Naketa Olliver progressed through UCOL’s Beauty programmes and is now working as a Skincare Specialist at the industry-leading Caci clinic.
Naketa wanted to pursue a career in Makeup Artistry after she finished high school. She chose to study at UCOL because the courses would give her a good understanding of not only Makeup Artistry, but also Beauty Therapy.
"At the time, nowhere else offered courses like UCOL. There were specifically Makeup Artistry or Beauty Therapy courses around, but at UCOL I was able to get a taste of everything."
While Makeup Artistry was her main interest at the beginning, Naketa got more into the Beauty Therapy side as she progressed through the Certificate in Beauty Services and Diploma in Beauty Therapy programmes.
Naketa enjoyed learning the science behind Beauty Therapy, but doesn't believe that potential students need to have a strong science background to succeed.
"I don't think people realise there is so much science behind it. I found it all really fun. It's taught very well, so it's not hard to learn if you don't have much of a background in science."
Naketa says that the beauty salon on the Palmerston North campus is a great environment for students to hone their skills and work with real clients.
"I love the facilities. When I started my first course, we were in a tiny little room that we had to move all of the tables out of. Now it's a whole beauty suite, and I think that's pretty incredible."
"It was great to be able to work with actual clients. It was a little bit daunting at the beginning, but you become comfortable very quickly."
Naketa has been working as a Skincare Specialist at Caci since the start of 2014 after one of her former UCOL Lecturers shoulder-tapped her for the job. She specialises in advanced skincare, laser hair removal, and cryolipolysis, a process involving freezing excess fat cells.
"It's a pretty awesome company to work for. Those of us who work at a Caci chain are very lucky in that we are at the forefront of the industry. Everything that is new in the industry, we're the first to offer those services in New Zealand."
Naketa finds it to be a very rewarding job as she can help clients feel confident in themselves.
"With the laser hair removal, I've had a lot of women with polycystic ovary syndrome, so they grow excess facial hair. It's nice that I can help them out with that. It's a nice feeling that I can come to work and help women with their confidence."
Naketa felt that UCOL's Beauty programmes prepared her well for the ever-changing industry.
"I definitely felt ready for the industry when I started work, and I'm learning new things all of the time. As long as the industry keeps changing at the rate it currently is, I will always be learning which is fantastic because I love to learn."
Naketa would like to eventually teach Beauty Therapy, which is an ambition she owes to the lecturers she had at UCOL.
Caci is at the forefront of New Zealand's skincare and appearance industry. With over 35 clinics across the country, Caci offers a wide range of appearance medicine, body treatments, facial rejuvenation, and beauty therapy services.