Report helps sector

An Okanagan College student’s class project is benefitting B.C.’s aestheticians and spa owners.

An Okanagan College student’s class project is turning out to be a valuable resource for B.C.’s estheticians and spa owners.

Faye Hughes, a fourth-year student in OC’s business administration degree program, has produced a 50-page human resources manual as part of her social entrepreneurship course. She worked closely with Heather Stewart, the co-president of the Estheticians and Spa Professionals Association B.C., to understand and address the sector’s needs for HR information and direction.

“She was just amazing and her manual went far beyond what we initially expected,” said Stewart.

“Faye and I will be presenting the manual at our convention in February in Vancouver and will be giving all the members an electronic copy.”

That convention draws about 5,000 people.

Hughes was able to draw on her own working experience as she prepared the manual. Before returning to school at Okanagan College, she was certified as a hairstylist and worked in the industry for a year and a half.

“When I saw this on the list of potential projects we could undertake as part of our course, I thought immediately this was tailor-made for me,” she said.

The manual is focused on helping the owners of small and medium-sized businesses understand and implement good human resources practices, explains Stewart.

Already, there is interest from a college in the Lower Mainland to use the manual in its esthetician training program. And Leading Spas of Canada, the national organization of spa owners, is reviewing it for distribution as well.

“Each year there are several of these success stories coming out of our student projects,” said Kyleen Myrah, OC business administration professor.

“Since we started offering this course in 2007, students have completed more than 200 projects with approximately 125 different organizations. It’s testament to the outreach of our program, but more than that, it is a testament to the quality of our students and what they are able to achieve as a consequence of their education.”