Twenty-two-year-old Alex Van Stroe's love of art has taken her along a different path than first thought with her new found love of nail technology.

Alex always wanted to be a tattoo artist but having researched the industry decided to focus her talent on nail design.

"I love drawing, it's one thing that I have actually enjoyed my whole life so this is being creative on a different level," said Alex.

"Being able to be creative and putting my drawing onto nails is awesome, it's kind of like little tattoos on your nails."

Enrolling in a Certificate III in Nail Technology (SHB30315) gave Alex the range of skills and knowledge that she was looking for.

"This course not only gives me experience in nails, it also gives me experience if I wanted to go and work in a beauty salon by giving me a broader range of skills, whereas most others places just did nails or just did beauty," she said.

In the future, Alex has goals of opening her own nail salon that also offers eyebrow and eyelash treatments.

"We are in the midst of renovating so I have the space to work and start my own business in the beauty industry," said Alex.

The thing Alex has enjoyed the most about her course is getting to learn the correct way to do a full range of beauty services, not just nail technology.

"I feel like we've learnt everything I need to know when it comes to a salon, even how to market your small business. It was really scary at first because it's heaps to take in at the start but once you do, it basically becomes like second nature. Now I feel that I've got all the skills I need," she said.

"How to market a small business is also really good as it's something I didn't realise was in the course and I learnt so much from it."

Based on Alex's experience at TAFE Queensland, she feels the teachers are focused on making sure their students are taught correctly.

"The variety has been one of my favourite things. At TAFE we have been provided with a broad range of things we can use, things that we can do and buy, tips and tricks, and a lot of options in the way that we can learn. That way we can find what works for us and our own way," she said.

Alex describes herself as someone that didn't do well at school. She was originally nervous about enrolling in a post-school qualification but soon found that TAFE was nothing like high school.

"For everyone out there feeling the same don't be scared because TAFE Queensland is completely different. For those of you feel the same, my advice is to just do it! It's hard to do I know, but it's so worth it. I was like that at the start but I ended up loving it."

"Just go for it! And you’ll get yourself a skill that you will have forever."


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