Twenty-four year old Tabitha was initially afraid to go back to study as she’d been out of school for a while and was working full time at an export company.
"I was afraid that I would come into a class full of fresh out of high school students, but it really was a diverse mix. We had a retired lady because she loved beauty, some my age and younger, some from other countries," said Tabitha.
"Going back into studying has been a bit daunting but all the teachers have been a great help through it all."
Tabitha chose to dive into the deep end so gave up her job to study her Certificate III in Beauty Services (SHB30115) and then the Diploma of Beauty Therapy (SHB50115). She’s now surer than ever that she’s on the right path and has no regrets about making the change.
"TAFE Queensland has been absolutely amazing. My certificate and diploma have given me a broad overview of all the skills needed in the industry and this has inspired me to further my knowledge and skills,” she said.
"I now have a plan in the next five to ten years to either be manufacturing cosmetic products or specialising in injectables and surgery."
As for her teachers, Tabitha credits her success to their experience and support.
"All the teaching staff have an extensive pool of knowledge. When it came to doing practical work it felt like second nature and if you needed help with theory they were always supportive,” said Tabitha.
"There is never a dumb question when it comes to beauty and when you ask a question you will learn two new things with that one question you asked."
Throughout her study, Tabitha was constantly surprised by just how much knowledge and the range of skills she was developing.
"The diploma was definitely my favourite from massage and reflexology to Indian head massage and all the chakras or the body’s natural flow of energy. Even when it came to facials I didn't realise how much was involved,” she said.
"I have developed so many skills I never thought that I would; including good people skills. This is definitely a skill you need when it comes to the beauty industry. The training salon, which has real paying clients and the same products, equipment, and facilities found in a real salon, helps you refine your skills."
From what was once her greatest challenge, she’s also now come to appreciate the intricacies of skin care.
“As I have actually experienced it and now fully understand it, I've fallen in love with the skin," she said.
For anyone considering studying Tabitha’s advice is to not second guess yourself, and just do it.
"The beauty industry is continuing to thrive. My biggest fear was starting my study. Our industry is very diverse not just all about super glamour. You will find your own tune and own way of doing things and that is what clients are looking for."