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Sarah studied the Level 2 Diploma in Beauty Therapy.
Why did you choose to come to Petroc?To study Beauty Therapy.
And what made you pick this particular course?I was unsure as to the route I wanted to take after finishing University. I studied Psychology at UEA and then moved down to Devon straight afterwards. After working as a waitress for a few years and travelling, I decided it was time to choose a career path. I knew I always wanted to be self-employed so I looked for courses that I thought would be a suitable choice for me and something that would potentially lead to a life of self-employment and running a business.
Which elements of your course do you particularly enjoy?I enjoyed every aspect of the beauty course (apart from Individual Lashes & Spray Tanning). I personally enjoy enhancing natural beauty rather than adding ‘false’ elements to the body.
What have been the highlights so far?I just did an evening course so we didn’t particularly go on any trips or visits.
What do you most enjoy about studying at Petroc?I found the lecturers to be very knowledgeable about the industry but it was a question of alot of outside classroom learning. I enjoy this aspect to studying but you can learn as little or as much as you like within this industry. As I knew I wanted to start a beauty business I took the approach to learning as much as I could outside the classroom hours. Lecturers were always there to aid us however.
What do you plan to do when you leave college?To open up a beauty salon – to which I have (Boho Beauty, Braunton).
What’s the long-term plan?The long-term plan is to keep running a successful beauty salon, to expand on the treatment knowledge I enjoy and to continue to offer the best client experience I can.
Any advice for someone thinking of choosing the same course as you?Beauty Therapy is a great course and can open up many opportunities to many individuals. You get what you put in at the end of the day. If you want to be employed within this industry then there are plenty of well-established beauty businesses already out there. With the correct qualifications, the desire to continue learning on the job and the client care that you require to be a good beauty therapist, then you are pretty much guaranteed a job within this industry as clients seem to keep coming back for more and more treatments. The industry is always expanding and developing and individuals always seem to want to take care of their appearance, so for me, it was a no brainer as to why I wanted to go choose the beauty industry route. I however, chose to open up a beauty salon, and whilst this poses many risks, the rewards are what keep me going. Having qualifications in Beauty Therapy (and mine are only Level 2), has allowed me to fulfil my dream of owning and running a small business within the beauty industry. If this is something you have thought about, then go ahead and do it! There’s lots of advice forums and help you can get so the only thing holding you back is you! I never knew anything about business, you learn as you go along. And that’s what makes life exciting. So, if you fancy a career in Beauty, whether that’s to be employed in a lovely, well-established salon already, or to go that bit further and invest time and money into opening up your own place, then studying beauty qualifications at Petroc is the best first step you can make!
Lauren studied the Level 3 Advanced Technical Diploma in Hairdressing.
Why did you choose to come to Petroc?It was between Petroc and Exeter College but when I had my tours, Petroc was the one that caught my eye.
And what made you pick this particular course?Hairdressing has always been a passion of mine ever since I was young. Also, my Aunty has been a hairdresser all of her life, with her own business growing in London, so I would say she has been my role model.
Which elements of your course do you particularly enjoy?I would say that my favourite topic of hairdressing is cutting hair. I feel like you can create so much with a haircut and there are so many different styles and techniques that can be achieved with cutting.
What have been the highlights so far?I would say that the biggest highlight so far would be a competition I participated in with Concept Hair magazine in January earlier this year. I came third place out of the whole of the South West in an avant-garde hair up heat.
What do you most enjoy about studying at Petroc?I really enjoy the resources that we are supplied with and the experience to work with real clients. I also enjoy working with other students that have the same interest as me and learning from the lecturers that work or own a business in the hair industry.
What do you plan to do when you leave college?I plan to go and work in a salon for a year and then work on a cruise ship to extend my experience.
What’s the long-term plan?After I finish my Level 3 course, I would like to advance my knowledge onto a Level 3 barbering course with Petroc. I would then like to proceed with my education and do different courses in London. I would also like to own my own business one day and work in America for a couple of years. I would also love to create my own product range as well.
Any advice for someone thinking of choosing the same course as you?My advice to someone that is thinking of being a hairdresser is that they have to be well committed to the course as it can be a lot of work if it hasn’t got your full attention. They have to be patient before starting any practical work as they need to know the theory side of it first, as it contains a lot of information that needs to be taken in which can then be used when seeing to a client.
