Ghizlane Mountacer has turned a long-held dream into a new career after her beauty course led to employment at a Bradford salon.
Within four months of starting her Level 2 Beauty Therapy course at Bradford College, Ghizlane undertook a work placement at Image Revolution.
The Keighley-based student impressed her manager so much that she is now perfecting her craft as a general assistant at the Wibsey beauty salon.
Ghizlane, a single mother of two children, said: “It’s amazing and I am learning so many new things in my role.”
“Nothing was stopping me now”
Previously the 35-year-old Moroccan had worked as a telesales executive before her first child was born. For the next 10 years she dreamt of studying for a new career. She said: “I kept postponing my studies and didn’t have a lot of support from others. I really wanted to prove myself and to be a role model to my children. At the age of 35, I realized if I wanted to go back to the beginning and start again, I could. Nothing was stopping me.”
She knew that when she went back into studying, it had to be in a subject she loved. Ghizlane added: “I could see myself giving so much to others through beauty. It also had to fit around looking after my children.”
She enrolled at Bradford College in September 2021 and began her course, studying in areas such as facial training, giving manicures, pedicures, waxing and tanning as well as anatomy and physiology. Ghizlane said: “I really loved it.
“My tutor taught me so much”
“Sophie Metcalfe, my tutor, taught me so much. She was very knowledgeable and always there whenever I needed help.”
She said she was taught about knowledge of skincare, aftercare and looking out for signs of any adverse reactions to skin products. “These are really important things to know before working with clients,” she said.
During their course, learners are also required to take part in around 30 hours of work experience to help them gain the skills needed for the industry. Work experience placement officer Anne Barker told Ghizlane about the opportunity for experience at Image Revolution. Ghizlane said: “She explained this was going to help me improve. Ella she was really nice and helped me to get the placement.”
Bringing new skills to business
Anne had previously been in contact with clinic owner Mikiala Hussain about potentially taking on students. As well as offering the student useful experience, work placements also offer extra support as well as bringing a fresh pair of eyes and new skills to the business.
Mikiala had previously employed another student, Paige Mawdsley, who not only successfully completed her qualification but achieved a Bradford College FE and Apprenticeship Award for Beauty Student of the Year in July 2021.
Mikiala said: “We wanted to continue that support for Bradford College and Anne told me about Ghizlane. I’m 100% happy to have taken on Ghizlane. She’s really intelligent and seemed like such an amazing match for us. She is such an asset to the business. Ghizlane is amazing.”
Having realized Ghizlane’s potential, Mikiala decided to take her on as a paid general assistant. As well as learning more about the industry, Ghizlane is working with clients, booking in treatments and updating the salon’s social media platforms.
She said: “I think placements are really good for students. Whether you end up with paid work or it is a placement, it is all worthwhile experience. You learn so much. My children are really happy and proud of me and I have shown them you can achieve anything.”
Work experience at Bradford College
Work Experience is a period of voluntary work in a sector a student is interested in pursuing after qualifying from college.
The aim of a work placement is to get hands-on experience allowing a student to apply their classroom knowledge practically in the workplace.
Find out more about the benefits placements can offer to students and employers at https://www.bradfordcollege.ac.uk/study/work-placements/