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Kate Walsh, Beauty Therapist
Fashion & Beauty

Kate Walsh, Beauty Therapist

Katie Walsh works as a spa manager on cruise ships. Katie lived in France for a year at the age of sixteen where she became fluent in the language which has now given her the opportunity to travel in her career.

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first question!

What were the main 'career decision' milestones in your life so far?

Living in France for a year when I was 16 and being immersed in French was what led me to where I am today. I studied in UCD 1 year of international languages, studied beauty and body therapy in Blackrock Further Education institute and this is where my passion for beauty began. After college I got a travel bug and what better way to travel than to work doing something I love. I departed across to the other side of the world on an unknown journey (to South Korea).

Who are the people who most influenced your career direction?

My Grandad was always my motivation to follow my dreams no matter how crazy and different they were. He always taught me to stand out of the crowd and do what I wanted to do.

How did you go about getting your current job?

While in college, a recruiter came into my college to discuss working at sea and within the first 5 minutes of the presentation I was sold and haven't looked back since. I had an interview a few weeks later and a practical assessment and a public speaking exercise. I then received an email telling me I would be contacted soon if I was successful. Low and behold, the phone rang and it was that day my life completely changed. I went and did 6 weeks intense training in London in all aspects of beauty for the company and learned their way of doing treatments etc.

Describe a typical day?

Work starts at 7:30am starting with a morning meeting with all my team, telling them the targets for the day and how many bookings we have in etc and what everyones duties for the day are. Client 1 comes to the spa at 8am and treatments begin. I spend my day checking in guests, ensuring they have a 5 star service , dealing with all accounts and daily reports etc.

1 hour for lunch time and 1 hour for dinner time. The spa closes at 7pm and I can let my hair down, enjoy time in the crew pool or crew areas or even go watch a show in the theatre, On my days off, I have the opportunity to get off the ship and explore whatever place we are in.

What are the main tasks and responsibilities?

I am the spa manager so I do all day to day runnings of the spa. Cleaning, training of staff and I am also a masseuse and a facialist so I perform these duties when a member of staff is sick etc.

What are the main challenges?

Sometimes we get demanding guests in. However, due to our training I am well able to deal with all sorts of guests and any challenges thrown at me.

What's cool?

Meeting so many different nationalities and getting to see the world -now 46 countries!

What's not so cool?

Spending so much time away from family and friends and missing important events.

What particular skills do you bring to your workplace?

As above & I am also extremely organised and love lists & diagrams to show how much work to do.

What subjects did you take in school and how have these influenced your career path?

French has always stood to me and I believe that business studies has given me a brief insight into the career I have chosen and how to run a business etc.

What is your education to date?

I went to Yeats college in Galway for an intense 2 year programme and then went onto study in UCD however this course was not for me and I soon realised my passion was in travel & beauty so I went to BFEI to study beauty for a year and obtained my ITEC qualification. I also completed a TEFL course so I can teach and travel should I want to in the future. While I am home in Ireland for a few months on a little break from the sea I have decided to go to DBS and study marketing and advertising. My one piece of advice would be you can never have too many qualifications.

What have been the most rewarding events in your career so far?

Travelling to 46 countries and becoming one of the youngest spa managers at sea. Completing many courses and also achieveing student of the year was huge for me.

What personal qualities do you have that helps you in your career?

I could talk to the wall! I am very outgoing and find it easy to mingle and as mentioned I am so organised.

What is your dream job?

My dream job would be a personal assistant for Richard Bransen. I find him very inspirational.

Does your job allow you to have a lifestyle you are happy with?

Yes 100%. I get to travel the world AND get paid for it. What's not to love?! You work hard but you play hard and I get 3 months holidays to enjoy back at home with friends and family. I save a lot of money on the ship so when I have my 3 months off I get to treat myself a lot.

What advice would you give to someone considering this job?

3 words JUST DO IT. You have nothing to lose so why not give it a go? It has made me the person I am today and no one said it would be easy but it was worth it in the long run.

What are the three most important personal characteristics required for the job?

Be flexible not everything is going to go your way with contract dates, ship choices etc . Be open minded- you are meeting so many different cultures and sometimes this can be challenging . Be yourself, everyone else is already taken 😊 And 1 more JUST ENJOY the experience.

What kinds of work experience would provide a good background for this position?

Going on a cruise as a holiday and maybe working in a spa.

What is your current job title?

Spa Manager at Windstar Cruises.

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