Hannah Briggs Graduation

By Hannah Briggs 


There is an undeniable and easily apparent sense of pressure on young people to do well at school. This pressure tends to stem from external sources such as teachers and parents. I know this first hand from my experience during my GCSE’s. 

I never thrived in traditional subjects like maths and science and didn’t achieve grades good enough to get back into the Sixth Form at my school. I vividly recall telling my Headmistress my next step was going to be a Beauty Therapy diploma at college – to which she responded with a laugh followed by the words ‘that will never get you anywhere’. To be spoken to like this at such a poignant time as a young, impressionable adult was something I would never forget but equally something that would instil drive and determination in me to prove her wrong.

When I discovered the International Spa Management course at the University of Derby Buxton, I couldn’t believe my luck. As one of, I’m sure, many young people that felt as though the conventional schooling system wasn’t for them, this felt like a chance to finally prove my school teachers wrong, try something different and most importantly, find something I enjoy. 

What’s so great about the International Spa Management course? 

Despite being a rapidly growing market, worth $4.2 Trillion in 2017 and showing no signs of slowing down, The Global Wellness Industry is so often underestimated and is surrounded by the stigma of being an ‘easy option’. I think we all know; this industry is no easy way out. The International Spa Management course proves this. You are taught a plethora of skills from how to perform practical treatments, to product and retail knowledge, to business finance, to Anatomy and Physiology, as well as ‘how to manage a team’ to name just a few. The real-world learning opportunities provided by the facilities on this campus are completely unique. 

Over my three years here, I was lucky enough to be taught by an incomparable team of lecturers whose mission it was to see their students thrive, grow and develop in both their careers and personal lives. Talking to friends at other universities, their lecturers did not even know their names. In Buxton, this couldn’t be further from the truth. We were so lucky to have such a small, personable campus where you could go to them with any problem you may have, professional or personal and even if they did not have a solution, the comfort of knowing they genuinely cared is what helped. I have gained an abundance of knowledge from a team I can only describe as the most inspirational people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.

I was flooded with the opportunity to make so many important connections with industry professionals whom I most likely would never have otherwise had the chance to meet. These connections have opened my eyes to the range of opportunities in our industry and allowed me to do exciting things, such as writing this article. Course’s like this not only give people the chance to expand their academic achievements but also to learn a wealth of transferable and life skills along the way. We need niche course’s like this to stay alive to help the younger generations, your future workforce, thrive in their own individual way. 

After speaking to a variety of young adults looking to decide their next step, I can confidently say the course has not had to end because there is a lack of people interested. The course is ending because people do not know about it due to a lack of advertisement, awareness and education into what it actually entails. I discovered it not by a great marketing campaign or the standard UCAS search that hundreds of thousands of students do each year but by chance; in a newspaper article detailing the tragic accident at Alton Towers involving a student on the course. I think it is safe to say that this harshly solidifies my argument. Like any good investment, the more time, money and attention put into marketing this course properly the more people it could benefit. 

A final word

Not everyone is good at core subjects, but everyone has a talent and for young people to be made to feel by our education system, that they do not, is truly devastating. The loss of the International Spa Management course highlights just how important it is, that we do more to raise awareness about our fantastic industry. The opportunities within it and the benefits of being a part of it, to young adults in schools, colleges and wherever else they may be. Think about your kids or any young people you know. Ask them how school is going, what sort of things they are being taught, what sort of information they are receiving about life after school and inform them of your own unique journey. Reassure them that GCSE grades are not the be all and end all, remind them the most important thing is finding something they love, no matter what that is and show them why ours is such a great industry to be a part of. 

Inspire them and invest in them. After all, they are your future workforce.