More than 200 optometry students from across the UK attended the annual AOP student conference, which was held at Center Parcs’ Sherwood Forest resort last weekend (26–27 November).
Now in its eighth year, the popular two-day event attracted representatives from nine of the UK-based universities that offer optometry as a degree, providing them with an insight into the pre-registration period, as well as the profession after qualification.
A highlight from the conference included a newly-introduced lecture from The Careers Group. Careers consultant Sue Moseley provided advice on writing a CV and interview techniques, which was well received by students.
Returning to the conference was keynote speaker Brian Tompkins, who spoke on The magic and mystery of optometry. The lively talk, which saw the optometrist close by making a vision boosting cocktail, saw him share tips on being the ‘perfect’ optometrist, as well a case study which showed the benefits of prescribing contact lenses.
A series of lectures on the Sunday morning gave delegates an insight into the pre-reg period, provided by a newly-qualified optometrist with Vision Express. They also heard from director of education at the College of Optometrists, Jackie Martin, who spoke about the OSCE, and senior solicitor for the AOP, Ella Power, who shared advice on Staying on the right side of the law…and the GOC.
AOP head of education, Dr Ian Beasley (pictured), told OT: “You get a different type of education than you might get at university. We hope to provide different insights from people out there doing the jobs that graduates will be doing on a day-to-day basis.”
He added: “The reaction that we get from students each year at this conference is fantastic. They really want to engage.”
Speaking about the conference, attendee Talha Razzaq, from the University of Bradford, said: “I found it really useful as it provides you with information on your pre-reg and in-practice, I recommend that students attend.”