Our Students

Kathryn Wadsworth

After working in the hospitality industry, Melbourne Polytechnic Graduate Kathryn Wadsworth decided she wanted to pursue a career doing what she loved most –other peoples’ hair.

For 23-year-old Kathryn, the courses at Melbourne Polytechnic allowed her to fast-track her qualifications and gain industry experience by taking part in the graduate hairdressing shows.

Melbourne Polytechnic Graduate Kathryn Wadsworth has always loved helping people with their hair, whether it’s curling, perming or creating elaborate styles for special events. But after leaving school it took her a couple of years, including a stint working in hospitality, to realise her dream job was hairdressing. “I did hospitality management after school because I thought that’s what I wanted to do. But I always loved doing peoples hair. I’ve definitely made the right decision. It’s amazing when you enjoy something how good your marks are.”

While she was completing the Certificate III in Hairdressing at Melbourne Polytechnic, Kathryn was awarded a $1000 study grant award for her overall performance on the course. She used the money to enrol for the Certificate IV in Hairdressing and to invest in some essential hairdressing tools. “After I finished Certificate III, I still doubted my abilities a little bit. But once I got into the Certificate IV it really built my confidence and I got more in-depth knowledge.”

The Melbourne Polytechnic courses offer an alternative to the traditional hairdressing apprenticeship which can take up to five years to complete at a salon. “I was able to get my training done more quickly. That was a big advantage for me because I’m 23 now and I’d already spent time in the workforce. I didn’t want to start out sweeping salon floors. The other advantage is you’re trained by a variety of teachers with different experiences. At a salon you really only get trained by one or two.”

One of the highlights of studying at Melbourne Polytechnic was the opportunity to take part in an end of year show after each of the certificate courses. Students had to take part in session styling, hair and make-up as well as creating a style and theme for the show. “That was our final assessment and we were judged by industry professionals. It was really great to have that experience. In a salon I wouldn’t have had that opportunity as an apprentice. All the teachers are fantastic. They talk you through ideas and give you tips on what you could have done better.”

The Certificate IV also included subjects on management and owning your own business, which will come in useful for Kathryn. “I’d like to have my own salon in the future, but I’d like to work for someone else for at least five years first, and I’d also like to enter a few shows on the side.”


Certificate IV in Hairdressing