Otago Polytechnic

Doing it for themselves

Sisters Justine and Mikayla Cresswell pursue separate passions.

Justine and Mikayla Cresswell

Study

This qualification has opened up so much more for me – I’m now doing something that I’m passionate about!
Justine and Mikayla Cresswell both graduated on the same day from Otago Polytechnic: Justine with a Beauty Therapy diploma, Mikayla with a Hairdressing certificate. “My highlight of the year was walking down the street in my graduation gown, with my mum,” says Mikayla. “It was a once in a lifetime opportunity!”

Likewise, Justine remembers her graduation ceremony fondly. “I loved walking across the stage with my family and daughter with everyone watching,” she says, “and knowing I can achieve anything I put my mind to.”

Justine – a mum of five, two of which are Otago Polytechnic graduates – was Otago Polytechnic’s 2016 Student of the Year. Although she found it a challenge at times to balance studies with work and family, and studying alongside students who were much younger than her, she is enthusiastic about gaining her qualification. “If you think you’re too old to go back to study, think again! I did it, and it’s so worth it!”

She now works full-time at Pacific Bliss spa, but plans to one day open her own business in Dunedin.

I love making people feel better about themselves, and making them feel relaxed.

Mikayla really enjoyed the experience of studying alongside her mother. “Our studies were in the same industry, so we could speak the same ‘language’,” she explains. “I liked the fact we could understand each other’s stress, and help each other out.”

Like her mother, she is passionate about her choice of career. “Hairdressing is such a broad skill set but I love the expertise I’ve come out with. I now have the ability to work with different personalities, as all clients are not the same!” 

New Zealand Diploma in Beauty Therapy (Level 5)

Take your beauty skills to the next level with this advanced, practical programme. Learn how to apply advanced skincare techniques, advanced hair removal techniques and be introduced to spa body treatments. Graduates of this Diploma could find employment as a Beauty Therapist, Spa Therapist, Skin Therapist, Electrologist, Resort Therapist working on a cruise liner or could work within beauty retail. Alternatively, you could establish and run your own beauty therapy business.

New Zealand Certificate in Hairdressing (Salon Support) (Level 3)

This programme is equivalent to the first year of a hairdressing apprenticeship. Delivered in our hairdressing training salon, you will undertake activities that mimic working in a real salon. There are regular visits from industry professionals and our close ties with industry ensure that you are given the most up-to-date information about technologies and trends.

Student

Justine and Mikayla Cresswell

Study

New Zealand Diploma in Beauty Therapy (Level 5)

Take your beauty skills to the next level with this advanced, practical programme. Learn how to apply advanced skincare techniques, advanced hair removal techniques and be introduced to spa body treatments. Graduates of this Diploma could find employment as a Beauty Therapist, Spa Therapist, Skin Therapist, Electrologist, Resort Therapist working on a cruise liner or could work within beauty retail. Alternatively, you could establish and run your own beauty therapy business.

New Zealand Certificate in Hairdressing (Salon Support) (Level 3)

This programme is equivalent to the first year of a hairdressing apprenticeship. Delivered in our hairdressing training salon, you will undertake activities that mimic working in a real salon. There are regular visits from industry professionals and our close ties with industry ensure that you are given the most up-to-date information about technologies and trends.