It was humbling, overwhelming and motivational to be named AOP Awards Student of the Year.
Winning provides recognition for what I’ve achieved to date and at the same time, it fills me with motivation to go on and give more as an individual.
Even though I’m still in the relatively early stages of my career as an optometrist, the prospect of being able to improve the quality of life of patients really excites me.
I have always loved interacting with people and entering a career where you can make such a considerable difference on a daily basis is really rewarding. Optometry, as an accessible primary healthcare profession, is changing rapidly and the role of optometrists is becoming increasingly important, with enhanced services, for example. As such, I’m really proud to be part of the profession.
“It fills me with motivation to go on and give more as an individual”
I would encourage my fellow optometry students to be passionate about what you do.
Read around your subject and take an interest. You chose to do optometry for a reason and the more passionate you are about the techniques you are learning, the easier the lab sessions and long days become. I really enjoy reading OT and the other journals as they allow me to engage with the wider optometric community and the latest developments.
Work experience shouldn’t be undervalued.
I believe it’s really important to not only have an understanding of the industry through working alongside optometrists, dispensing opticians and optical support staff, but also to regularly be interacting with patients. I work alongside my studies between two stores. I feel that this experience really allows me to grasp what I’m learning and understand the clinical context.