A NorthTec hairdressing graduate is heading overseas for the opportunity of a lifetime, working on a top cruise liner.
Elamein Poutai, from Whangarei, will soon be flown to London for training, and then on to Miami, where the ship is based. From there, she will spend the next nine months cruising around the Caribbean, South America and the Mediterranean Sea on the Carnival Magic.
The 26-year-old got through a tough application process to land a job with Steiner Leisure Ltd, a company which provides contracted hairdressing and beauty therapy services to major cruise operators throughout the world.
She was successful after going through a six-hour interview, presentation and salon test during which a recruitment panel watched her every move, including her personal appearance, punctuality and customer service skills, as well as hairdressing techniques on both male and female clients. The company also looks for confidence and management potential in its employees.
But while Elamein is looking forward to the challenge, she is also “freaking out” about leaving home, because she is making the sacrifice of leaving family behind, especially her two young children aged four and seven. Family have agreed to support her and do this together so Elamein is able to make good money and buy her own home.
Elamein studied the Level 3 New Zealand Certificate in Hairdressing (Salon Support) at People Potential, then the Level 4 New Zealand Certificate in Hairdressing (Emerging Stylist) at NorthTec last year. She has now completed her apprenticeship working for Motown Haircutters and Dan Black Creative, both in Whangarei. Ants Lydiard, Motown owner, said he was proud of Elamein but very sorry to see her go: “I’m pleased that she has found success and wish her all the best in the future. She can always come back here.”
The talented stylist is aiming high, as she hopes to make enough of an impression while at the Steiner training academy in London to be appointed as a ship’s salon manager. Elamein says she was also inspired by the New Zealand-based Steiner recruitment executive she met, who travels overseas to attend management meetings and to recruit in Australia, to make a similar role in the company her ultimate goal.
Next she will be working on her personal presentation, as she needs to grow her short hair into a style which can be neatly tied back, wear make-up in a prescribed way, and cover her tattoos while at work in the ship’s salon.
Elamein is grateful for the help and support she has received from her NorthTec tutor, Jan Dawson, who will be tracking her progress around the world via Facebook.
Elamein wants to inspire others with her journey. She is proud to be of Ngāpuhi descent and is excited to share her Māori culture with the world. Whanau explained to her: “You are carrying all of your tupuna (ancestors) with you overseas, all our pride will be with you.”