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Ms Finlay only started working at a local salon last year, as part of her Year 10 work placement requirements, and has continued to impress herself and her employer.
“I did my work experience through school with Addictive Hair and Beauty, and on the last day my boss just asked me if I wanted a job” says Ms Finlay.
“That’s when I started a school-based apprenticeship; but later, in January, I was asked to become a full-time apprentice and started studying my Certificate III in Hairdressing at Grafton TAFE.”
Her employer, Sophie Wiblen, says she’s not surprised to see Ruth recognised for her efforts.
“She’s a really enthusiastic, hard worker and isn’t afraid to stay behind if there’s work to do. She’s always happy and bubbly, and has a big smile across her face,” says Ms Wiblen.
“Ruth is a really quick learner and is always practising outside of work, at home, on family and friends. She’s definitely passionate about hair.”
Ms Finlay says studying with Grafton TAFE has given her a stronger understanding of the work she does, and recommends others follow their passions.
“TAFE is great! You just never know what will happen. Here’s little old me, and I just can’t believe it created this great opportunity.”
“I’m just starting my colour theory now, so it’s been really good watching and learning in the salon and being able to put my theory into practise.”
“My Mom is over the moon, and Sophie my boss is stoked as well.”
Ms Finlay is still studying and working as a first year apprentice at Addictive Hair and Beauty, but is already planning where she wants to take her career over the next few years.
“I’m still a first year apprentice at the moment, but when I complete I’d like to take my work further and develop my skills in up styling; it really interests me and that’s where I’d like to specialise in the future.”