Juan Marin likes to help people and is very comfortable working with his hands, so it would seem that Massage Therapy is a good career choice for this young man from Concord, CA.
He’s now working for Massage Envy, although his ideal job would take him in another direction…
“Massage Therapy is so diverse; you can work in a salon, you can work in a chiropractor’s office. Personally I’m like a chameleon, I can do it all. I’m working in a spa at the moment, but I want to learn more so I’m open to anything. I would love to work on a cruise ship one day because I’d get to travel, that seems very appealing to me.”
After he graduated high school, Juan worked as a Pharmacy Tech for a couple of years before he started college. It wasn’t something he wanted to do, but he literally walked into the position…as he explains.
“I went into a drug store looking for a job; they hired me and put me in the pharmacy with no experience! I was like ‘oh man, this is overwhelming’, but I adjusted to it. I did it for 3 years, in fact I quit just a couple of months before I graduated from Carrington so I could concentrate on my finals.”
Back in 2009 Juan looked at 2 massage therapy schools including Carrington. He visited both, but he didn’t feel like he belonged at the other school. He felt he would be treated as a number, not a person.
“I chose Carrington because the people were so friendly the minute I walked in the door. They made me feel very welcome, they offered me popcorn – I was like ‘wow – is this a hotel?’ I felt at home, I felt at ease just coming in. They genuinely seemed to care about my well-being and what I was looking for; they were really interested in trying to help me, and that’s what sold me on the place.”
Although Juan had a couple of schools to choose from, it was pretty clear what program he would choose; it would be a career that he’s very passionate about.
“Massage Therapy is my calling. I’ve always felt like I’ve had the gift, you know. I wanted to do something that I would enjoy doing, and I wanted to help people, so it was the best of both worlds. I could use my hands to bring people therapeutic relief, and get some financial gain out of it.”
Juan managed to find a massage therapist position at a salon near his home 3 months after he graduated. But he was only there for 6 months before he had to start looking again as he got laid off. Juan was unemployed for about a year, but he never gave up, and got hired on at a Massage Envy salon fairly recently .
“Annette in the Career Services department at Pleasant Hill was there with me the whole way; she helped me throughout the entire process. She’s been very persistent with me – it was almost like my struggle was also her struggle and it made all the difference to me. I really felt that I had someone with me. She would call and check on me, she’d follow up after interviews with emails. She didn’t have to, but she did. She’s that kind of person and I really cherished her help.”
The most valuable thing that Juan learned at Carrington, aside from the technical skills of Massage Therapy, was that you have to believe in yourself, and that was very useful while searching for that elusive job.
“The confidence I got from Carrington, the personal gain, was immense. I’ll never forget it. I used to listen to the commercials they ran back then, the whole ‘you can do it’ thing, and honestly I thought it was kind of cheesy at the time. But it turned out to be true; I got so much from being there. I really am proud of graduating from that school.”
For students who are considering going to college, or who have just started at Carrington, Juan has some good advice as he reflects on his time at school.
“Take in all that you can while you’re there, absorb it like a sponge. Carrington College California felt like home to me; you really do grow there. People like me say all these good things about them, but you have to see it to believe it. There is a team of people there for you, who will help you in any way they can.
You have to embrace the journey. It was a fulfilling, inspirational journey for me. It allowed me to see things I’d not seen before, to try things I didn’t know I could do – it really allowed me to discover new positive things about myself. Go for your dream and persevere – there are so many people at Carrington who will be behind you.”
Juan has shown that having great perseverance and believing in yourself really can pay off. And he is going for his dream; he has put in an application for that dream cruise ship job! They have open calls in December when they hire for the new season.
Thanks for your time Juan. We hope you make it onto one of those cruise ships! Keep your fingers crossed for him!
For comprehensive consumer information on our Massage Therapy program, please visit carrington.edu/degrees/massage-therapy/
Program availability varies by location.