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Loretta Gallagher is a former South West College Beauty therapy student who has now been working in the industry for 11 years. She has lived in Australia for 4 years, and is Salon Owner at Enchanted Skin Care and Beauty. She shared her story with Way out West.

I left Holy Trinity College when I was 16 and enrolled at South West College. I researched into a few different colleges, but South West College was the most appealing to me because of Beauty Therapy courses on offer. My initial experiences were fantastic. I loved the way the tutors taught the course and the manner in which they shared the experiences within the beauty industry. I gained a lot from the ‘Open Salon’ facility at the college, because it really helped me further my skills in a realistic working environment. I gained so much real life experience at South West College, as well as gaining the level 2 and level 3 certificates i’d originally set out for.

Not everything was straightforward. and I had a lot of trouble learning theory-based information, but the tutors were fantastic at helping me achieve the grades I needed. I loved attending college every day because I was able to practice my beauty treatments every day, which I felt built my confidence as a beauty therapist. The tutors were always so friendly and helpful; the environment of the college made my experience fun and enjoyable, as well as allowing me to make lifelong friends.

My ambitions were to work full time in a beauty spa or a salon, and to always learn new beauty treatments that could enhance my skills. I ended up working in ‘The Beauty Retreat’ for 5 years in Cookstown before making the decision to leave for Australia.

Currently I own a beauty salon called ‘Enchanted Skin Care and Beauty’ in Sydney, Australia. South West College gave me the foundations in beauty therapy, without which I would never have been experienced enough to own my own salon. South West College have a brilliant form of teaching, they push you to achieve your highest potential and always encourage you to reach the highest level possible, so I never hesitate in recommending it to people.

My salon has now been open a year and I hope that it will continue to flourish for many more years. I also hope to keep furthering my beauty knowledge by learning new treatments. I love owning my own Salon, and my time at SWC helped me with this too. Not only did I achieve my beauty NVQ certificate, but SWC also helped me gain my English and Maths grade C. I was also able to further my knowledge by doing a night class and learning ‘reflexology’ after gaining my certificate.

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