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Feb 17, 2016

Inside Interview with NHI Graduate, Jilliane Zito, Facebook’s Lead Massage Therapist

Jilliane Zito is the lead massage therapist at Facebook’s in house spa in Menlo Park. After graduating from National Holistic Institute’s Massage Therapy Training Program at the San Francisco campus, she got hired at Facebook and began working in their fitness center part-time. In January 2015, Facebook opened the first ever corporate on-site spa, and Jilliane was a member of the opening team. She got hired as the full-time massage therapist and now she’s been working at Facebook for over two years. We couldn’t wait to interview Jilliane to find out about how she landed a coveted position at Facebook, what sparked her interest in pursuing a career in massage therapy, her future goals, and her expert advice for those seeking a similar career path.

NHI: Jilliane, working as the Lead Massage Therapist at Facebook is an amazing opportunity. Tell us about your journey and how you got offered the position.

Jilliane: My career at Facebook occurred by being persistent and not giving up. Two years ago, I was working as the full-time therapist for an OB/Gyn clinic in San Francisco. After a series of changes around the office, I was told that my position would be eliminated in order to make room for a blood draw lab. It was during that time when a client of mine informed me of a potential job opening for an on-site corporate massage therapist. After about 5 interviews at 3 different locations, I was hired on to be a member of an opening team of massage therapists contracted for Sales Force. The company that I became a contractor for also ran the fitness center at Facebook. Eventually, I was contacted by the General Manager for Facebook’s fitness center, and I was hired to work there once a week. I jumped on that opportunity right away. I worked between 3 sites for about a year until my Facebook General Manager came to me with one of the most exciting concepts, which was that Facebook was going to build an in house spa. My hard work and persistence paid off and I was offered the full-time position as their lead massage therapist. It was a game changer!

NHI: We’re glad to hear that your hard work paid off. Can you give us the inside scoop on what it’s like to work at Facebook?

Jilliane: My experience at Facebook has been nothing short of exciting. Since day one, we have been completely booked. At some points I’ve been booked 6 weeks out, which is incredible. I’ve been given the opportunity to interact and work with so many different people, from so many different walks of life. I am consistently exposed to many body types and Injures, different aliments and disorders. The knowledge I have gained being exposed to so many different people is invaluable. Facebook has over 3,000 employees at the Menlo park campus and several more that come to this campus for training, and everyone loves the appeal of a spa at work.

NHI: What was it that sparked your interest in pursuing a career in massage therapy?

Jilliane: I’ve always had a place in my heart for massage therapy. When I was younger, my mother owned a spa and one of the massage therapists who worked for her was cheerful, and passionate about her career, and that made a huge impression on me. Fast forward to 2010, and two careers later, being unable to find real happiness in my work , and being present during the final weeks of a loved one’s life, I made the decision to better myself. The first step in that direction, was figuring out what I could do to be happy and proud of my work. I was tired of just having a job. I wanted to go in a direction that would fill my heart. That’s when the memories of the massage therapist that worked at my mother’s spa started to cross my mind. I wanted to have a career that I was passionate about like she did and so I started to consider massage therapy as a potential career path. I began doing online research for massage therapy schools in the Bay Area, and that’s when I discovered National Holistic Institute. After I booked a tour, and learned more about the program, I knew that this was the right choice for me.

NHI: We are so glad that you chose NHI for your massage therapy training. How do you feel that your training at NHI prepared you for a career in the massage therapy industry?

Jilliane: When I think about my training at NHI, I am 100% certain that the attention to detail, compassion, massage skills, and professionalism that I learned  gave me a solid foundation to build a successful career. After graduating, I felt prepared and confident in my skills to join the workforce. I work with clients who get massages on a regular basis, to clients who are receiving their first massage ever, and the training I received at NHI provided me with the confidence to work smoothly with every person I work with.

NHI: One thing we often hear our grads express is that they feel confident to join the workforce after completing our Massage Therapy Training Program. We are happy to hear that you had a similar experience. What advice would you give to someone who is interested in doing on-site corporate massage therapy?

Jilliane: Here are a few pro-tips I would give to someone interested in pursuing a career as an on-site corporate massage therapist. I would say, stay focused on your goal, and have an understanding of the environment and culture of the company you are working at. It’s also important to have a general idea of what your clients do for work. Although I work on people from all walks of life, most of my clients spend a lot of time in front of a computer. Having this knowledge about my clients provides me with insight on their bodies, and how they might be overusing certain muscles. It also helps me to build rapport with my clients and they feel confident in my abilities before I begin working on them.

NHI: Those are great tips! We agree that having a good understanding what your clients do for work is an easy way to build rapport. What are your goals for the future?

Jilliane: Getting hired at Facebook has been a huge stepping stone for me, with this opportunity I have been inspired to not just grow on a personal level but also on a professional level. Massage therapy is an ever growing field, with big doors waiting to be opened. I would love to master the concept of corporate spa/wellness and move up the ladder to hopefully be a part of opening many more on-site spas. We are one of the first ever on site full functioning corporate spas and so far we have exceeded all expectations handed down to us.

Corporate Massage Therapists are in demand! If you are interested in pursuing a career as an on-site corporate massage therapist and having the opportunity to work in emerging tech companies such as Facebook, Twitter, or Google, fill out the form on the following page and a member of our admissions team will reach out to you with information on how you can jump-start your new career.