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Program Advisor Spotlight: Kristi Dickinson, Spa and Wellness Management

Kristi Dickinson

Kristi Dickinson, Spa Director, Anara Spa at Grand Hyatt Kauai

Why should an individual consider a career in the spa and wellness industry?

The opportunities are endless! The spa and wellness industry is booming and there are roles outside of the traditional operations and hands-on work like never before. Consumer product development, real estate, revenue management, niche travel advisory, luxury customer service training, and consulting to name a few. I have thoroughly enjoyed experimenting with different “hats” while still growing within the same industry.

The spa industry is also really strong on supporting each other and mentoring. Many veterans are more than willing to lift others up. We can see potential in someone’s character beyond what is in print on a resume. 100% of my career is due to my spa mentors who were willing to give me a shot to prove myself. It’s been a truly remarkable journey that has taken me to some of the most beautiful places in the world.

What do you find to be the most rewarding aspect of working in this field?

In the spa and wellness industry, you interact with the most fascinating and inspiring people, from world-travelers to motivational speakers to truly gifted healers.

The needs of our guests and teams are incredibly diverse. No two days are the same, which is very challenging and incredibly gratifying. You are constantly learning and growing both professionally and personally.

Describe a day in the life of a spa professional.

A day in the life of a spa professional is dynamic! On any given day you could be reviewing the efficacy of skincare ingredients, executing revenue management strategies, developing marketing plans, performing financial analysis, mentoring team members, or designing new guest experiences. The variety and fast pace create a really engaging career.

How do you feel the UCI DCE Spa and Wellness Management certificate can benefit those seeking to enter or advance a career in this industry?

The certificate program is invaluable to someone seeking to enter the spa industry. There are so many nuances to our business. I wish I had this foundational knowledge when I accepted my first spa management role. My team probably wished that too! Although I had business and hospitality degrees, I still had so much to learn in the spa world. It took years of on the job learning and great mentors to become seasoned.

I was grateful for a resource such as the UCI Spa and Wellness Management certificate program to turn to when I had technical knowledge gaps to fill. I took the Spa & Wellness Financial Management course after I had already been a Spa Director for over a decade. I gained new analytical worksheets, industry benchmarks and research resources I still use today. I also really appreciated having other professionals to reach out to with practical, real-life scenarios I was working through.

Learn more about the Spa and Wellness Management Certificate Program.