Beauty therapist Donna Gibson wonders at her reluctance to study in her mid-20s as opportunities to work in some of Australasia’s most glamorous spas and beauty clinics continue opening up for her.Even while still at EIT, Donna was offered a position at the Cape Kidnappers spa and, moving to Australia, she worked at The Dome Spa Retreat at the Brisbane Marriot Hotel for more than three years.
More recently she has focused on cosmetic work at Image by Laser, also in Brisbane.
A tutor for EIT’s Diploma in Beauty and Body Therapy programme, Helena O’Connor says The Dome Spa Retreat is a very prestigious place to work and Donna progressed very quickly into a training and management role – “so it was quite an achievement and terrific experience for her.”
“In her current role, she has made quite a change to a much more technical role, offering a new direction for her career. She is now gaining qualifications and experience in Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatments for skin rejuvenation and laser for hair and tattoo removal.
“So her career is a great example of what can be achieved.”
Donna completed EIT’s Certificate in Hotel and Restaurant Operation after leaving Havelock North High School, and she worked in the hospitality industry in Hastings before heading overseas.
Returning to Hawke’s Bay in 2004, she found it hard to settle. She wanted a job where she was giving back to people and making them feel good about themselves but considered herself too old to study. More than a year went by before she finally enrolled for the EIT diploma.
Now she can laugh at her needless concerns.
“I found it was a mixed-age class, and we just got on really well,” she says. “We helped each other and formed a nice bond, and we still keep in touch as graduates of EIT.”
Donna particularly enjoyed the anatomy and physiology aspects of her studies.
Although the second diploma year, incorporating the internationally recognised CIDESCO syllabus and assessments, was very demanding, Donna took on an even greater workload in studying for EIT’s Certificate in Spa Therapies.
Donna finds her present clients increasingly interested in what cosmetic procedures have to offer.
“People are more aware of the effects of sun damage and aging on their skin. We have a lot of machines at my clinic and I’ve learned a lot more in my new job. I love where it’s going, using my brain in thinking about what I’ve learned at EIT.
“On the diploma programme, we were encouraged to question. How does a product like moisturiser permeate the skin? How does that work?”
Donna now says going back to study was the best thing she has ever done.
“The lecturers were amazing and helped us so much. The students formed a great bond and although we have all gone our different ways I can’t wait to catch up with them again.
“I have no regrets, none at all,” Donna says of decision to retrain at EIT. “I’d do it again in a heartbeat.”