Hi Louise, what qualifications in the Health and Wellness field do you hold?
I have a Diploma in Nutritional Therapy and a Certificate in Health and Wellness Coaching and attend a lot of CPD courses in Nutrition and Functional Medicine.
I came to the field of health and wellness from a completely different background though so also have a Diploma in Electronics and Telecommunications, a level 5 Certificate in Agriculture, a level 6 Specific Purpose Certificate in Farm Administration and CPD in Project Management. You should never stop learning!
What is your role at IHS?
I have been the Academic Manager since last summer but previously I managed the operations department, including the administration and enrolment / marketing teams.
What does your role at IHS look like on a day to day basis?
Perhaps the most consistent and largest part of my job is both staff and student support. There certainly is no standard day but there is rarely a day goes by when I am not helping one or more students manage their studies/schedule etc or working with a member of the academic team to help them with their role. I am also involved in different projects throughout the college from supporting the marketing team to course development/evaluation. There is also a lot of academic administration such as setting up events/setting students up on our student management system, updating policies/procedures etc.
How did you get into the health and wellness industry?
A close family member had a serious chronic health condition so I started reading and researching around health and wellbeing. I became very interested in alternative ways to support health rather than just relying on a GP. I started to feel very strongly that a more preventative and holistic approach to health, including a focus on diet, lifestyle, stress management etc was vital to start combatting chronic disease.
I started exploring the possibility of studying in the area and IHS appealed as they were very science based and seemed so supportive of their students and graduates. I studied for the Diploma in Nutritional Therapy for 3 1/2 years, graduating with distinction, and was delighted to be offered a part time position in the admin department at IHS. I jumped at the chance to work with the college as it was a flexible position that could work around my young family.
Since then I’ve moved up in the team to my current position. It’s been a great opportunity to learn and grow both personally and professionally.
What is your philosophy on, and what do you feel are the most important elements of, health and wellness?
I think it is so important to take responsibility for your own health and not to just rely on your your healthcare provider to ‘fix’ you if something goes wrong. For me, you need to be part of your own health journey, keeping yourself as well as possible by focusing on healthy eating, exercise that you enjoy, being part of a community, and communication between you and the people in your daily life. Open, honest communication is key to health but often overlooked.
Why do you think individuals should consider a career in health and wellness?
Studying health and wellness is an investment in your health and future even before you consider what you will do with the qualification. It is empowering to be educated and to understand new research and ideas to be able to keep yourself and your loved ones well. A good, science based and practical qualification in this area is something you can then turn into a really flexible career.