Fiona Robertson never thought when she enrolled in a UCOL | Te Pūkenga Beauty programme that she would travel the world, but that’s exactly where her qualifications will take her.
The 21 year old Diploma in Beauty Therapy graduate has secured a job with Steiner Cruise Lines and will begin her London-based training with them next month.
She hadn’t considered beauty therapy as a career until her personal experience as a client. “I had quite bad acne and it wasn’t until I had some treatments myself that I realised what a difference it made. I felt beautiful,” she says.
“I thought it was a job where I could make women and men feel better about themselves.”
Fiona admits she had little idea of what challenges her beauty studies would pose. “It’s a lot more involved and technical than most people realise. There was physics, chemistry, biology – all sorts of science.”
Fiona thrives on the personal contact with her clients and says massage is her passion. “I enjoy the close interaction with people.”
She credits her 15 year involvement with Girl Guides for her easy rapport with her clients. “I gained great people skills during that time.”
Fiona made her application with Steiner Cruise Lines in late December last year. By the end of February she had undergone a four hour theory and practical assessment in Wellington, and been offered a position. “My studies at UCOL prepared me for intensive theory and practical interview process, and it is exciting to get this opportunity,” she says.
Fiona’s first commitment when she arrives in England is a course at the Steiner Training Academy where she will become familiar with the Steiner philosophy, their exclusive products, treatments and service protocols.
Her training could last between 4 – 12 weeks. “Then Steiner will appoint me to a cruise.”
At this point, Fiona has no idea where that will be in the world. “It could be the Bahamas or Alaska!”
She also has no idea how well she will cope on board an ocean-going liner. “I don’t think I’ll get seasick. I am probably more likely to get homesick, as I am very family-orientated.”
Fiona’s long-term goal is to own and operate a beauty spa in Canada, a country she fell in love when visiting a few years ago.
That dream will have to wait though, there’s a whole world of high sea adventures to be had first.
Steiner is the largest and most renowned company that operates spas at sea. It employs over 2000 spa professionals every year to travel while they work, hiring massage and beauty therapists, fitness instructors, physicians, acupuncturists, hairdressers, nail technicians and receptionists.