Graduate Profile: Shanelle Lutze – I Always Wanted to Work for Myself
Shanelle Lutze made the most of her time with VFA Learning and was always available to lend a helping hand at local community events. We will miss seeing her regularly at the Essendon Fields campus. Congratulations on the completion of your Diploma of Remedial Massage Shanelle, we look forward to hearing about your continued success.
What made you choose to study at VFA Learning?
I was studying massage with an online Institute but was getting very frustrated with how long it was taking me to complete a Massage qualification online. One day I saw an ad in the paper for VFA Learning, I ripped it out, showed up for Open Day and signed up right then and there. VFA Learning was an easy choice, it was close, convenient and had a good vibe.
I’ve just finished my Diploma of Remedial Massage. I had originally wanted to stop studying after Certificate IV because I wanted to focus on the spa related aspects of Massage. I didn’t want to initiate a level of discomfort as I knew Remedial treatments can be painful, however, I gave the Diploma a go and ended up really enjoying the remedial and sports side of massage too. It was then that I realised that even though the client was experiencing discomfort, it was actually helping them with their particular concern.
What made you want to study massage?
I’ve always had an interest in Massage but didn’t get a chance to pursue it, then a few years ago I realised I wanted to work for myself and given that I have always loved Massaging, I thought a course in Massage would be a good place to start.
As a teenager I used to massage my friends, and a few years ago, a friend of mine that I massaged encouraged me to consider Massage Therapy as a profession. Even though I had been thinking about studying massage for a long time, my friend was the one that helped me take that final step. When it’s the right time, you just do it!
What are your massage career plans?
I currently work in an administration role and I’ve been working in this field for over 15 years. Even though I love my current job, I knew that eventually I wanted to have my own business. I have decided to take this step gradually and cut back my full time hours while I build a solid client base.
I set up my clinic (Blissful Indulgence) a year and a half ago, just after I finished my Certificate IV and it has been operating ever since. I don’t advertise, people find out about me by word of mouth and even though I currently have enough clients to work in massage full time I want to take it slow. At the moment I am seeing six or seven clients per week and whilst working in my full time job.
Within the next six months, I am going to further add different modalities into my business like Hot Stone, Aromatherapy, Manual Lymphatic Drainage and Oncology Massage which will be another big course to undertake.
What advice would you share with others that would like to set up their own clinic?
It is important to ensure you operate in a way that keeps both the therapist and the client safe. Operating a clinic I need to be sure my clientele understands that I offer Therapeutic and Remedial Massage and work as a professional Massage Therapist because there are other businesses out there using ‘massage’ as a cover for illegal activities. This was covered well in my course so I know how to build up a client base with integrity.
Thanks to the guidance I received from my trainers I have been in contact with several local sporting clubs that are interested in employing me to support their teams. I am also working with a range of athletes from a variety of backgrounds from soccer to football to boxing.
What do you love about massage?
I love the fact that I get to help people, whether it be a one off massage to unwind or a series of treatments to address an injury. It makes me happy to know that I have given someone my time and experience to help them out in their time of need.
How did you juggle a full-time job, parenting and study all at once?
I managed a full-time job, a child, massage study and I also bought a house! I didn’t realise how much I was juggling until I said it out loud just then. When I have a goal I will always achieve it and it doesn’t matter how long it takes me. My family and friends supported me and this was a massive help. I found a way to work my studies around my other commitments. My friends understood that I couldn’t always get back to them straight away because they knew I was working and studying but in the end it was worth it because this was something I really wanted.
What were your trainers like?
Emily always went above and beyond the standards I expected of a trainer, she trained, guided and encouraged us every step of the way. I struggled to understand anatomy but Emily came up with a range of ideas and ways to help me comprehend it all. I didn’t just learn, I learned how to learn. Emily didn’t take on a ‘teacher’ role and she was always open and approachable. Our trainers organised a huge range of events for us to take part in including cross training events, swimming events and other sporting events. We wouldn’t have had exposure to these types of athletes without VFA Learning.
All of my trainers were so knowledgeable and they all encouraged us to find our own style and work out what type of Therapist we wanted to be.
What about your classmates?
Our class gelled really well and it made studying on-campus really enjoyable. I have made some friends for life and I loved the fact that our class included a variety of age groups.
Would you recommend VFA Learning to others?
Definitely, the trainers make you want to show up to class and they take time to explain anything you are unsure about. I was able to complete my qualification in a comfortable and supportive environment and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend VFA Learning to anyone that wants to study Fitness, Massage or Child Care because I know they will be looked after. VFA Learning delivered on their promises and went beyond the standards I expected. I am thankful for the support I had, because without VFA Learning I would not be where I am now with the qualifications I need to take the next steps in my career.
For more info on a Diploma of Remedial Massage at VFA Learning click here.
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