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I attended an open evening at CWA to have a look around at the facilities and meet the staff, I liked the atmosphere and the layout. I had also heard exceptionally good reports about college, especially the Hair and Beauty department.

Before starting the course, I knew that I wanted to own my own salon but wasn’t sure if it was going to be hairdressing or beauty at that point.

During my first year at CWA the main focus was studying Beauty Therapy with a few hours of Hairdressing. The following year I then chose to follow the hairdressing route and complete my level 2. My third and final year I chose to study level 3 Beauty Therapy General.

I absolutely loved college and have amazing memories. I made lots of new friends and although we worked hard, we also laughed a lot. All courses that I studied had a lot of practical as well as theory work, which made a big difference in keeping me focused.

Whilst studying at college I had a part-time job in my local salon in Heacham, this enabled me to put my theory and practical that I had learnt at college into practice with an experienced and patient hairdresser alongside me. Once I was qualified, my boss gave me the reins and let me offer both Hair and Beauty treatments.

My time at CWA benefitted me as it prepared me for salon life, I knew my timing had to be up to scratch and what the client expected I tried to deliver. The commercial Salon at CWA had an environment, just like a professional salon, so I knew what behaviours and communications was expected when going into the real world. I also did more than one of each assessment, so, for example, the same cut but on two or three different people to ensure that myself and tutor was confident with different hair styles.

I am now the Director of my own hair salon called Barnetts Thornham, in Thornham, Norfolk. I cover all roles from opening to cleaning up, stock check and colouring and cutting clients hair is the main part of it. I have now also completed my level 3 in Education Training, which means I can now take on apprentices, teaching and assessing them myself in the salon to speed up their course.

If you are considering going to CWA to study, it is a really good college. I enjoyed my time there and can honestly say I could not wait to take on clients almost straight away.

Charley's Hair Salon, Barnetts:

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