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  • 27 Jun 2024 12:37 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Owning an optometry business is like mixing clinical know-how with a bit of entrepreneurial hustle. It's all about balancing patient care with running the show behind the scenes. In this blog post, we're so fortunate to speak with Thalia Lim, Optometry Director for Specsavers Mittagong, where she shares her journey on what it's like to own and operate a practice. 

    Tell us a bit about yourself and how you go into optometry. 

    I'm Thalia, a 2019 graduate of optometry from UNSW. Currently, I serve as the optometry director at a Specsavers store in a regional area and I’m a subcommittee member of Young Optometrists. My journey into optometry began unexpectedly when I started as a dispenser at an optometry practice. As I immersed myself in the profession, my interest grew, leading me to pursue optometry as a career.

    What made you want to own your own practice and how did you go starting up?

    Towards the end of my second year as a new graduate optometrist, I began contemplating my career trajectory. With a growing interest in business and finance, I saw the role of a business owner as an opportunity to expand my skills and diversify my responsibilities beyond eye testing. I enrolled in the Specsavers pathways program to strengthen my leadership and management abilities and build on my financial understanding. Subsequently, I seized the chance to become a franchisee and bought into an existing store.

    Should I take over a business or start brand new?

    Both options—starting anew or buying into an established business—come with their own challenges and rewards and is really up to the individual. Personally, purchasing an existing business provided the benefit of an established patient base and operational profitability. However, it also meant navigating a larger financial loan and adapting to existing management styles and team dynamics.

    What are some points to consider when going from employee to employer?

    The transition from employee to employer brings significant changes. It involves assuming additional roles and responsibilities, balancing work-life demands, undertaking financial risks, and mastering the art of managing staff and navigating challenging situations

    How is your work life balance as a business owner?

    Balancing work and personal life has become crucial since being a business owner, and I’m still in the process of trying to establish boundaries and manage my priorities in order to maintain a sustainable lifestyle. While managing the business demands has increased my workload, I have also tried to focus on protecting my mental health and fostering a supportive environment with my business partners.

    What was the biggest obstacle you encountered during your journey, and how did you overcome it?

    Effective people management as a new business owner has been a major hurdle for me. Trying to manage a diverse range of personalities within a sizable team while fostering a positive culture has posed as an ongoing challenge that I’m still working on. To manage this I’ve been working on finding effective ways to run team meetings and having one on one check ins with each team member to provide feedback and ensure they feel supported within the team.

    As an optometrist, was it hard learning the financial/business side to owning a practice? Is there any resources that you would recommend that might have helped you with this (if any)

    The Specsavers pathways program proved invaluable, equipping me with essential financial insights and business fundamentals—from profit and loss statements to team leadership.

    Prior to business ownership, I actively sought knowledge from my employers and supplemented my learning with podcasts on business management in order to improve my financial literacy. Seeking guidance from experienced business owners was also helpful. Learning from their successes and mistakes provided invaluable lessons in navigating the complexities of business ownership.

    What advice would you like to give to all the YOs that are interested in opening their own business?

    If owning a business is something you’re thinking about, do your research, improve your financial understanding, talk to other business owners and make sure you are committed to the role. The journey to being a business owner has been a rewarding and enjoyable journey for me despite the challenges I’ve faced. It's a path that demands continuous growth, adaptability, and a commitment to learning but I’m glad I have made the decision to go down this path.

  • 27 Jun 2024 10:51 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Ever wonder what it's like to be in the Young Optometrists Committee and what each role entails?  If you are, here is one of our new segments where we introduce to you a member of our committee and showcase their career path, passion projects, as well as what they do in YO. 

    Our next interview is with our Social Media and Publications subcommittee member Austin Tang!

    Hey Austin, please tell us a bit about yourself!

    I graduated from UNSW in 2018 and have recently joined 2 independent practices in Western Sydney with a focus on advanced contact lenses, paediatrics and dry eye. Prior to this, I completed a few years of practice in regional NSW and most recently worked as a Staff Optometrist and Clinical Educator at the Australia College of Optometry.

    What does you role involve in the YO committee?

    I am on the Social Media and Publications Subcommittee. Part of my role is working with the education team to deliver communications on upcoming events, to our members.

