Passing on a passion and love for what she does, sees Gillian Gosper bring the outside world into the classroom “I have always continued to work in industry, it gives me a chance to bring real life examples into the classroom from the salon. This starts conversations with the students on how they would approach situations in the real world”
Gillian joined UCOL when it was still based at the Hokowhitu site as Manawatu Polytechnic, since then she has seen a lot of change. She started out one day a week as a tutorial assistant, now she is a Senior Lecturer - Hairdressing, Hairdressing & Beauty, who has been recognised and awarded both the title of expert, but also in 2015 Lecturer of the Year.
When asked why she chose hairdressing as a profession and what keeps her motivated to teach she replied “Hairdressing is more than just cutting or colouring, it’s an experience for the client, they will forgive you for a small fault if you give them a holistic experience”.
“I want my students to leave and be the best that they can be, to enjoy each day and to remember why they choose to enter the profession – I have been teaching and working in industry for quite a while now and I love that each day I still wake up looking forward to the day ahead and getting in the classroom or salon”
For Gillian working at UCOL is more than just teaching a set of skills to her students. With her continued reach into industry as well as entering competitions she understands what it means to come out and be employable “Getting a job isn’t just about being able to do the job, or being technically adept, it comes down to work ethic, respect and how you fit in a salon. Students now need to be aware of their personality – their personal brand, it’s not about changing who they are but about finding the right salon or environment for them.”
Asked about her favourite or most memorable time since joining UCOL, the answer was quick “Graduation, no particular one, I just love seeing them reach for the stars, attain the qualification they have worked hard for and know that I have had a part in this, inspiring my students – many stay in touch and that’s special too”