Believe in yourself.Laura Williams, Hairdresser
"My parents wanted me to be an early childhood teacher because I've always been good with kids," Zoe said. "They definitely didn't see me becoming a beauty therapist".
Zoe's teachers weren't sure about beauty as a career either, although Zoe says her passion for beauty therapy made it clear that beauty therapy was the right option for her. And, after seeing how happy Zoe is in her career, her parents are 100% supportive of her choice.
Zoe is a second year beauty therapy apprentice. She'd always been interested in a career in beauty, so when the opportunity came up to complete HITO's Gateway programme Zoe jumped at the chance. Gateway is a work-experience programme that allows secondary school students to try out a career before they leave school.
"Gateway helped me confirm that beauty therapy was the right career for me," Zoe says. "If you're thinking about a career in beauty, I'd recommend using Gateway to try it out - a career in beauty can be very different than what you expect".
Zoe's Gateway placement turned into an apprenticeship in 2015. She loves her apprenticeship so far, and says many of her co-workers wish they could have trained on the job too.
"You should definitely do an apprenticeship to get qualified in beauty therapy," Zoe says. "I've gained so much more knowledge on the job than I would have gained on a full time course. My colleagues who attended full-time training notice it too".
Zoe finds her career in beauty therapy incredibly rewarding. Her biggest highlight so far was running a fundraiser for Breast Cancer last October. Zoe offered facials at a discounted price for the whole month. As well as gaining tons of practical experience in giving facials, Zoe raised $2500 to support breast cancer research.
"I've always liked the idea of helping people, and beauty therapy lets me do that," Zoe says. "Growing up I was very self-conscious, so working in a career where I can help others become less self-conscious is amazing".
If Zoe could give one piece of her advice to her 16 year-old self, it would be to "take more subjects and classes related to beauty therapy. Beauty therapy involves a lot of scientific knowledge, so science classes would have helped me get a better understanding of all the technical aspects of beauty therapy".
Zoe's next big goal is to finish her beauty therapy qualification. After that, she plans to travel overseas, learning from beauty therapists all over the world. No matter what, she wants to keep learning and being the best beauty therapist she can possibly be.