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Life and Work with Jackie Castaneda

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jackie Castaneda.

At first glance, you might notice her flawless skin or beautiful smile but look closer; her eyes tell the whole story. Jackie has a keen eye for quality and detail and an unmatched thirst for knowledge.

Introduced to the beauty industry at age 16, Jackie not only took her grandmother’s advice about the importance of a good skin care regimen; she followed in her footsteps to her first job at the cosmetic department at her local Walgreen’s. Jackie’s grandmother retired from Walgreens after a meteoric thirty years, setting a great example of how knowledge and determination can open doors to a promising career. In her spare time, Jackie enjoys spending time with family, her 2 Labrador retrievers, Roman and Ruger and riding her Harley-Davidson with her husband.

Jackie may have gotten her work ethic from her mother and grandmother, but it was competitive ice skating at the age of six that instilled and fueled her independent and competitive spirit. In 2018, Jackie Castaneda received her MBA from Texas Woman’s University and in 2015 graduated Cum Laude from the University of Houston’s Hilton College of Hotel and Spa Management. While earning her degrees fulltime, she also managed her career fulltime as Regional Sales Director for ZO Skin Health, gained accolades in 2015 as Account Executive of the Year and 2016  Top Company Executive of the Year, 2013 Business Consultant of the year and Rookie of The Year in her previous position as a Business Consultant to spas and salons for one of the largest skincare brands in the world. She even became Vice President of the student chapter of the Houston Spa Association.

From her hometown of Sugar Land, Texas, Jackie has seen the future come to pass. Previously, she represented ZO Skin Health, Inc., the medical-grade skin care company founded by world-renowned dermatologist, Dr. Zein Obagi where she proudly served for the past five+ years. With hard work and dedication, she was promoted from an Account Executive to a Regional Sales Director who managed 13 states and 10 Account Executives. She proudly promoted Dr. Obagi’s core principle: “…when treating skin disease, you have to do it within the context of skin health restoration. You can’t just focus on the disease because the results will be limited and short-lived.”

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
As my husband always says, “if it were easy, everyone would do it.” I hit a few bumps along the way! After high school, I enrolled in college where I set my sights on nursing school. I was in and out of college, not taking it too seriously. Then, I changed paths and enrolled in the University of Houston where I was in and out of school, taking advantage of the opportunity and wasted a ton of time and money. I felt lost, confused and had no idea what direction to go in life. I didn’t have a mentor or anyone to look up to, so, I started my career in sales for David Weekley Homes as a Sales Consultant, then moved on to being a Flight Attendant, the “dream.” 

When I started flying for Continental Airlines, I was sure that this is what I was going to do for the rest of my life. I felt as though I settled in life and was going to carry my life behind me in a suitcase, one airport at a time. Fast forward to 2010 when I met my husband. He was smart, charming and well educated. It wasn’t until he sparked a fire in me that motivated me to get back into school. He was supportive and encouraged me the entire way. Being a first in my family to graduate college, I never had the guidance I needed to navigate my way through academics or picking degrees.

Looking back, it took me 10 years to complete my undergraduate degree. Again, a lot of time and money wasted! I never thought I would fall I love with the idea of school, now, I can’t stop thinking about it. In 2017, I enrolled myself in graduate school where I earned my MBA in Management and Leadership. I have been blessed with great mentors along the way. My obstacles have taught me to be an everyday student, don’t take advantage of opportunities and embrace challenges and learn as much as you can.

In 2012, I was inspired to start a professional mentoring group called Aesthetic Pros. I have committed myself to mentor others along the way with aesthetic careers and academics. My advice to anyone starting out in academics or their career is to get a mentor! Find someone who has the industry knowledge in the industry you are interested in.

If you are thinking about college, find someone who can mentor you and guide you through the process. College campuses have advisors who can help you navigate your way through admissions processes, declaring a major and so on. In my opinion, it is an honor to mentor others. Each year, I mentor two students at the University of Houston and several others within the aesthetics/medical industry.

What are you known for and what sets you apart from others?
Jackie is a Business Mentor who founded Aesthetic Pros mentoring group where college students, young graduates and aesthetic professionals turn to for mentoring, resume writing, interview coaching and career coaching.

Jackie has eleven years of aesthetic industry experience, five years of experience in managing top-performing sales teams, earned an MBA and has been a mentor for business professionals, aesthetic professionals, plastic surgeons and plastic surgery residents since 2012.Jackie’s favorite saying is “Team work makes the dream work.”

After grad school, Jackie completed her certification as a Life Coach and strives to empower ambitious women professionals to advance and accelerate their careers and have a fulfilling and meaningful impact through practical and results-driven training, coaching and mentoring.

What advice would you give to someone at the start of her career?
Find a mentor! Make sure you have a professional résumé and cover letter that represents who you are and your objectives. Invest in career coaching and interview preparations. If you are a recent graduate, do not stress. If you volunteer or are a part of volunteer organizations, list them on your resume. There are numerous companies that specifically look for recent graduates. If you are still in school, look for internships through your college. Most importantly, do NOT give up! If I can do it, you can do it!

Jackie imagines a world where ambitious women professionals are equipped with the right support, knowledge, and strategies to enable them to reach their full potential and create the career and life they love. 

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