After 36 years in the cosmetology industry, San Jacinto College South Campus alumnus David Ellis attributes his success to two things, his education and his work ethic. “I owe a lot to San Jac,” Ellis said. “I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for the College. I love to come back and speak to students and promote the programs.” Ellis, who was among the first cohort of graduates to complete the cosmetology program at the South Campus, has worked in film, television, fashion, and often creates red carpet looks for award seasons. “If you told me at 19 years old when I graduated that I would be working with designers and actors, I wouldn’t have believed you,” Ellis said. “I truly think anyone can do this, you just have to have the skills and determination.” Ellis believes that all of San Jacinto College’s cosmetology graduates possess the skills they need to be successful, even in a saturated marketplace. “Schools are turning out so many hair dressers today, but you can always spot a San Jac student,” Ellis said. “San Jac sends graduates out prepared to join the workforce. That’s not always the case with other schools and that is a big factor when hiring someone.” So, what is Ellis’ advice for students in the cosmetology program? “Your first year out of cosmetology school, you need to go into a shop that is very busy and fast-paced,” Ellis said. “You can pick up great time management skills there. When you are making mistakes in what is almost a factory environment, that’s where you learn quickly, what works and what doesn’t.” With the new San Jacinto College South Campus Cosmetology Center slated to be completed spring 2020, students will be exposed to state-of-the-art technology and equipment giving them even more of a leg-up on the competition.