After working in the restaurant industry for years, Gina Cinquegrano knew she wanted a professional change. She always loved being around people and couldn’t imagine herself behind a desk all day, but she wasn’t sure what direction she wanted to take. A traumatic car accident that resulted in the loss of several of her fingers served as the ultimate push to discover what she truly wanted to do: combine her love for working with people with health, wellness, and skincare. A friend introduced her to the Elizabeth Grady School where she met with the director, took a tour, and was immediately inspired to become an esthetician.
We sat down with Gina to talk about her experience at the Elizabeth Grady School and what the future holds for her.
EG: As a graduate of the esthetics program, what advice can you give prospective students?
GC: Call and set up an appointment to talk with Cate Tool (the school director). She’s so knowledgeable on the industry and is a great resource if you have any questions. If you have any anxiety over whether this is the right career path and school for you, you’ll know after meeting with her.
EG: What stood out for you the most about the school?
CG: Definitely the teachers. You couldn’t ask for better instructors. Some of the coursework can be a little overwhelming at first, but they encourage you to stick with it. They want you be great, and are always reminding us that if you love it, you’ll succeed.
EG: What’s the best part about having your esthetics license?
GC: After graduation and once you have your license, you have this amazing skill set that you’ve worked so hard for. You can literally work anywhere, which is really exciting. There are so many possibilities in this field.
EG: What are your favorite treatments you learned in school?
GC: I’m definitely a mask and peel girl! I love the lactic acid pro peel. It’s very effective and promotes skin hydration. Also, the retexturizing mask is great for treating post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. You can see immediate results with this mask, which is gratifying for the client and the esthetician.
EG: What are your long term goals?
GC: I hope to always be working with people. Whether I work for someone or own my own business, working with people is the most important thing to me. I also want to continue to grow and become certified in other fields, maybe even massage therapy. I never want to stop learning!
Gina is the recipient of the February 2013 Stephanie Anne Levis Award.