Nicola Flanagan, a Lecturer in Hairdressing at UCOL in Wairarapa feels like she is going on a journey with her students. Her desire to work in the ‘Fashion Industry’ lead her to where she is today.
“I knew I wanted to be in the fashion industry, and I also knew I am quite bubbly and chatty and so doing beauty therapy might not be the best match – which led me to hair. Once this decision was made I was lucky to walk into an apprenticeship.”
“Including my apprenticeship, I spent 9 years at Fantasia, during that time I trained a number of apprentices and quickly realised I like the teaching aspect of my role.”
“Coming to UCOL to teach has proved to be such a good decision. From the day a student starts and you get to know them and work with them to support them on their learning it’s like a journey. Some learners come to us with a lack of confidence or uncertainty around what they want to do or whether they will be able to achieve it – I feel part of my role is to never give up and to teach and support them to bring out the best in them.”
“One of the most rewarding moments is at the end of the year, yes it's great seeing their accomplishments and where they are off to next, but often it is a simple thank you. I had a thank you one time from a student who had really struggled and we both wondered if they were on the right path.”
“They got there, and I was so proud and that ‘thank you meant a lot’. No matter what the future brings for our students and wherever they end up in the future while they are in the class with me, I don’t give up, I teach with passion and I look forward to bringing out the best in them”.
Nicola teaches across both certificate levels
as well as STAR
and Dual Pathways
, teaching the In School programmes comes with its own rewards “I remember knowing I wanted to go into Fashion, but not how, having the students come through the In School programmes means I get to give them a feel for what working in hairdressing or a salon might be like – it’s like setting the scene of possibilities for them on leaving school – and it’s always great to see them sign up with us following school and seeing what they can achieve.”