#SWCAlumni South West College Alumni have gone on to achieve success in various careers and walks of life. Way out West is catching up with some of them to hear what they’re up to now and how they remember their time at SWC. This time, we talk to Roger Mulholland, a former barbering student, who has went on to win awards and own his own business.
How would you describe your current working life?
I’m now self employed. I work at Mulholland Barbering, Portadown, which I co-founded. We’re a multi award winning barbershop providing the very best service in all aspects of male grooming, from cutting to shaving and beard & skin care.
I work full time behind the chair and have spent much of the past few years touring the UK working on stage at various Hairdressing & Barbering exhibitions. Such as Salon International London & Barber Connect UK.
I have also worked as a free-lance educator at barber shops as-well as colleges throughout Northern Ireland.
What have been the highlights of your career to date?
I was voted British Barbers Association Hall of Fame People's Choice winner for best Barber in November 2016 & placed second in Ireland in the American Crew Global Allstar Challenge in March 2017.
Our shop was also recipient of the BBA Hall of fame best Barber shop award, and my colleagues have received awards including best barber & best shave in Northern Ireland.
I also work creatively with teams of professional photographers & stylists on photo-shoots and My creative portfolio works have featured in leading U.K. Barbering Magazine 'Modern Barber' across three consecutive editions.
What was your educational background before you began at South West College?
Before I attended SWC I had a normal education attending secondary school at Drumcree College Portadown and left after GCSE's, having secured a part time position at a local hair salon at 15 years old.
I then began my journey in the hair industry by enrolling in the full time Level 2 hairdressing course at the South West College Dungannon campus.
How did your interest in hairdressing develop from there?
On completion of the course I began full-time employment at the same salon and continued there for a total of 7 years.
Over the years my interest in hair had moved from the world of ladies hair to that of men's, and I again enrolled at SWC and attended the part-time introduction to barbering course which helped me hone in my skills and concentrate my efforts solely on men's hair.
Aswell as gaining a wealth of knowledge on hair, I also learnt a lot about how to conduct myself as a professional within the hair industry from my time in Dungannon Campus. I learned how to manage a client base and deal with client demands and handling appointments. I learned the intricacies of the human hair and scalp, and gained a deep scientific understanding of health conditions affecting how the hair and scalp behave. In that I also learned how to ensure my clients are welcomed into a safe, immaculate and hygienic environment that is both friendly as well as professional.
How has this knowledge helped you in progressing with your career?
This stands by me to this day in that I am always competent in advising clients on treatments and products that best suit their needs as well as their lifestyle.
It is these valuable pieces of knowledge that I learned in Dungannon SWC. The little pieces of important information that helped me excel and lift my service above that of the usual corner barber, and in turn allowed me to keep a strong price for my services.
What are your lasting memories of South West College?
I would highly recommend SWC to anyone thinking of beginning further education. You will receive a warm welcome from day one and feel at home in no time. The facilities are second to none and the staff will move mountains to ensure you have everything you need in order to excel.
My memories of my time there are very fond and I still keep a close friendship with many of my past tutors.
You can find out more about barbering at South West College here.