Kirstie Lovell is sorry she won’t be joining her graduating classmates, but she has a good reason for not taking part in EIT’s upcoming ceremony.
Last month, the 20-year old flew to England, where she will be deployed to work as a beauty therapist on a luxury liner sailing one of many routes popular with cruise ship passengers.
That, she says, could take her almost anywhere in the world, including the Mediterranean Basin, the Caribbean, South America, the Baltic Sea, South Africa, Alaska or Hawaii.
From Hastings – and before that Taradale and Gisborne – Kirstie completed the Diploma in Beauty & Body Therapy last year. While she was at EIT, she also gained a Certificate in Spa Therapies – a programme she loved and which gave her an added edge in seeking the position with Steiner Cruises.
“The tutors are really a great help with getting jobs and they encouraged me to apply,” she enthuses.
Based in London, the company recruits globally, hiring massage and beauty therapists, fitness instructors, physicians, acupuncturists, hairdressers, nail technicians and receptionists to work in spas on board cruise ships.
Kirstie was one of 12 beauty therapy graduates from throughout New Zealand called in for an interview late last year.
“We had to demonstrate our massage skills on a model,” she says. “I used the technique taught on both the study programmes I did at EIT, working with my forearms and not just my hands. That’s important, because massaging clients can involve long days.
“Many of the others applicants didn’t know the correct technique, but it’s a basic requirement for looking after yourself.”
Also asked to do a facial consultation and tested on her knowledge of different types of products, Kirstie was confident after her two years of study and working every week in EIT’s student-run beauty clinic that she had the depth of knowledge and experience required for the job.
“It was definitely exciting” she says of being offered a position that will allow her to explore ports on days off and change cruising routes every nine months.
“It’s a good way to see something of the world while earning a bit of money and it will also be good job experience with a company that is well-recognised within the industry.
“I know it will be hard work and that I will have to meet targets but that appeals to me.”
Kirstie has previously been to Thailand, Samoa, Melbourne and Sydney, and says she has definitely caught the travel bug. However, she does see herself eventually returning to New Zealand, where she wants to explore one of the many different avenues available to someone with her qualifications.
Having particularly enjoyed the science aspects of the diploma programme, she is drawn to appearance medicine.
But for now, she says, working as a beauty therapist and being able to take advantage of the opportunities that offers for international travel feels just right.