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Real-World Experience

April 08, 2013

By Alexander K. Smith

Esthetics and Spa Management graduate Lindsay Fothergill has kept busy in the world of cosmetology since graduating from Loyalist College in 2010.

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Before she began her studies at Loyalist, Lindsay knew the Esthetics and Spa Management program was right for her. She had gained some experience in cosmetology while working in the cosmetics department at a Shoppers Drug Mart store, but wanted to learn more about physiology, anatomy and skin care.

Since graduating, Lindsay has come full circle and returned to Loyalist to work as a Lab Technician.

“I had such a positive experience with the program, so I’m glad I can be a part of it now and see it progress,” she said.

As part of her role at the College, Lindsay teaches a unique dual-credit program at both Trenton High and Centre Hastings Secondary Schools. It brings the college experience to high school students, giving them the opportunity to earn high school and college credits simultaneously.

“In the dual-credit program, we teach high school students about make-up, which is part of the Esthetics program at the College level,” explained Lindsay. “They receive both a College and Secondary School credit for completing the course. Not only does the opportunity introduce high school students to the program and the College, but it allows them to test the trade before choosing it as a career.”

Before stepping into her role as a Lab Technician at Loyalist, Lindsay was a Skin Therapist at Polish Day Spa in Belleville. She is very happy to be working in a career she enjoys, and feels the Esthetics program gave her the opportunity she was looking for. She came to the College as a mature student, confident in her decision and excited to learn.

“After high school, I wasn’t sure what to do,” Lindsay said. “In my previous jobs, I had touched on cosmetology which includes makeup and knowledge of different product lines. After five years, I decided I wanted to make a career out of it. I’m glad I waited before coming to Loyalist because it gave me time to discover my passion.”

The two-year diploma prepares graduates for careers as spa managers, nail technicians, beauty consultants, make-up artists, and sales representatives. The spa services industry is growing rapidly and the program prepares students to meet those demands.

Students develop spa and salon service skills as well as reception and customer service skills while operating The Spa at Loyalist, an on-campus spa that offers a full range of services from manicures and pedicures to massages and facials. The Spa is open to the public, and students have the opportunity to gain experience working with real clients.

“The customer service experience I learned at Loyalist was amazing,” explained Lindsay. “Most importantly, it prepared me to deal with clients in the real world. When I graduated, I immediately secured a rewarding cosmetology position.”

The Esthetics and Spa Management program provides students with two clinical placement opportunities off-campus. Lindsay did her first work placement at The Cat’s Meow Salon and Spa in Belleville. Her customer service skills and experience from Loyalist made her so invaluable that she was asked to stay on at the salon during her second year in the program.

“I gained most of my knowledge working with different clients,” she said. “Everyone has a different body and skin type and a unique personality. The experience made me a better people-person.”

For more information on the two-year Esthetics and Spa Management diploma program, please contact Professor Bridget Ferguson at bferguson@loyalistc.on.ca or call (613) 969-1913 ext. 2881.

Alexander K. Smith is a Public Relations post-graduate student.

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