Student of Excellence 2019: the Final Event!
Today’s the Day!
Sunday 10th March 2019 – the sun rose across the glorious Leicestershire countryside, on the crisp, frosty morning we had eagerly prepared for and anticipated for months. Today was the day; our Student of Excellence Competition Final for 2019 (sponsored by none other than leading skincare experts, Decleor)!
On our judging panel for the day, we had:
- Laura Miles (Decleor Representative)
- Lynne-Marie Gallagher (Beauty Training & Development Supervisor)
- Gemma Jackson (Beauty Recruitment Supervisor)
- Gemma Lawton (Beauty Supervisor)
- Katie Henfrey (Senior Beauty Therapist)
As all eleven ‘Student of Excellence’ finalists (pictured below) arrived from their travels from all over the country – faces glowing with hope and excitement – it became apparent just how tirelessly they had all worked to be here and in-turn, just how much today meant to each of them. In that moment, our 2019 winner was stood before us!
After an introductory tour of our stunning grounds and facilities, Gemma Jackson, Beauty Recruitment Supervisor (pictured left), spoke to our finalists about the sought-after and lucrative opportunities a career in Beauty Therapy can reward dedication and genuine passion for the industry – in return for hard work. And more specifically, Gemma spoke about the unrivalled training and progression opportunities the winner would receive as part of their exclusive prize of securing that all-important position at our leading UK destination spa!
But of course – as in the many other careers which require vast, specialised knowledge and training – the fight to the top was never going to be easy!
Having already progressed through strict telephone interview screening, our competition heats at Melton Brooksby College and then through to our competition final, each beauty professional was required to sit a theory test and a further one-to-one interview, which was conducted by a member of our beauty recruitment panel. Each stage of assessment is crucial in determining, not only technical ability and a boasting knowledge of their specialisms, but also our finalists’ passions, motivations, ambitions and that all-important question, “How have you got to where you are today?”.
After a bite to eat in our main staff dining area, it was then time to meet the clients, on which the finalists would be performing a smoothing 50-minute Manicure treatment and a tranquil 50-minute Full Body Massage, each allowing an additional 10-minute consultation period.
The finalists’ tables were neatly organised, not a product or tool out of place. Their warm, smiling welcomes coupled with a soft background melody, created an ambiance of pure tranquillity and calm, setting the scene for the impending therapy.
The Manicure began with a consultation period, dealing with the client’s nail concerns, which was then followed by a beautifully light and airy massage, moisturising and nourishing the lower arms and hands.
Then, preparing the nail for polish, our finalists shared their wealth of knowledge with their clients, as to the preventative and restorative measures that could be taken to improve nail strength and appearance, before completing the final paint stage in a luxurious velvet red (to highlight any imperfections). Then, after running through final client advice, it was time to move onto the massage.
As with the Manicure, the ambiance was perfectly set prior to the clients’ arrival; lights dimmed, soft music playing and each finalist waiting patiently by their massage table, ready to begin their consultation, discussing in-depth, the areas that would be concentrated on during the treatment.
They massaged the legs, arms, feet, hands, abdomen, back and neck, offering a slightly firm pressure and constant hands-on contact throughout, to really promote tension-release and absolute relaxation. Using nourishing products to replenish and re-hydrate the skin, each client was transported to a state of pure serenity and bliss; some even falling into a light sleep!
Again, concluding with an in-depth discussion of client-tailored aftercare and methods for prolonging the benefits of the treatment, their vast knowledge of and passion for their trade, was extremely apparent – we really were in front of the most talented beauty students in the country.
“Good-bye and Good Luck!”
As the day came drawing to a close, it was nearly all over; our eleven finalists had done all they could to secure their fate, as it was now in the hands of the judging panel. So, breathing their final sighs of relief, they packed up their belongings ready to return home to eagerly await the results in just over one week.
Collating feedback on overall client experiences, along with the finalists’ scores and consistency throughout the competition, our judges undoubtedly had a huge decision to make, in determining who would be crowned our 2019 ‘Student of Excellence’ competition winner (which would be announced at our annual ‘College Evening and Student of Excellence Awards’ ceremony).
Thank you to all who got involved in this year’s competition, to our judging panel and to our fantastic sponsors at Decleor. As always, we were absolutely astounded by the level of talent seen throughout and feel very lucky to have been able to witness so many aspiring beauty professionals in action.
Good luck for the results!