Meet the team: an Interview with Amy O’Neill, Career Agent at Sage Institute of Massage


If you ever have to describe a ‘people person’, you could pretty well talk about Amy O’Neill! As the Career Agent for Sage Institute of Massage, she is clearly in her element, constantly liaising with an assortment of industry professionals and students. Thriving on the energy that hums like electricity around her, the unstoppable Amy is devoted to her job, feeling real satisfaction when successful connections are made. We caught up with Amy this week to take a sneak peek at her fast-paced world at Sage…

What was your career background prior to Sage Institute of Massage?
Before Sage, I spent 12 Years at NAB in high level Customer Service and Relationship Management roles.

What do you do in a week at Sage?
My basic week consists of so many roles! My main priority at Sage is with our wonderful massage students, who make my job so enjoyable. I spend my week liaising between students and business partners, organising meetings between the both of them and building strong relationships with our business partners out on the road.

I visit classes, letting our students know about upcoming events, new business partners and exciting opportunities. Then there’s making sure our students look the part – I’m in charge of handing out student polo shirts, backpacks and books that come in our first day packs.

I also do a lot of research into the massage industry, finding out as much as possible about the industry, and what people are looking for when it comes to employing a new massage therapist. Then, I go back and liaise with the Career Advisor Team, Trainers and students, which gives everyone realistic expectations when it comes to finding a job.

A major part of my role is events co-ordination. To assist students with completion of their 32 clinic hours, it’s up to me to create relationships with charities or companies so that events can take place that our students can attend. Recently our students have been involved with the Smooth FM Relaxation Station at the Royal Melbourne Show, the Peter Macallum Ride to Conquer Cancer, the Melbourne Health Expo, and the Spring Into Shape Fun Run! It’s fantastic for our students at Sage Institute of Massage to get a broad range of experience in both the clinic and at these kinds of events. It makes them more employable and gives them a chance to work on their communication and networking skills.

I’m in charge of our Facebook page too! I find this an essential tool and the most on-trend way of communication. I’ve also created a job mail service that I use to stay in contact with past as well as present students to let them know about our newest business partners and opportunities that have become available!

Are there any staff at Sage that you work alongside?
I work extremely closely with our Head Trainer, Paula, who is always first to jump in and help me out when I need to secure Trainers for supervising our upcoming events.

Our Sage Trainers are so passionate about our students and their careers. They let me know at any given time what’s going on in classes and what students require in the way of career support.

The advisors keep me on track with great students that are coming through and going to be starting soon.

And of course, I work closely with Kerry at Reception, who is the glue that holds Sage together! Kerry is always there to help me when I get stuck…you could say she’s our Sage encyclopaedia!

What’s your favourite part of your job at Sage Institute of Massage?
The students are hands down the best part of my job!  I love seeing the smiles on their faces when I pop into a classroom and see their excitement and commitment to attend organised upcoming events. I love getting emails from students telling me how much they enjoyed a particular event or how they went at an interview.

“The enthusiasm I see from the massage students every day is so inspiring, and helping students find employment at the completion of their course is always an extremely satisfying experience.”

What’s been your most favourite moment at Sage?
Organising the Peter Mac Ride to Conquer Cancer. There were 35 Students and 7 Trainers involved in that event. It was a massive event to organise, but the feedback from both Trainers and students was that it was a fantastic day for a truly worthy cause.  It was a difficult but immensely rewarding task.

Why do you think massage is such a great career?
You can do massage therapy anywhere, anytime. There are so many options you can choose, depending on your personal interests. You could work from home, or run a mobile massage service, work in a five star hotel, or massage famous people! You could have a career in massage working on a cruise ship, in day spa, a major sporting club, a doctor’s surgery or even a chiropractic clinic.

You always have the opportunity to build on what you have learned at Sage, to expand your personal portfolio. Depending on your client or employer needs, you could choose to further your studies and build further on your knowledge.  The possibilities are endless.

“Massage suits so many personalities and you don’t need any prior learning to get started!”

Do you think there are a lot of job opportunities out there for people wanting a career in massage?
Absolutely! As with everything, you get out of it what you put in! So if you are a hard worker, who is passionate about your field, you will go far.

“Just take a look at the jobs board in the student kitchen. There are so many employment possibilities you will probably need to take a nap after you’ve read them to take them all in!”

Do you have any tips on what budding massage employees should do to make themselves highly employable? (other than starting a Massage Course at Sage Institute of Massage!)
Network, Network, Network! Never be frightened to promote yourself. Word-of-mouth is by far the best tool when it comes to promoting yourself. So start a Facebook page, get business cards, get a website and don’t stop telling everyone what an incredible therapist you are!

How does Amy relax?!
Aside from booking in a massage at the student clinic, (just $25 for one hour!), I love travel. I try to book an overseas holiday with my partner Brett every year. I love going to a tropical destination, getting an over-the-top cocktail and relaxing in the sun with a trashy magazine.  Next year I’m hoping to get to Vietnam. It’s definitely on the top of my bucket list!

What’s your number one vice?
Any kind of beverage that has vodka in it is always very hard to say no to!

Do you have any pets?
Haha…. Yes! I have a huge assortment of pets.

Amy's cat

Amy’s favourite cat, Bella – never one to shy away from a photo opportunity

I occasionally volunteer at the RSCPA or Animal Shelters. So I’m a big animal lover!

My Numero Uno favourite pet is my cat Bella. I adopted her as an adult cat from the RSCPA five years ago after she was abandoned by her previous owners. We’ve moved together four times, and she’s my little side-kick. She’s a very chatty Bengal-cross-Abyssinian. She makes me laugh every day.

If you could come back as any person – past or present, or any object, what would it be?
Oprah! She gets to meet the most awesome people and has the opportunity to chat to them about everything.

What makes you genuinely happy?
That moment when you realise “It’s all good”…. Good house, good career, good partner, good family and good friends. If you’ve got those, then there’s really nothing left to whinge about.

Vicki Tuchtan

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