Otago Polytechnic
Justine and Mikayla Cresswell grad pic2
“This qualification has opened up so much more for me – I’m now doing something that I’m passionate about!”

Justine Cresswell
Diploma in Beauty Therapies and Epilation (Level 5)

Justine and Mikayla Cresswell both graduated on the same day from Otago Polytechnic: Justine with a Diploma in Beauty Therapy, Mikayla with a Certificate in Hairdressing (Level 3). “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 fulltime 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!”


Read more about the Diploma in Beauty Therapies and Epilation (Level 5) 

Read more about the Certificate in Hairdressing (Level 3) and the Certificate in Professional Hairdressing (Level 3)

More Hairdressing and Beauty programmes >

HBM profile AnnaLobb 001
Sometimes you just need to push yourself to follow your dreams.

Anna Lobb

After leaving high school at the age of 16, Anna decided that she wanted to train to become a hairdresser and was impressed by the amount of practical experience that she gained during her two programmes. 

"I got to do cuts, colours, hair-ups and sets for real clients and show my work in photographic competitions. In my first year, I got a first and third place."

Anna is now an Apprentice Hairdresser at Express Cut and Colour in Dunedn and is enjoying the experience.

"I love it, it's so much fun! I do different things every day which keeps it interesting and exciting."

Her next step is to complete her apprenticeship and become fully qualified through the New Zealand Hairdressing Training Organisation.

"So far I seem to be on track to meet that goal. As for any other plans, I'm just keeping an open mind."  

More Beauty and Hairdressing programmes > 

Anna graduated with the Certificate in Hairdressing (Level 3) and Certificate in Professional Hairdressing (Level 3). These programmes have now been replaced by the New Zealand Certificate in Hairdressing (Salon Support) (Level 3) and our New Zealand Certificate in Hairdressing (Emerging Stylist) (Level 4) due to a national review of qualifications conducted by NZQA. 

HBM profile HeidiJensen 001
If you have the passion to make people look and feel great every day, this is the right career choice for you.

Heidi Jensen
Diploma in Beauty Therapies and Epilation (Level 5)

Growing up in a house full of nurses Heidi also thought she would train to be a nurse but towards the end of Year 13 she started to look at other options.

“I’ve always wanted to help people and I found that being a beauty therapist can help people in a different way, such as working with clients who have skin disorders like eczema and acne.”

Heidi had been living in Queenstown but chose to study in Dunedin. 

“I wanted to come to Dunedin to experience being in a student town and I wanted to study the Diploma because I heard from other students that it was a more in-depth programme."

For Heidi, the programme was everything she could have wanted and more.

“The teachers were amazing, they had so much knowledge, and whenever you asked a question they’d make you think about it before they gave you the answer which was a fantastic learning technique. I also loved working in a team and that I was working with real clients."

Heidi is now working as a beauty therapist, treating clients with skin disorders who she sees on a regular basis.

“I really like making a difference to their lives and seeing them walk out with a smile on their face.” 

(This programme used to be delivered by Aoraki Polytechnic but moved across to Otago Polytechnic in 2015).

Read more about the Diploma in Beauty Therapies and Epilation (Level 5) 

More Hairdressing and Beauty programmes >