    What made you join YO as a committee member in the first place and what do you like about your role now?

    I wanted to have a platform to connect with likeminded optometrists who wanted to make a positive difference to the profession.

    Outside of optometry, do you have any hobbies you enjoy? 

    I have always enjoyed following and playing tennis and have an interest in art as well, where I have done some commissions. (Check out @austintangart on Instagram!)

    YO works closely with optometry students and graduates in their first years of the careers. Looking back, any funny stories or memories you had while you were a student or during your first few years out?

    I think the greatest memories were formed in my first few years working out in regional areas, particularly in my first year when I was the sole optometrist at the practice. There was a lot more responsibility but I enjoyed that patients were more appreciative of services and I was able to get involved with community activities such as joining the tennis club and joining a Men's Shed.

    Is there anything you wish can change in the optometry profession? Or anything you liked to see us optometrists being able to do in the future?

    It has been great that there have been discussions surrounding increasing the scope of practice of optometry and it is a space that I am excited to follow. I would also like to see more optometrists experience practicing in regional areas.

  • 20 Mar 2024 1:50 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The beginning of the year marks a new group of students embarking on their final year of optometry, and this also means a new Optomsoc Executive Team. We recently had the chance to catch up with Justin McNamara, President of Optomsoc and ask him some questions about what he's looking forward to this year. 

    Hey Justin, for our YO members who don't know, can you introduce yourself and what your main role/s are as Optomsoc President?

    Hello everyone, I’m Justin McNamara and I’m the OptomSoc President for 2024. This role is best split up into three main parts. The first involves advocating internally for students and holding roles within the school’s academic and pastoral care subdivisions. Externally, the OptomSoc team create and distribute the sponsorship program. Following emails and meetings, we lock in sponsors and liaise with them throughout the year. The final branch is my team. Final year is tough and requires balance, so I aim to make sure that our tasks are evenly distributed, and we continuously support each other. Our weekly team meetings offer a chance to talk all things OptomSoc as well as check-in on each other’s wellbeing and interesting clinical cases (of course).

    What drives your passion for Optometry?

    My passion for Optometry is driven by those “wow” moments and patient interaction. Optometrists have the ability to significantly change the way a person sees the world, literally and figuratively. From fitting a scleral lens that provides a patient with better vision than they’ve ever experienced to that +0.25 that gives a presbyope clear vision. I find challenges and problem-solving extremely rewarding. Whilst not always the case, there is often immediate feedback from patients, and they frequently express their gratitude.

    Something you discovered about the uni not everyone may know? 

    About a year ago, I discovered that UNSW staff have access to “The Lounge” on level 11 of the library. Safe to say that they’re spoilt for views!

    What is your go to place for food at uni?

    The Coffee Cart (upper campus) or Plume (lower campus) for coffee. My go to lunch spot is either Stellini’s or Roundhouse for its special daily deal. In saying that I’m usually well prepared and bring something from home!

    Something others may not know about you: 

    I grew up in country NSW before coming to Sydney for high school and university. From a hobby standpoint, I’m currently in the process of building a guitar from scratch (little by little). And as many may know, I’m into running, swimming and cycling. Turns out this is the perfect formula for triathlon so I think one may be on the cards in the near future.

    What do you usually do to de-stress?

    I find that playing guitar/piano or some form of physical activity helps me to relax. A beach trip can go a long way too. I’ve also come to appreciate daily tasks and their power to help me reset. For example, cooking can be a great way to decompress and use some creative energy, plus you get to enjoy the final product.

    What song do you play that instantly lifts your mood?

    Uptown Funk is a guaranteed mood lift!

    What made you interested in becoming Optomsoc President?

    In recent years I’ve developed an interest in taking on leadership roles. I find that it provides a platform to connect, meet others and to have a greater contribution to our community. I also feel that it has resulted in personal growth which I find rewarding. I hope to continue exploring this interest in the professional Optometry space.

    Do you have any goals you'd like to achieve as President for this year?

    I hope to provide a supporting environment and to promote a sense of community across cohorts. This has both short and long-term benefits as we will all be colleagues facing similar challenges in the near future and beyond. I also hope to provide balanced information to all students about future career options. Fortunately, there’s a lot of people and organisations willing to contribute to this goal!

