homework assignment and never missed a single day of class. Even a fear of taking tests didn’t deter her. Denise credits her fellow students for their teamwork, help and support in getting through the tough moments.

Fast forward and Denise is celebrating two and a half years of being employed as a Certified Massage Therapist with The Spa & Hungry Hair Salon, a premier full-service spa and salon in Fresno, California’s Fig Garden shopping center. “I was hired as soon as I met the owner, only one month after graduating. I was self-assured and ready to begin my career. My experience and training at Milan gave me the confidence I needed to pursue my goals. After graduating from Milan Institute, I have more freedom and confidence with a career I can be proud of,” explains Denise.

Milan Institute helped Denise change her life from being unemployed and financially insecure. “I highly recommend Milan Institute to everyone,” she says. “I also regularly encourage people to make use of the value-priced student salon and spa services at Milan Institute for a fraction of the regular cost.”

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Barbering Program Now Enrolling

The Barbering career training program is offered at these campuses:

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Fall Student Salon/Spa Specials

Click Here To Locate A Student Salon Spa In Your Area

Fall Salon & Spa Specials | Lan Institute Of Cosmetology
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Giving Back

An education with Milan Institute or Milan Institute of Cosmetology is not just about classrooms and homework. Milan schools strive to provide a positive learning environment for students and active community members. The Milan Institute organization, its faculty, staff, and students are dedicated to making a difference in their communities. Whether it is by donating their time, monetary donation, or fundraising, Milan Institute as a whole provides a perspective in giving back.

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Student Focused

Milan Institute is dedicated to student outcomes. The focus is on the student and supporting student success. Milan Institute’s primary objective is to provide the education, training, and job placement assistance that you will need to succeed in your new field. Our core values of Service, Integrity, Growth, Ownership, and Communication guide how Milan’s faculty and staff accomplish our mission.

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Family Owned

Founded in 1985 by the Yasuda family in Visalia, California, Milan Institute is proud to be a family-owned and operated institution carrying on the legacy of intergenerational ownership. The Milan Institute school group has over 35,000 graduates and for 35 years has delivered career-training opportunities in more than 10 programs.

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Featured Graduate: Christina Casteneda

Milan Institute Graduate, Deira Valadez

“I was a very shy girl who lacked confidence,” recalled Christina Castaneda about her pre-cosmetology days. She decided to enroll at Milan Institute of Cosmetology in La Quinta, California, to overcome her shyness and build up her confidence. Before starting the Cosmetology program, she had recently been laid off from her job. She decided to go back to school because, as a single mother, she wanted to provide a better life for her child, “I wanted to show my daughter that the sky is the limit,” Christina said.

Although she faced many obstacles while enrolled in the program, including a custody battle for her daughter, Christina’s time at Milan Institute of Cosmetology was unforgettable. According to Christina, “My experience at Milan improved my self esteem. If it wasn’t for the love and strength I received from the instructors, students, and staff who helped me along the way, I might have quit school and given up on my dream.” Christina successfully completed her training in about 13 months. “At the time, the program seemed like a very long road, but when I reached the end, I experienced a feeling of pride that I will never forget,” she said.

Since graduating, Christina has become a hairstylist at the Great Clips salon in La Quinta. Regarding her new career, she declared, “I love what I do. My manager is an amazing hairstylist and a role model.” According to Milan’s career services staff, “Christina is currently being considered for a salon manager position with Great Clips. The salon manager has asked us to send them twenty-five more graduates just like her.” Christina has a passion for making people feel good about themselves. She revealed, “The real reward is to see a huge smile when the client gets up from my chair. It’s a very satisfying feeling.”

Christina continues to dream big. She is currently enrolled in school pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration and marketing with a long-term goal of someday owning several salons. When asked what advice she would give to future Milan students and graduates, she recommended, “We all want a better life, whether it is financially or enabling our kids to live more comfortably. No matter what happens in life, keep pushing forward and strive to accomplish your dream. Dreams do come true!”

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Featured Graduate: Renolyn Fuller

Milan Institute Grad | Renolyn Fuller

With a little help from Milan Institute’s career services staff, recent graduate Renolyn Fuller has already found employment at HD Retina Eye Center in Reno, Nevada. Renolyn started working with HD Retina Eye Center just one week after completing her Administrative Medical Assistant program and externship in May. “There’s a lot to learn as an ophthalmic assistant for HD Retina Eye Center but going to Milan institute has prepared me for any challenge and I love the fast pace of the office,” said Renolyn.

Renolyn had been a stay-at-home mom to 2 teenagers for several years before she enrolled in the Administrative Medical Assistant program at Milan Institute. After being at home for that long, Renolyn realized that she needed more skills to rejoin the work force. “Milan fit the bill perfectly. I was looking for something that would allow me to learn a new trade and also something that wouldn’t take too long to accomplish,” she said.

