For new people starting a career in this industry it can be daunting, we asked Laura what does an average day look like, what can they expect, what are the challenges and why is it rewarding. This is Laura's story..
Meet Laura Mclaren, Spa Manager, Doubletree by Hilton Cambridge Belfry
What made you want to work in the industry? What route did you take in?
I first realised I wanted to become a therapist when I was 15 year old. I went to go get my nails painted for my prom and I left with my nails looking so nice, it made me feel so happy & beautiful! This made me realise that I wanted to do a job where I made others feel the same way.
After I finished my GCSE’s I went to college to do a NVQ Level 2 and Level 3 Beauty Therapy course. This then lead to me achieving a Foundation Degree in Beauty Therapy and Spa Management and a top up course in Business Finance.
Whilst completing my training, I worked as a part time Therapist at The Cambridge Belfry Hotel. I also worked at other spas such as Aqua Sana in Center Parcs to gain experience in different working environments. I then went on to work myself up at The Cambridge Belfry from Therapist to Supervisor then from Supervisor to Spa Manager. I have now been managing the spa for 4 years in September!
What is an average day life for you?
Most days consist of first organising the diary for the day, my team of therapists rely on me and the reception team making sure the diary runs smoothly so their treatments run smoothly!
Then the first half of the day is mostly customer facing, greeting spa guests, showing them around the facilities, ensuring we meet any needs they have. It is so important that our guests feel welcomed and relaxed as soon as they walk through the door.
The rest of the day will then involve stock management, marketing, therapist rotas and general management duties.
I can honestly say, I LOVE my job.
Tell us about a good day, an unusual story/a day that wasn’t normal and why it was memorable?
Honestly, I can’t pin point one day. Saturdays are my favourite day to work as it’s the busiest! I usually have a full team of therapists in (7 columns) plus a Leisure attendant and the general energy of the team is usually electric! We make sure we have loads of snacks for the team (healthy and unhealthy!), lots of laughs and lots of energy.
Tell us about your working environment, is it inspirational, picturesque, unusual?
Our spa has 7 treatment rooms, a spa manicure area and stock cupboard. As a therapist you spend most of your time in your treatment room. As these rooms have no windows, we make sure each room is nice and open, not too cluttered and have aircon. As you are in this room most of the day. being a therapist can sometimes be a lonely job so we make sure every minute out of treatment counts. We are a very sociable team which makes my team such fun to work with. Doing client turnaround time, we make sure we help each other’s and keep conversation light and energetic. I have had 2 babies whilst in this particular job role and each time I have returned to work it’s like coming back to my second home, my own little spa family.
What would you be doing if you were not doing this?
My next career goal would be to go into Sales. This job has given me such confidence working with customers but also amazing business skills such as Accounting, Marketing, Human resources, Team management.
So many doors have been opened through the career path I have taken.
The Cambridge Belfry are hiring! To contact Laura or find out more about vacancies click here.