    Best of luck with your final year of Optometry. Is there a particular rotation that you're interested in the most this year?

    Thank you! I’m especially looking forward to the Centre for Eye Health rotation! When deciding to pursue Optometry, I wasn’t aware of the scope Optometrists have. Ocular pathology is something I’ve taken a great interest in, so I look forward to working with experienced clinicians in a clinical setting with a variety of pathology. I think I’ll also enjoy the teamwork involved in their collaborative care model.

    Is there a subject you're anxious about doing this year?

    I can’t say that I’m particularly anxious about any subject. Thanks to all our lecturers and tutors throughout the years, I feel we’ve been given all the tools for success. With that being said, I do need to brush up on my anterior disease and therapeutic knowledge for red eye in October.

    Is there anything you'd like to say/thoughts you have for future Justin at the end of this year?

    I hope that by the end of this year I can reflect on an enriching experience and be very grateful to have been involved in such a tight-knit community and the opportunities it provided. I hope that I have full confidence in all aspects of clinical Optometry and that I’ve built lasting relationships. By end of year, I also hope I’ve booked time to travel before full-time work begins!

    At the moment, do you have any preference with where you'd want to work/what you'd want to do after graduating? 

    At the moment I’m keeping an open mind however, I’ve always been interested in independent Optometry. I like the idea of having professional freedom and I would like to pursue further learning in behavioral optometry, advanced contact lenses, and ocular pathology. I think starting out rurally is a great opportunity as it can provide greater scope and variety of cases, plus it would be great knowing that work is a 15-minute drive no matter the time of day.

    Young Optometrist closely supports Optomsoc and UNSW Optometry School, and we wish our fifth year friends all the best for this year!

  • 7 Mar 2024 10:19 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Ever wonder what it's like to be in the Young Optometrists Committee and what each role entails?  If you are, here is one of our new segments where we introduce to you a member of our committee and showcase their career path, passion projects, as well as what they do in YO. 

    Our first interview is with our new Education Officer, Crystal Dang

    Hey Crystal, please tell us a bit about yourself! 

    I graduated from UNSW in 2021 and have since been practicing at a full-scope independent optometry practice in Cabramatta. My strongest interest is ocular disease and therapeutics. I have always been passionate towards helping people and optometry has allowed me to become a primary practitioner that can provide healthcare to the community for so much pathology in terms of ocular pathology and systemic associations. 

    Please tell us what your role is in YO and what the role entails.

    I was an education subcommittee member but have recently been appointed YO education  officer. This new role involves organising and coordinating educational events for YO members. I work with the rest of the education subcommittee to contact ophthalmologists and optometrists who would be interested in providing a talk in one of their specialty areas that we think will be interesting to our members. We discuss all the details of where, when, what the presentation would be about and the objectives of the talk have been organised. Once that has been figured out, it becomes more admin-related and involves a process of applying for CPD hours, creating an event on the YO website and liaising with our social media and publications committee to design our graphics and promote the event. Finally, on the day of the event I work with the committee members to host the event and ensure its smooth-sailing and enjoyable to all of YOu.

    What made you join YO as a committee member in the first place and what do you like about your role now?

    I joined YO as a committee member in the first place because in my final year of university YO was really involved and supportive to us with dedicated events for students like the therapeutic study session in preparation for therapeutic oral exams and the bootcamp that gave me good pointers prior starting my first day of my new career. Essentially there were so many things unknown to us just coming into the profession and I felt at ease that there was a group willing to be there for us as students and early in our career. It drove me to get involved and see what I could do to support other students and early career optometrists because we all would have shared that similar experience. Now I feel like my role enables to me play an active role in planning and engaging in the educational events and it pushes myself out of my comfort to be more extroverted and network with other optometrists and ophthalmologists.

    Outside of optometry, what other hobbies do you have? (ie. hobbies, side hustles, interesting trips you've done etc)

    After a long day at work, I enjoy nothing more than winding d

    own in bed bingeing TV shows and anime. I also enjoy going on hikes, walking my dog, casual skateboarding around the neighbourhood and snowboarding. 

