Ciara Taylor has just completed her HNC in Beauty and is working over the summer in our You. salon within the Kilmarnock Campus. We caught up with her to find out more about what it’s like to be studying Beauty Therapy at college.
What courses have you studied at the College?
I started three years ago and studied SVQ Level 2 Nail Services, I then moved on to Level 3 Nail Services and this year I have achieved the HNC Beauty qualification. I’m now working in the You. salon over the summer. I applied for this job online as it was open to students studying in Kilmarnock, Ayr and Kilwinning. I did my work experience here, and thought I might have a good chance at landing the job – and I was right.
From the very start, why did you decide this was the career for you?
I always wanted to do it when I was at school. However when life took over I knew I needed a job to contribute to our household income, so I got an administration job in Glasgow. Once my circumstances changed, I then decided this was the time to pursue my dream.
During your time at college, how did you cope with the workload?
When I was on the SVQ Level 3 Nail Services course, I actually found out that I was pregnant. I was about to begin my HNC Beauty and I was panicking that I wouldn’t be able to do it. The lecturers were great, and encouraged me to keep going. They were so supportive. I was off for 7 weeks, and when I came back, the lecturers helped me with anything that I had missed, as well as my graded unit.
What have you enjoyed the most?
Competing in competitions. I finished first when I competed at World Skills in Glasgow, it was an amazing experience, although I was feeling ill on the day. Jill (my lecturer) encouraged me to have the confidence in myself and I ended up winning.
How do you feel your skills have improved over the years?
I’d never done any nail or beauty treatments before I came to the College. I felt I wasn’t good enough for a long time, but the support from the lecturers was great. They really boost your confidence and it’s so handy to have different learning environments to practice in, including this salon as well as the training salons. It’s a great way of meeting new people which I really enjoy.
Do you feel this job has helped your communication skills?
I felt I already had good skills from working within an administration role, although this was mostly communicating over the phone. This job has definitely helped to improve my communication and interpersonal skills in a face to face situation.
What is the plan for the future?
I’ll be back to college in September. Once I finish here for the summer, I’ll be starting my HND Beauty course. I’d quite like to go into teaching. Either that or I’d like to open my own salon. It’s very rewarding to help people look and feel their best, it’s a very exciting profession to be working in.
Why would you recommend this course and this college?
I’d definitely recommend it, and would encourage others to just do it!
Give it a try – If you don’t like it, you can always come back and do another course. That’s what I did, and look where I am now. I came to College years ago and studied Health and Social Care / Childcare, but that wasn’t for me.
We all help each other in the class, it’s not competitive at all. My classes were great and everyone got on really well.
Your family and friends must all be very proud of you.
Absolutely! We went to a ceremony in Glasgow a couple of months ago. It was great to get up on the stage and be presented with an award. You get the chance to meet other students receiving their awards and hear their stories and where they’ve came from.
If you are inspired by Ciara’s story and want to find out more about any of the courses she has just completed, you can read more about them here:
SVQ Nail Services 3
SVQ Nail Services 2