Students ‘building a brand’ at DC Spa

As more spa services become available, the DC Spa's front desk will be available to help its client base. Photo credit: Cecelia Feor

Beauty becomes Durham College (DC), thanks to the addition of a new a spa on campus.

The DC Spa, located in the new CFCE building, will grow its services as students learn the ropes in two new programs.

Students in the Esthetician – Spa Management and Cosmetic Techniques and Management programs will provide services in the spa, such as manicures and pedicures. Students, faculty and community members will be able to get various spa services beginning this fall as students begin building their client bases.

The recipe for these programs started from scratch in 2016. Spa manager, Leslie Morris, says she’s had a hand in the programs since the beginning.

Morris works as a professor in the school of Business, IT and Management at DC. She also owns her own image consulting firm, Your Signature Look.

Morris became a consulting lead on the project two years ago. This involved looking at other colleges with similar programs and focusing in on what employers were looking for in graduates.

Morris says at some institutions students are limited to learning manicures and pedicures in their first semester, first year, in one class. Durham is including these services throughout its program.

While many students set their sights on working in a high-end spa, Morris says they need technical skills before moving on to high level beauty treatments. She adds this helps build a client base.

She is also encouraging students to find their place to shine.

“We want students to sort of play with their skill sets and really ask themselves in this program, ‘what am I really good at?’,” she says.

In the Cosmetics Techniques Management program, Morris says many students come in with the idea of being a beauty guru on YouTube.

This lifestyle-turned-career choice is appealing for many who think they can teach others about applying makeup, while being their own boss.

However, Morris says she expects to graduate students who are prepared for all career possibilities.

“We want students to leave with the confidence that they can get to the place of where their designed to be,” she says, rather than being beauty vloggers.

To help students find that confidence, many professors in the program have a long-standing history in the industry.

Marisa Hannan, a professor in both the Esthetician – Spa Management and Cosmetics Techniques Management programs, says there will always be an interest in this field.

She adds the students enter the program with strong interest in beauty and often want to focus on a specific area but end up learning about many things.

Hannan is no stranger to teaching about beauty. She has taught at both Humber and Seneca colleges in various esthetic and cosmetic programs. She helped develop curriculum at both schools.

“The goal of both programs is to ensure that students receive the most up-to-date and cutting-edge techniques and practices in the industry so that they have the necessary tools to give them the best opportunity to flourish In their chosen careers,” Hannan says.

She adds the programs help students identify strengths to build their personal brands through different courses which cover many potential career paths.

“I’m hoping to teach students to always follow their passions and dreams, and to always reach for the top, to really apply their skills, and never be afraid of a challenge,” Hannan says.