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From A to optometry

A fascination with the human eye

Second year optometry undergraduate at the University of Manchester and AOP student rep, Hajra Sattar, on preparing for the biggest and most exciting learning experience of her life

Female optometrist

When did you first become aware of optometry?

I first became aware of the profession when I was in secondary school and went to my optometrist for contact lenses.

Why did you decide to pursue a career in optometry?

The main reason that I wanted to become an optometrist was because I had always loved science at school. I always knew that I wanted to become a healthcare professional and started to look into all of the different possibilities available to me. I became fascinated by the human eye. Plus, the lifestyle and benefits of being an optometrist compared to other healthcare professions was appealing.

Who influenced you to go into optometry?

While working in Boots Opticians, I became close friends with one of the optometrists and she quickly became my inspiration.

What are your career goals?

In the future, I would love to experience being a hospital optometrist and one day open my own practice.

My expectations of the pre-reg year are quite mixed. I am ready for it to be the biggest learning experience of my life, yet also the most exciting


What are the challenges of your university course?

The main challenge at university is keeping up with all of the content. On top of practical work and lectures, this can sometimes be a lot.

What are your expectations of the pre-reg year?

My expectations of the pre-reg year are quite mixed. I am ready for it to be the biggest learning experience of my life, yet also the most exciting. I’m definitely ready for hard work, but non-the-less I expect it to be very rewarding. 

What have you learned from your in practice experience so far?

So far, I have been able to shadow professionals in the low vision clinic at the Royal Victoria Infirmary. I sat in low vision clinics and gained experience with the eye clinic liaison officer, which was loads of fun. In the summer, I will start a work placement at Manchester Royal Eye Hospital as part of the university course.