Jessica Perkins |Student with Oxbridge
Award in Education and Training
Diploma in Education and Training
Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement.
Until three years ago, Oxbridge student Jessica Perkins was living in Georgia, USA. A fully qualified hairdresser and beauty therapist, she made the decision to move over to the UK with her husband and 10-year-old daughter. Affectionately known as ‘smiley’ by her colleagues, Jess, 38, is well known as someone who devotes herself to the happiness and wellbeing of others. Back in Georgia, Jess used her talents to volunteer at an oncology centre, where she helped to boost the self-confidence of cancer patients by showing them how to take care of their skin, put on makeup, and wear headscarves to disguise hair loss.
Over in the UK, Jess’s inspiring attitude and positive energy has continued to shine brighter than ever. Although she ran her own successful hair salon back in the US, Jess knew she wanted to do something different this time: she wanted to teach and share her knowledge with aspiring hairdressers and beauty therapists. To that end, for the past three years, Jess has been busy working away on the three courses that will allow her to become a fully-fledged teacher and assessor: our Award in Education and Training, Diploma in Education and Training, and Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement. Phew! To top it all off, Jess has achieved all of this whilst home-schooling her daughter full time due to Covid, as well as covering for a colleague who became very ill.
A hectic routine
When asked how she managed her studies alongside motherhood and work, Jess commented, “My routine is hectic but I always make it work! I work at the college teaching and assessing on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursday and Fridays, and I also have my own mobile hairdressing business. My coursework for Oxbridge has mainly been completed at night after my daughter is in bed or on half term breaks – it’s been exhausting, but I love it!”
Jess isn’t only exceptional due to her incredible devotion to her studies. She’s also known as someone who goes above and beyond for her own students on a regular basis. Throughout the pandemic, she took additional classes in order to help her students adapt to online learning, and held additional one-to-ones every week throughout lockdown. She offered additional skills sessions on her days off, and created video tutorials that her students could watch in their spare time.
And what keeps Jess motivated? She told us, “Without a doubt, my daughter, as well as love for teaching and learning. There’s also no better feeling than when the student connects and understands your teaching, and performs that first haircut or finally lays a full head of foils with no seepage! The smile and feeling of achievement they feel is worth all the work and difficulty we may experience. I am excited and passionate about providing my students with the best learning experience possible and helping them to achieve their goals as they grow, graduate and move into the industry. I want them to leave confident and myself feel I have taught them to a high standard and given them all the tools they need to succeed.”