MATC program helps North Shore native launch new career, business in Mequon


May 01, 2019

Marisa Klopp

Marisa Klopp

Going back to school to change careers doesn't have to be intimidating.

Mequon business owner and Milwaukee Area Technical College alumna Marisa Klopp, who held a bachelor’s degree in business before completing the Aesthetician technical diploma program at MATC, puts it this way:

“Life is short. Why hold back? Just do it.”

She found her second career after a friend’s daughter was taking aesthetician classes at MATC. Klopp visited the student at Skyn, the spa at MATC’s Mequon Campus, for a facial treatment.

“I loved the environment and what was going on,” Klopp says. “I’ve always wanted to do my own thing and nothing had ever jumped out as something I wanted to do until I came to MATC.”

And so, after previous roles in retail management and a remodeling company, she enrolled in the Aesthetician program. Klopp started in August 2017 and graduated in May 2018.

Today, the Shorewood native owns Marisa Jill Aesthetics, located at 10134 N. Port Washington Road in Mequon (between Zedler Lane and Donges Bay Road). She also works as an educational assistant at MATC for the program that kickstarted her new career.

“I liked it so much I never left,” Klopp says with a smile.

The program provides a mix of classroom learning that includes chemistry, safety and cleanliness with direct experience working with clients at Skyn.

“All of the materials you need are right at your fingertips. The instructors are great,” Klopp says. "I got a lot of support from them outside of class when I needed it.”

By the time she took the state licensure exam to work in her field, Klopp says she could clearly identify the students inside the testing center who came from MATC – and those who did not.

“We were so prepared, organized and neat. There was not one thing that wasn’t covered for the practical exam. The college has a 100% pass rate,” she says.

Today, she splits time between her business, offering services such as facials, hair removal, and lash and brow tinting, and helping students on the path she was on just one year ago.

The Aesthetician technical diploma program is offered exclusively at MATC’s Mequon Campus. Another program exclusive to that campus is the Environmental Health and Water Quality Technology associate degree, notes Acting Dean Brian Carlson. Other business-related options available include accounting, business management, information technology, and marketing programs.

In total, MATC Mequon offers more than 40 associate degree, technical diploma and certificate programs featuring smaller classes, high-quality hands-on instruction from expert instructors, affordable tuition and the opportunity to transfer credits to more than 35 four-year partners.

A growing number of Ozaukee County high schools as well as Germantown High School are partnering with Mequon Campus Vice President Dr. Wilma L. Bonaparte to offer courses that enable students to earn both high school and college credit and/or the Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) certificate.

MATC’s Mequon Campus students can also live in Concordia University Wisconsin campus housing through a college partnership.

For adult students considering a career change, Klopp says it never hurts to visit the campus and consider your options.

“For a program like ours, you can come in as a client, have services done and you can see what it’s like. You can see how the instructors and students work together, and you can see if it’s something that interests you,” she says. “Go for it. What do you have to lose?”