Real-world learning leads to world-class spa experience

23 June 2015

Real-world learning at the University of Derby has given Ieva Cesnoka the chance to help run a world-class spa.

Ieva’s experience of learning the spa industry from top to bottom in the Buxton campus’s very own commercial spa was the key to winning a management internship at the five-star Spa Ritz Carlton Abu Dhabi Grand Canal.

“The commercial spa is such an amazing opportunity to learn everything on one site,” said Ieva, who already had a psychology degree when she came to the University.

Cesnoka at buxton spa

Treatments, booking systems, health and safety, staff management – all the important aspects of running a business are included.

“My time at Buxton has been very productive,” said Ieva. “I have not only obtained a degree in BSc International Spa Management but also got many valuable connections and recognition within the spa industry, while attending various Industry conferences and participating in work placements.” 

Director of Spa at the Ritz Carlton, Mr Paris Kounoudis, said: “We chose Ieva because she showed us that she really wanted to come to Abu Dhabi and join our team. Her knowledge of spa operation is really very good for a graduate and I believe she can be a valuable member of the team.

“Her personality and her will to succeed, in combination with her knowledge and desire to learn, made her an ideal candidate for us.”

Isobel Stockdale, Head of Spa and Tourism at the University, said: “Ieva’s success demonstrates the unique way in which our students apply their academic study to the real world. This is why Swedish spa master Anna Bjurstam described our courses as the best in the world."