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    Waltham Forest College played key role in a beauty therapist’s goal of finding fulfilling work.

    Cassandra Hajdar, a young woman based in Havering borough, was a student at the College and is today lecturing there.

    Cassandra began working as a Beauty Lecturer at the College in October 2017, teaching Level 2 students under 19-years-old, an adult group and another group of Level 2 students. Thirteen years ago, she was studying her NVQ Level 3 in Beauty at the College.

    She said: “I had such a good experience during my studies at Waltham Forest College. I had a fantastic teacher who made me feel relaxed. It left a lasting impression so that thirteen years later I was happy to return and work here.”

    Waltham Forest College helped Cassandra progress in an industry that she was interested in since she was a teenager. At school in Chigwell, she helped out her brother who managed a beauty salon. She worked there in the evenings and on Saturdays and the experience gave her an insight into the industry.

    After leaving school, she went to a specialist college to study her Level 2 in beauty. She did valuable work experience at a salon in South Woodford but found she did not have a very good college experience. She decided to continue her Level 3 at Waltham Forest College.

    Her training and work experience there helped her to become a manager of various beauty salons from her early twenties. She even went to Dubai in the Middle East. She said: “I worked in the centre of Dubai for a skin care company. A lot of people spoke English there. I was there for six months. It was a fantastic experience to work with people with different culture. But I came home because I was home sick.”

    My passion led me

    ch2Cassandra found her work was gently pushing her into teaching. She said: “For two years, when I mentored other people and explained the trade to them, I was being told that I should be a teacher. I learned a lot and I was at a point that I needed to stimulate my brain. I had knowledge that I could pass on to other people. I realized that my passion led me to teaching even though I enjoyed working as a therapist.”

    By 2010, she gained her teaching qualifications. She received her Level 3 Award in Preparing to Teach in Lifelong Learning Sector and Level 3 Assessing Vocational Achievement. She was thinking about teaching at Waltham Forest and kept an eye out for job adverts. She applied to one in August and after a job interview and doing a presentation, she started working at the College in October.

    She said: “I was surprised how much the College had changed. It looked a lot brighter and modern. It felt a bit surreal. I get a lot of satisfaction teaching students. I can’t wait to see my students passing their exams and progressing in their career.”

    Beauty Therapy is about treating the whole body, the face, nails, feet, hair and skin, so that there is long-term improvement. Therapists advise their clients about health and skin care. They also can find themselves being an amateur counsellor who listens to their clients’ life problems.

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