Renolyn completed her program and externship in ten months and said she couldn’t be happier with her experience at Milan Institute. “I never imagined that I would go back to school at my age. Milan made it very easy to make that possible. The staff at Milan Institute does everything to help you succeed,” she explained. She also credits her instructor for keeping her motivated and always striving to do her best.

She genuinely values the relationships that she developed with her classmates at Milan Institute. Recalling that, “My greatest memories are of the people I met. Six of us started at the same time and we tried to keep each other motivated even when things seemed difficult. Thankfully, we all made it through the program and now have an experience we’ll always share.”

Encouraging other students to never give up on their goals, Renolyn pointed out that it can feel overwhelming at times, trying to balance everything and get all the homework done. “You have to be prepared for a lot of homework, but in the end it’s all worth it,” she commented. “Just remember that nothing worthwhile comes easy. If I can do it, anyone can.”

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Featured Graduate: Bubba Arredondo

Milan Institute Graduate | Bubba Arredondo
Bubba Arredondo, a 2011 cosmetology graduate, set his sights on working in the beauty industry early in life. “When I was a child, my mom would take me along when she went to get her hair and nails done at a local salon,” he explains. “The work the stylists’ did and their talent awed me. I always knew I wanted to become a cosmetologist some day.”

While enrolled in an independent study high school, Arredondo heard about the Cosmetology program at the local Milan campus where he lived in Visalia, California. Wanting to get a better idea of what beauty school was actually like, he contacted Milan and set up a tour. “I loved it. It looked like a really fun environment and I knew it was just what I needed to get started toward my dreams of becoming a cosmetologist,” Arredondo said of his tour experience. Immediately he set to work on finishing his high school studies and then enrolled at Milan Institute of Cosmetology.

n the beginning, he found the cosmetology program to be a struggle for him. “I really had to learn how to study and work extra hard,” he reports. He considers completing the program and passing his state license exam to be his biggest accomplishment to date. “I graduated only the day before my scheduled testing date. I may have cut it close but at only twenty years old, I am proud to say that I did it,” he exclaims.

Currently employed by Shear Diva Salon in Visalia, California, he now works full time as a nail technician. This might surprise some of his former classmates and teachers. While in school, Arredondo loved cutting and styling hair but not doing nails. “I didn’t like doing nails at all,” he admits. It wasn’t until he became a licensed cosmetologist that he took a real interest in manicuring and now he specializes in nails. “I love making my clients happy. Most of them tell me to do whatever I want and just go crazy. Their fingers are like my canvas.”

Arredondo believes that it’s important to remember to never give up on your dreams. “You may face struggles along the way, but always do your best. Eventually you will succeed. I’ve accomplished so much, and my journey has just begun.”

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Featured Graduate: Judy Martell

Milan Institute Graduate, Judy Martell

In this issue, we catch up with 2013 Dental Assistant graduate, Judy Martell from Milan Institute in Nampa, Idaho. Judy now works as a dental assistant at the general dentistry office of Dr. Loren Francis, DDS. “The best thing about working for Dr. Francis,” says Judy, “is working with my patients and being able to talk to them. I love that I get to perform the work that I really enjoy.”

Even before becoming a dental assistant, Judy was a very busy woman. She owned and ran her own preschool, was wife to a husband that worked out of town a great deal of the time and was a super busy mom of seven kids in a blended family. Even with all of this on her plate, Judy felt she was ready for a new challenge. When she heard about Milan Institute on a television commercial, she decided to stop in at the Nampa campus and talk to an admissions representative. “At my age, I wanted to get into the field quickly, and I didn’t want to spend four years in college,” says Judy. “I felt like Milan and the Dental Assistant program would be a good way to reach that goal.”

Judy had worked previously as a certified nursing assistant, so she already knew that she wanted to work in a medical-related field. “I am compassionate and caring and enjoy helping people. I had considered going into the Medical Assisting program but I didn’t like the thought of being stuck with needles!” she admits. She chose the Dental Assistant program because she felt it would work the best for her lifestyle. The hours of the evening program at Milan were a big help to Judy in trying to fit school into her busy family life.

Reshaping her home and family schedule around her school schedule proved to be a major challenge. She had to make many sacrifices including missing out on her kids’ sporting events and various family functions. Judy’s older children provided a big help to her in making it all work out. They were able to help around the home when she was busy with studying and school. For Judy, her biggest challenge was trying to achieve perfect attendance. “I ended up missing only one day,” says Judy. “It was a tough decision, but my daughter was receiving an academic award at school, and I decided that was where I needed to be.”

“I feel like my biggest accomplishments in life are my kids and my education,” Judy says. “I have worked hard to get to where I am.” Her best advice she would give to her fellow Milan students is to stick with it even when it seems difficult and overwhelming. “Work hard to keep good grades and have a positive attitude,” she says. “You’ll make it, and having a successful career will be worth it in the end.”

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