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Emily Desborough

Retail Assistant Manager

Aqua Sana at Center Parcs, Longleat

Center Parcs

Emily Desborough has worked in the spa and leisure industries for the past five years. She began her career as a beauty therapist for Aqua Sana and now works as a retail assistant manager for the company
Emily Desborough has worked in the spa and leisure industries for the past five years. She began her career as a beauty therapist for Aqua Sana and now works as a retail assistant manager for the company Tell us about your career I started as a beauty therapist, which was my first full-time job in the spa industry, and worked my way up to retail senior therapist, where I was responsible for sales and learned more about the operations side of things. I really wanted to get more out of the company and wanted more responsibility so I took a secondment role as a treatment senior to further my knowledge of the industry, before becoming retail assistant manager, which is my current position. Working for Aqua Sana has opened up so many opportunities for me. Why did you want to get into the industry? I started exploring the spa and beauty sectors after I finished school and I discovered I had a real passion for these industries more or less straight away. It's a very rewarding industry to work in. I really love the people focus. You meet so many people in this line of work, and you're not only their therapist you're their friend too. People come to us to relax and it's this side of things, the taking care of people, that really drew me in. I'm also really interested in the wellness side of things. There's so much that goes into being a good therapist, there's so much to learn. What changes would you like to see? I think there's a real issue of stereotyping, particularly where beauty therapists are concerned. I know that, personally, I felt that people judged me for choosing to study beauty therapy over going to university. I think it's enough to prevent true talent from coming in, which is a real shame as this industry is so worthwhile. It takes a lot of skill, knowledge and training to be a good therapist. How do you think we, as an industry, can address this issue? I think it's all about education. Part of my role is to go out and visit local colleges and schools to talk to the students. It's a part of my job that I absolutely love because I get to share my story with and show them other options, maybe ones they haven't even considered, outside of academia. The response has been amazing, especially when you explain all the routes they can go down and how working in this sector doesn't just limit them to beauty but actually opens them up to the entire leisure industry. It's a fantastic initiative and one I think really makes a difference.
This industry is so worthwhile. It takes a lot of skill, knowledge and training to be a good therapist

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