Caitlin is studying a Level 2 Hairdressing Apprenticeship at our North Devon Campus.
Employer: Golds Hair Salon
Why did you choose this apprenticeship?
I did A Levels at first but I quickly realised that I didn’t like it. I’ve always wanted to do hairdressing and an apprenticeship was clearly the best method
I’ve always been good at art and have never considered myself particularly academic. I also like doing make up and being really hands on, so doing a Hairdressing Apprenticeship was a no brainer.
How has Petroc helped you with this apprenticeship?
The tutors here are always there to guide you every step of the way – it’s having a personal teacher who’s on hand all the time.
What do you plan to do after your apprenticeship?
I hope to move onto Level 3 and stay in the salon.
Aimee is on the Diploma in Beauty Therapy Level 2 at our Mid Devon Campus
Diploma in Beauty Therapy Level 2 (part time)
Mid Devon Campus
“After being made redundant, I decided to try something completely different – but something I’d always been interested in – so decided to enrol on the beauty course at Petroc. I had done some beauty training about 10 years ago, before I had my son, and had always thought it was something I might return to in the future.
I’m quite girly; I’ve always been into makeup and nails. To me, it doesn’t really feel like studying, because it’s something I’m so passionate about. I love every day at college, and have made some great new friends; I really look forward to coming in each week.
I particularly enjoy the massage part of the course, and am considering doing a sports massage course next year. My partner is a personal trainer, and eventually it would be nice to think we could work together in the same industry.
I’d really like to work for myself in the future, and by the end of this year I’m hoping that I can start offering treatments and start slowly building up a client base.
To anyone in a similar position to me, I’d say ‘go for it’. Returning to education can be daunting, but it’s also very rewarding. It doesn’t matter what age you are, you’ll always be welcome – you’re never too old to try something new!”
Kirsty is on the NVQ 2 Diploma in Hairdressing at our Mid Devon Campus
NVQ 2 Diploma in Hairdressing (apprenticeship)
“I wanted to do something a bit different at college, something which uses my creative skills and doesn’t involve being in the classroom all day. I’ve always been a very creative person, and loved all the art subjects at school.
Initially I went for work experience at Hair Therapy in Wellington – which is the salon I’ve always used myself – and they invited me back on an apprenticeship programme.
As well as the actual hairdressing, I love this profession because you get to talk to so many different people and hear all their stories. It’s really important, as a hairdresser, to be good with people and able to build a good rapport very quickly. People put a lot of trust in their hairdresser, so it’s important you have a good relationship with your clients.
In the salon at Petroc we get to work with real customers, which is great for building your confidence and preparing you for the world of work.
As a hairdresser, it’s really important to keep up-to-date with current trends, so you understand what clients mean when they come in and start describing a particular style they’ve seen in a magazine or on a celebrity. I’m always researching upcoming trends, too, to try and pre-empt what customers will want over the coming months.
The good thing about being a hairdresser is that it can take you anywhere; it’s a skill that’s always going to be in demand, no matter where you are in the world. My dream job would be to work on celebrity hair in America one day.”
Kelly is on the NVQ Diploma in Hairdressing at our Mid Devon Campus
NVQ Diploma in Hairdressing Level 2 (part time)
“Since the age of 17, I’ve been a full time mum - my children are aged 2, 9 and 12 - and I feel like now is the right time to do something just for me. The course is only 1 ½ days per week, so I find it fits in well around my home life.
I’ve always been a ‘girly girl’, and am a very creative person, so hairdressing seemed like a natural choice. I enjoy every aspect of the course, but I think my favourite part is colouring, as that’s where you can really show off your creativity and flair.
The facilities here at Petroc are fantastic. It really does feel like a proper, working salon and, because you work with customers, you get to practise all aspects of being a hairdresser, such as people skills and customer service, which are all really important to become a successful hairdresser.
I often have days when I doubt myself, but the tutors are always there to reassure me and solve any problems I might have. Last year I won the creativity category at the annual hair competition, which gave me a real confidence boost and since then I’ve had a lot more self-belief in my ability.
I understand that, to be successful in this industry, you have to have many strings to your bow. I’ve already done an ear piercing course at the college and am now thinking about branching out into gel nails.
Once my youngest starts school I’m hoping to be fully qualified and plan to go self-employed, as this’ll fit in better around the kids.”
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