Hello! My name is Jennifer, I am a 19 year old girl from the Netherlands. I have two nationalities; Dutch and English. I live in The Hague, in the Netherlands with my father. I am now in my last year of becoming a Beautician or as they say in England - Beauty Therapist! In July I will hopefully be graduating. Then I can call myself an all-round Beauty therapist, that sounds cool right?!
What sparked your interest in the Beauty Industry?
Okay, well this is funny. First of all I didn’t know what I wanted to do later on in Life. I chose this because in Holland you have to go to school until you’re 18 years old. Otherwise you will get problems and the government will be at your doorstep. I couldn’t wait a year to think more of what I wanted to do. And I thought, well every girl likes learning stuff about beauty. It actually worked out perfectly. I am so happy that I have chosen this study. I already have my own beauty salon at home and it’s going great. I have about 10 customers per week. So after school I go straight home and carry on working at my own salon. I don’t mind because I love my work. Every day I discover and learn something new, even though I thought I knew everything already. I still get surprised every day. The Beauty Industry is never the same, it always changes. Each year companies invent new machines or new products. It is never boring. There is always something new to learn!
What was it like working at Shades Tanning & Beauty? What were your tasks?
I had a really good time full of new things to learn. I picked up more techniques and ways to give treatments. I have given a wax, shiatsu (Japanese face massage), manicures and pedicures. Most of the time I was watching my supervisor who was giving treatments to clients. This was very interesting too as I could see the way she does everything.
What differences have you found between working in the UK and the Netherlands?
I think everything is quite similar only everyone has their own technique. In England they are so much faster and quicker with giving treatments. They work quicker. In Holland you take your time for your client. Also in England you leave the client alone in the beginning to undress and after a few minutes you enter the room to start your treatment. In Holland you stay in the room when your client undresses.
Running your own Beauty salon in the Netherlands at such a young age is quite an achievement and shows a real entrepreneurial spirit. What drives you forward?
I love having my own salon because I can work the way I want to and nobody tells me what to do. Also you have your own regular clients which is nice, you can bond with them. And I love my job so I really like to work in the beauty industry. Also it is really good for your personal development. You learn to be independent.
What was the best moment of your trip?
The best moment of my trip was when my mum came up to London for the day and she showed me where she used to live in London. We had a nice day out! She showed me things you usually don’t go to as a young tourist. We went to High Gate cemetery. Quite a lot of famous people are buried there and it is really pretty, especially in the spring. After that we went to Alexandra Palace. If you want a nice view of London’s skyline you must go there.
How has this experience inspired you?
After this experience I am even more thinking about opening my own professional salon in a city one day.
What have you learnt from the trip?
That you must appreciate everything, even the little things. Always take an opportunity like this, you don’t always get a chance to work abroad for 3 weeks. And it’s really good for your future.
What have you found most exciting about working and living in a new country?
The first day I had to go to my placement I was nervous and excited! Also the first days of travelling were quite exciting.
What are your plans for the future?
I don’t know yet. I don’t have real plans but I will just see what Life brings me. Of course I am going to do something in the future but I will see. I would like to work abroad though.
What would your advice be for students who are about to go on the Internship Programme?
You have to be open minded because everything can happen. You may have expectations but you never know how it will be. You should also look up in which area you will be staying so you don’t face any surprises when you arrive. Where the nearest bus station or underground is, what restaurants or supermarkets are nearby etc.
Jennifer visited London with our Internship Programme, a project eligible for funding from Erasmus+. We also arrange work experience projects in Dublin. Don't hesitate to contact us if you would like more information about what we do and how to get funding. Call a Country Manager today on +44 2084249424 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.