13 Mar Life After HDC: Nicole Cox
HDC grad, Nicole Cox is a 22 year old esthetician. We were able to catch up with Nicole, who won GOLD at the Nova Scotia Skills Competition and placed 4th in Canada.
If you could name something as a career highlight so far, what would it be?
Winning GOLD at the Nova Scotia Skills Competition and placing 4th in Canada, at the Skills Canada National Competition in Edmonton, Alberta.
What was it like participating in the skills competition?
AMAZING! It was such a fun, fulfilling and rewarding experience. It gave me so much confidence in myself and my skills that I’m able to use every day. Another BONUS is that I met my loving boyfriend while away competing at the national level.
How has that experience helped you as an Esthetician?
Competing at skills competition has given me THREE job offers prior to graduating from the HDC. After those employers found out that I was competing at the national level, they had no issues in giving me an offer.
How did HDC promote these types of competitions to their students and did you feel encouraged along the way?
One of my educators had asked me to compete at the provincial competition, and of course I LOVE competition, so it was not a question if I was going to do it or not. After committing to competing, I was always encouraged and given support all the way through until the competition. This support continued until I went away to nationals.
Did you receive any special coaching leading up to the skills competition?
Since I was out of school and working full-time, it was difficult to take huge amounts of time for special coaching! I practiced a few times on my own, and l did receive positive messages along the way to make sure I was prepared and ready to compete against the best in the country.
Wow! What an accomplishment. Congrats! Let’s get to know a little more about your journey. When did you decide that you wanted to get into esthetics?
I love people, beauty and the constant ability to continue to learn about something that I am passionate about. The decision to enter esthetics allowed me to have a growing career that I truly love.
Was there any hesitation or nervousness on your part about pursuing a career in esthetics?
Of course! The decision to start a career is nerve-wracking but when you know it’s the right choice for you, there is no better feeling!
What made you choose the HDC?
I did some research on other Esthetics schools, but I felt a warm and welcoming environment at the HDC. It was well organized and had many good reviews from past students. My understanding of what to expect from the HDC, was an intense 10-month program with lots of hands on practice, which was very important to me!
Did you notice a difference in the amount of hands-on work we offer compared to other schools?
Yes, I did! The HDC had the most hands-on practice compared to any other school in the area that I know of.
What were the best & the most challenging parts of your education?
The best part of my education at the HDC was the small class sizes, individual teacher attention and the support of all the staff along my entire journey. The most challenging part of my education was the amount of studying for tests, exams and practical’s that was involved! This is not an easy program, but now I appreciate all of it, because I feel confident with my knowledge and abilities while working on all my clients.
What would you say is the most important thing you learned from the HDC program?
The HDC is run just as if you were working in the industry. Long hours, and a busy day full of clients. I was very prepared when entering the workplace, with no surprises of how the industry works.
Do you have any advice for anyone thinking about getting into esthetics?
Work hard and be confident in your own abilities. Also always continue to learn! Having the talent to do what Estheticians do is very special, and the more you learn about the esthetics industry the more you will love what you do.
What memories do you have of our esthetics program?
FRIENDS! I met the BEST group of girls while attending the HDC. I can honestly say I would not be doing what I’m doing now without the support of my classmates.
Describe a typical day in your role for us.
Clients, clients and more clients! Taking care of all their waxing or lasering needs! I get to have great conversations with multiple people and most of those clients I can now consider friends.
Is there training or info from a certain class in the Esthetics program you took at the HDC that you still think of when you’re working?
While recently being trained to become a laser technician, I had to think back quite a bit to that portion of my education while doing the tests and quizzes.
What was your favourite class here? Did you have a favourite teacher?
All the teachers were amazing! You could really tell the teachers/educators truly cared about each student and would do anything to ensure they were ready to enter the industry with confidence.
What’s your favourite thing about esthetics?
Although I do love almost EVERY part of my career my favourite thing is having the ability to make people feel SO good about themselves. I feel so special every day to be able to have a skill that I can share with the public, and possibly have an impact in their lives; even if it’s just something as small as an upper lip wax.
If you could be anywhere, doing anything, where would it be?
Escaping the winter blues. Although I love what I do, who doesn’t want to be laying on a beach right now when it’s below freezing outside?
When you aren’t doing esthetics, you’re. . .?
Spending time with my sweet boyfriend and our miniature Goldendoodle pup! Making time for loved ones is extremely important to me! It is fabulous to have a great work/life balance.
Would you say you have a specialty? Or signature?
Since I work at a Waxbar, I would have to say WAXING! and I LOVE it!
Where do you get your inspo?
Honestly, my “Inspo” comes from my clients! On an average day I am lucky enough to see between 15-25 clients! That’s A LOT of people, I learn so much from each person I get to work on.
What are some goals you have for yourself?
I would LOVE to become a Master Esthetician! I want to be able to become an educator (maybe at the HDC) and spread my passion and knowledge to other Estheticians.
What are the 3 most important skills you need to do your job?
A career as an Esthetician is very complex! You need to be able to make your clients feel COMFORTABLE and TRUSTING, while using your TECHNICAL SKILLS that you learned with all the hands-on training at the HDC and finally be able to SELL yourself, so the client comes back to help build your clientele.
Your mantra is?
Always work hard for your career, but also make time for yourself! While working in this industry you can forget to make time for yourself. So, go ahead and get your own manicure and pedicure done, so you don’t have to do them yourself in your bedroom!
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