Holly Foubister, Recent Spa Graduate

Holly Foubister is a newly qualified spa therapist who undertook her training at the Mary Reid International Spa Academy in Edinburgh. The spa course she undertook was in depth and challenging but resulted in her achieving excellent qualifications within 6 months. Before she jets off to join Steiner cruise liners as a spa therapist, Hair and Beauty Jobs spoke to Holly about her time at the new look Mary Reid International Spa Academy.


Name: Holly Foubister

Age: 18 (started training at 17 after doing her Highers at Ellon Academy)

Q. Where in Aberdeen are you from?

Ellon, just outside of Aberdeen

Q. Why did you decide to become a Spa professional?

I have been Interested in the Spa and beauty industry since I was young. I was looking for a job that offered practical and hands on work, where I could work face to face with my clients. I also like the thought of helping people with their beauty needs, and building up a rapport. It's very much a people business, and that's what appeals to me. I also want the chance to travel in my work, and the Spa industry provides this opportunity.

Q. Why did you decide to train at Mary Reid? What do you like about the new academy?

I did a great deal of research and it soon became clear that the Mary Reid name was well known for quality and professionalism. 'Mary Reiders' are well sought after in the industry. I was also attracted by the fact I could be fully trained in just a year. The college provides a Gold Diploma condensed into an intensive 1 year syllabus, enabling me to get to work quickly and start earning. Most other colleges have 3 year Diplomas.

Q. What courses are/did you study?

I have just completed six month Body Therapy course (January to June) which qualifies me in Aromatherapy Massage, Swedish Massage, Indian Head Massage and Toning treatments to name just a few. I'm about to the start a Beauty Therapy course where I will specialise in Facials, Pedicures, Tinting, Bleaching and many other techniques.

Q. What were you doing before?

Doing my Highers at school . Our careers advisor did not really approve of me going into the Spa industry.  I don't think the school considered spa therapy as a worthwhile career, but I disagree.

The Spa industry is a multi billion pound industry with excellent prospects and good pay. There is also a shortage of trained therapists so now is a great time to train. I think schools should be a bit more encouraging and supportive. I had to do all the research myself with little outside help.

Q. What are the down sides?

If you are serious about this career there are no real down sides I don't think, except its takes commitment and a lot of hard work. The courses at Mary Reid are short but very intense. They are 9am to 5pm every week day, which is challenging but at the same time great fun. The courses go into a lot of depth more than people imagine. We learn about Anatomy, Physiology and a great deal about how the body works. We had a nurse on the course and even she was amazed at how much we needed to learn.  I think some people might be surprised how tough the training is, but that shouldn't put them off.

Q. Where are you working now/where would you like to work?

I am going to work on Steiner Cruise liners for at least three years before going to join the Fairmont Spa in Monte Carlo. Eventually I'd like to get up to the level of Spa Manager and maybe one day start my own business. Just now it's all about getting experience under my belt.

Q. What advice would you give someone else considering this career?

Research your course thoroughly before signing up. Make sure it's the right one for you, and look at the job prospects that it will lead to. If you want excellent qualifications within six months or a year, I would highly recommend the courses at Mary Reid International Spa Academy.

Also try to map out your career as much as possible. This will give you the drive and ambition to succeed, as well as a target to aim for. Its hard going sometime but if you know your goals, it's worthwhile and I would obviously recommend Mary Reid International Spa Academy.

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