On April 6, Wednesday evening, long-standing Swedish Institute faculty member Geoff Dawe presented a special “Spa Talk” night designed for current students and recent graduates beginning their careers in the massage therapy field.
Geoff was former Principal Therapist at the world famous Peninsula Spa, as well as the Mandara Spa at the Wailea Beach Marriott Hotel and Resort in Maui. As Principal Therapist, he established policy and procedure for these five star, world class establishments. He also conducted interviews for potential therapists as well as practical hands on “auditions”.
Approximately 50 people filled the room and listened intently as Geoff walked through a step-by-step presentation discussing spa work for massage therapists. He began with an overview of the spa industry and the different types of spas, ranging from high-end hotel and resort spas to day spas to medical spas and club spas. He explained the differences in the client visiting a destination spa such as Canyon Ranch and the client going into an Xpress Spa at Laguardia, and the subsequent differences in the on-the-job expectations set by that spa’s management – and the importance, therefore, of “doing your homework” and identifying “the right spa for you”. He walked through how the interview process works and shared tips on everything from preparing a resume and the importance of presenting a professional demeanor, to what types of things to look out for and what types of questions to ask. He also went into an in-depth explanation of potential compensation packages available to therapists, including different pay scales, medical benefits and other considerations.
Geoff then invited two special Swedish alum to join him for an open Q&A. Courtney Yates, who has been working at Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa for the past 4-1/2 years, and Rachel Beider, who only 5 months out of school started what has turned into a very successful private, both shared their experiences and answered back-to-back questions from a room full of enthusiastic and curious soon-to-be (or just-began-their-careers-as) licensed massage therapists. People didn’t seem in any rush to leave, and many lingered around afterwards to chat more with Geoff, Rachel and Courtney.
It was really terrific to see such excitement and energy in the group that filled the room, and a huge shout out to Geoff Dawe, in the words he loves to use: YOU ROCK!