As a former student of Suffolk College I was delighted and very honoured to receive an invitation on behalf of the Principal Viv Gillespie to be the Guest of Honour at the ‘End of Year Celebration Event‘ on the 22nd of June.
So I made sure my diary was kept clear for that date and last Wednesday I set off on the train to Ipswich, back to where it all began for me as a Beauty Therapy student in 2000. It was whilst I was on the Beauty Therapy course that one of my tutors recognised my artistic talents and suggested a career as a make-up artist. Her encouragement spurred me on to research the industry and move to London to take up a place on the HND course for ‘Specialist Hair & Make-up’ at West Thames College in Isleworth. It was after graduating from West Thames in 2004 that I decided to start working as a freelance make-up and body painting artist and set up my business Getmadeup.com
It was really nice to be back at the college again; I can’t believe it was my first visit after leaving in 2002. The old building where I trained is no longer there. It’s since been replaced with a beautiful new light filled building.
I took along ‘the Mothership’ as she was the one who was gently coerced (forced) to volunteer her face and body on a regular basis so that my Beauty Therapy student friends could practice their skills on her! She had to endure false lashes being stuck on, sometimes upside down, sometimes back to front…..yes that is possible! And on more than one occasion when she stopped at the supermarket on the way home she looked a bit too much like ‘The Joker’ from Batman after some over enthusiastic application of lip liner and lipstick! We did have some giggles and she never complained. Everyone has to start somewhere and there’s really no substitute for practicing on a human face or body! I’m still friends with some of the girls from my student days and they’ve gone on to achieve very successful careers in the beauty industry.
Once we arrived at the college everyone was extremely friendly and welcoming! I was given a quick run through of how the afternoon would pan out and then we went up to ‘Shelleys’ the college restaurant for a reception with the special awards winners, invited guests and sponsors.
Then it was off downstairs to the stage for the awards ceremony with the Principal and the Chair of Corporation. The ceremony started with some music from the Performing Arts students and the introductions.
Then it was my turn to step up to the microphone and give a short speech outlining my career since leaving the college, and finishing with what I hope were some inspirational and motivational words for the students about to embark on the next step in their chosen careers.
The presentation of the awards began with students from the School of Business, Health and Childcare and School of Construction & Engineering Technologies coming up on stage to receive their awards. There was a lot of congratulatory hand clapping and a lot of hand shaking.
Finally we finished with more music from the talented performing arts students. I was then presented with the most beautiful bouquet of flowers which was really lovely.
Once the ceremony was over we went off to the marquee for some very nice refreshments all made by the catering students and had the chance to chat with more of the staff and students from the college. All in all it was a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon.
Note to self. When standing on the stage for 2 hours, even if you are the shortest person there, wear comfortable flat shoes! J