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Debbie Palmer

Passionate Beauty Therapy student Debbie Palmer knew from a young age that she was going to do something with her love of beauty, she now has a developing career doing something she loves.

I chose to study at Warwickshire College because, during the time when deciding where to study, I knew the Leamington Spa centre had a better reputation in delivering high standards of qualifications than that of the Rugby centre which is located nearer to my home. I wanted to meet people further afield and enjoyed the location in a town centre. Growing up I had always been interested in beauty therapy and it was a natural progression to studying it. Once starting the course, I then grew a passion for anatomy and physiology and how beauty and the human body worked in synergy to be able to obtain great results. Prior to college, I had worked in a hair salon for three years so knew I enjoyed working with people and wanted a career that involved people interaction.

I certainly enjoyed studying for my qualifications. I have fond memories of the experiences I learned along the way during the two years and have since been able to share those with my peers at work who are just starting out from college. The units were delivered in an interesting and fun way so the theory work was made relevant to that of the practical work. This made it easier for me as a learner and was able to pass my units competently. I enjoyed the practical element the most as I am a vocational learner and to be able to understand the anatomy and physiology behind the theory made it much more interesting. The relevant aspect of the course I enjoyed too; being able to put together a business plan for wanting to open a salon. All the different units made you more aware of what was required from you in the industry should you wish to take that path. I however didn’t, but nevertheless, I still took elements of that topic and have been able to grow on that information into helping others.

In regard to the future, I am always open to further education and never say never. Education is part of my job and part of my life and I thrive from sharing information and educating people about particular subjects. Since doing my VTCT qualifications I have studied for a foundation degree in spa management and completed my Level 3 Teach and Education award. If there is a subject I am passionate about, I am always willing to learn and will self-teach myself if needs be to arm myself with that power of knowledge. It gives me confidence in my job and credibility within my trade. It was a very proud achievement to complete my degree with a distinction of 79.2% and I found it easier going back to study when I was 21 than going straight into it after college-I had more experience and drive for completion as I knew what I wanted to gain out of my career. I gained Employee of the month when I worked at a spa in a hotel. The salon I managed was a finalist for a small business of the year award in Rugby which I put us forward for.

Currently, I work at Dermalogica as a business development consultant where I look after various accounts and support them in making Dermalogica a success within their business. This can vary from coaching staff about a new product, merchandising ideas and even supporting the owners with implementing new price lists for the business. This is a job I have worked hard for years to get.

Personally, my keen interests are keeping fit in the gym or going out for a run; last year I completed my first marathon and raised money for Cancer Research UK. In keeping with this, three times a year, I donate blood and have done so on 19 occasions. When I managed my last salon, we raised £105 for our local hospital doing a charity Christmas raffle. I enjoy going for walks with my husband and finding new places of interest.

The advice I would give current VTCT students is to give it your all! Make the most of your time now studying and believe you me the hard work will pay off. It will take time, but in that time you will gain work and life experience that will set you in good stead for the future and your career.”