Earning laurels in the World of Skills

Karishma is a 19-year-old Beauty Therapy student who achieved a national-level gold medal in Beauty and Wellness during WorldSkills India 2016. She is now preparing to contend, and hopefully be selected, to represent India in the prestigious WorldSkills Competition to be held in Abu Dhabi 2017. Follow below her steps on the road to success.

Our objective

British Council supported the participation of six Indian students at the UK Skills Show 2015 the UK’s largest skills and careers advice event. The experience gained at the Skills Show provided them with the opportunity to benchmark their skills by competing alongside UK competitors, while also enhancing their confidence levels for future participation in International Skill Competitions.

Karishma Gupta was one of the students, born and brought up in Pune. She is a 19-year-old Beauty Therapy student from LTA school of beauty Pune. Her interest in the field of Beauty inspired her to complete a course at the LTA School of Beauty. She loves the cosmetology field and nothing would make her happier than to become a cosmetologist and help people feel beautiful. She believes that beauty therapy is all about creativity and ideas.

Our strategy

Karishma had never competed at an international level prior to her participation in the UK Skills Show in 2015 and, on the first day of the competition, she was very nervous. However, over the three days, she overcame her anxieties and returned home having learned a great deal. She was greatly encouraged by the promising feedback from the Skills Show judges, all of whom were highly appreciative of the skills she demonstrated.

Karishma says that her confidence, time-management skills, organisational skills, and therapy techniques were all greatly refined following her experience at the Skills Show. The platform also enabled her to interact, share and gain knowledge from UK experts and embrace best practices.

At the Skills Show in 2015, beauty therapy students received first-hand information regarding what it takes to be a winner, delivered by Rianne Chester, the UK Gold Medallist in Beauty Therapy and winner of the Albert Vidal award for best overall score in the World Skills São Paulo 2015. Karishma states that one of Rianne’s most inspirational messages was to “always keep alive your drive to achieve regardless of failures“. Karisham added: "I was really amazed to hear Rianne talk about how she had not been able to qualify to represent the UK Team for WorldSkills Leipzig 2013. But when she was invited back to try out for WorldSkills São Paulo 2015, she gave it her best shot, and we now see how she has brought laurels for herself and her country." While Karishma, too, did not win in the regional rounds held in New Delhi, she also did not give up. 

Our impact

“While I have noticed Karishma to be a bit mechanical while attending to clients, after the Skills Show experience she has become more spontaneous, confident and clear in her style of working.” (Vaishali- Karishma’s trainer)

In July 2016, as a part of a return study-visit organised by the British Council, Sue Simpson (a key UK expert in beauty and wellness) and Naomi Radbourne (Skills Champion for the UK in beauty and wellness) provided their insights on winning skill competitions. One of the most important tips they shared was that Beauty Therapy students should video-record their own practice sessions even in the absence of a trainer. Vaishali (Karishma’s trainer) commented that: “While in India we do video-record practice sessions, these are mostly done on a formal level and majorly in the presence of a trainer. The new technique suggested by the UK representatives has helped Karishma observe, reflect and learn from her own mistakes and improve her techniques.” 

Karishma won a gold medal at the national-level competition in Beauty and Wellness held as a part of WorldSkills India 2016. She is now preparing to contend, and hopefully be selected, to represent India in the prestigious WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017, where representatives from 76 counties will come together to compete in close to 50 skills sectors. 

Winning the skills competition has opened doors for Karishma to pursue career opportunities as a Beauty Therapy trainer. She too wants to inspire, mentor and motivate other aspirational students to receive skills training and participate and win at different skill competitions.