Student-managed spa offers valuable experience< More Stories
From manicures to microdermabrasion, eye-lash tinting to hot rock massages and more, esthetician students learn to master a range of services and body treatments. By working with real clients in the spa, students like Watchel also advance their communication skills and learn about the business of health and wellness.
“This opportunity to work hands-on is getting us ready for the workplace after we graduate. We’ve learned how to read our clients and gauge whether or not they are interested in talking or just want to relax,” says Watchel. “It’s going to be a lot easier to start our first jobs having this experience and having been able to build our confidence in the campus spa. I love that we get to have this opportunity.”
For Watchel, working in the health and wellness industry is a natural fit. It ties into her work now at Body Shop and “ever since I can remember I have loved makeup and making people feel good about themselves,” she says.
During Lakeland’s Open House, Watchel not only took advantage of the free application process, she confirmed the esthetician program was for her. “I met Deb (Minish, chair of health and wellness), she took me through the spa and showed me everything. It was so nice to see it all before I started the program,” she says. “And now I love all of it. People in my life can tell how happy I am being here and there’s nothing that we’ve done that I haven’t liked.”
With the help of her instructors, Watchel says her skill set has developed and improved over the course of the program. “Our instructors want us to do the best we can,” she says. “I feel like my confidence in doing all of the procedures and treatments has really grown. It’s like second nature now.”
Learning from alumni has also proven to be both helpful and inspiring. Throughout the year, esthetician grads – including Franki Spinney, Class of 2013, co-owner of Luscious Beauty Clinic – return to the Lloydminster campus to teach techniques, share their success stories and answer questions.
“It’s awesome to have them come talk to us and share how they opened their own spa or business,” says Watchel, who can’t wait to start working in a local spa after convocation. “It’s inspiring to know people who have taken this program have achieved so much – I am so glad that I took a leap of faith by coming to Lakeland.”