Inspired by her beauty therapist cousin, Heidi Knight, Wee Waa High School Year 11 student, Sarah Hamilton has known for some time that beauty therapy was the career for her.

Sarah is studying a Certificate III in Retail Cosmetics – Beauty as a part of her school-based traineeship.

This involves her working one day per week at local beauty salon Visage in Narrabri.

“The choice of salon was easy for me,” said Sarah.

“Heidi is a talented beauty therapist and I think she runs a good business, so she was a natural choice when it came to where I’d like to do the practical part component of my course.

“I knew I could learn a lot from her.”

For students, gaining practical experience while studying, it’s a great way to fast track an apprenticeship, explained Heidi.

Sarah agreed and added, “Being able to apply new knowledge straight away helps to reinforce what you are learning.

“It’s great and it also means that by the time I finish Year 12, I will have already completed the first year of a four-year apprenticeship.”

“The work-study combination is a great opportunity for high school students and businesses alike,” said Heidi.

“It can also give you the opportunity to shape a young person’s training in your business early on and possibly lead to employment after high school,” explained Heidi.

Before deciding on this course, Sarah said she did quite a bit of research about beauty therapy and the broader beauty industry.

“There’s a lot of information online available including videos and industry guides.

“It all helped to confirm my career decision.”

An aspect of the beauty industry that appeals to Sarah is the role technology increasingly plays.

“There’s constant innovation and this is really interesting to me. More and more, technology is playing a greater role in beauty therapy from microdermabrasion, laser and light therapy to the business back-end with scheduling and business management systems.

“Like any business or in any career,” said Sarah, “to be the best you have to keep up with the change and innovation through training and continual learning and development.”

The other aspect of the business that drew Sarah to it is the ability to help make people feel good.

“Many of us can relate to how good we feel when we leave the salon. It gives you a real boost and this is the feeling I would love to give my clients.

“Helping people feel good about themselves is a great thing to be able to do through your work.

“I’m already finding that aspect satisfying and rewarding.”

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