With a passion for fashion and styling, and a dream of one day opening his own barbershop, studying at Sunderland College helped Rian achieve just that. He now hopes to build on his success and establish Smoking Monkey Barbers in the barbering community.


Leve 2 and Level 3 Barbering.

I was looking around to do a barbering course and saw that Sunderland College was rated highly so wanted too give it a try.

Working in the college’s commercial salon and barbershop as well as training you got to understand how a barbershop works which was great for my experience and confidence.

As well as doing haircuts and learning our craft in the training salon we also had commercial barbershop at City Campus.

We could work within a real-world environment therefore gaining more confidence and getting better and better because we were cutting different types of hair pretty much every day.

I had two brilliant lecturers through my time at college: Sharon, who taught me the basics when I couldn’t even hold my scissors and comb in the same hand, and Mark who shaped me into the barber I am today.

They helped me get a job in the local barbershop which gave me even more experience. I got on really well with Mark, he taught me so many little tricks and tips from customer service to how to cut at such a high standard.

He would always have time for his students and was always there to help. He wouldn’t mind staying back if I had a haircut that I needed help with. From leaving college he also helped me get a really good barbering job from one of his colleagues in the industry, and this just shows that he would do anything to help you better yourself especially within the industry.

It’s nice to have a lecturer who cares about the course they are teaching.

Yes I would . From my own experience it allowed me to gain experience and confidence before setting foot in the real world.

I went into barbering from leaving college with a lot of experience which helped me thrive.

I own Smoking Monkey Barbers in Sunderland.

It gave me the confidence and experience too go out and try to achieve my goals.

Student success stories

Maths and English for a Successful Future

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