    I also really enjoy travelling, and last year November 2023 I got the opportunity to go to Nepal with Eyes4Everest. This was an incredible adventure and trekking to Everest Base Camp was always a dream on my bucket list. With the Eyes4Everest team I trekked from Lukla up to 5364m elevation to reach Everest Base Camp. It was physically and mentally challenging, but the friends I made on the trip was so supportive and I will never forget all the times we laughed, cheered, cried and yelled at each other each night playing UNO.

    Along the way, we stopped by the small villages of Khumjung and Pangboche to provide valuable eyecare to the sherpa people in the Himalayas where accessibility to eyecare is poor, especially for children and elderly in these communities. I was incredibly lucky to be there for the grand opening of the Khunde Hospital Eye Clinic established through the support of Eyes4Everst and the Himalayan Trust Nepal which aims to provide more sustainable eye care to the community presently and in the future. It was very rewarding being able to help the community with spectacles, topical eyedrops for anterior eye conditions and provide referrals for those who had dense cataracts or other posterior pathology. The smiles on their faces and gratitude they showed us for coming to help them was truly eye opening and heart-warming that we are making such a huge difference to their lives.

    YO works closely with optometry students and graduates in their first years of the careers. Looking back, any funny stories or memories you had while you were a student or during your first few years out? 

    I remember being so done with studying and just wanting to get out of university, but looking back even though we were all sleep deprived, exhausted and stressed from everything I had so much fun with the friends I made and I miss seeing them every day. One of the most memorable things on graduation day was when my research partner and I went to the Optometry building one last time and visited the supervisors, particularly we wanted to see Lily. When we found her, we cheered that we had made it and asked for a photo together. In this photo it was the first time we have ever seen her smile and it was so surprising! A moment we will cherish forever.

    Is there anything you wish can change in the optometry profession? Or anything you liked to see us optoms being able to do in the future? 

    I feel like the optometry profession should embrace optometrists supporting other optometrists. The only way the optometry profession can improve is if we all work together, ask questions and learn off each other’s skills and experiences to make it stronger and better for one another.

    The question of broader scope has been discussed for a while now and I would love to see optometrists advocating more for this change in favour of oral medication prescribing like in New Zealand and the UK, and SLT, LPI and YAG laser capsulotomy as in the USA.

  • 18 Dec 2023 11:39 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Mariane Nguyen graduated in 2015 and now practices in South Coast NSW. In 2020, with she started Untagged, a small business specializing in handmade pet ID tags. 

    Tell us a bit about yourself.

    Hello, YO community :) My name is Mariane and I have been an optometrist in the south coast of NSW since 2015. Never in my wildest dreams could I imagine myself as an entrepreneur but that all changed in 2020. With all the spare time I had during COVID lockdowns in regional NSW, like many others, I decided to buy a new puppy. My husband and I named our new Cavoodle puppy - Archie. He had the tiniest button nose at 8 weeks old and we were in love instantly with him and couldn't say no. When it came to the fun part, the acquisition of dog accessories, we had a lot of trouble finding accessories that were small enough for him. We had trouble searching for extra small dog collars and dog tags and ended up getting a cat collar! This is where I had some time to dive into the world of pet businesses. I saw a gap in the pet accessory market for pet ID tags. I launched a collection of metal 'baby tags' which are all hand-stamped & handmade and my small business has supported me through COVID as well as maternity leave and even now in 2023.

    Where can we find and follow your page?



    What made you want to study optometry/be an optometrist?

    I have always wanted a career in health & have always found fulfillment in helping others. After high school, I enrolled in Adv Science @ UNSW and came across a vision module that sparked my interest in optometry.

    Tell us about your typical day or week as a business owner. What do you find are the most challenging aspects and most rewarding?

    The most challenging aspect of owning my own business is being able to balance work with family time. Because I enjoy making the tags as well as working on the business, it is easy for me to get lost in my home office for several hours. I have therefore decided to allocate 3 days a week where I work on my orders. Another challenge for me is the amount of time spent on my phone for social media/marketing - I am still working on this one haha. The most rewarding part of my business is seeing photos of my customer's pets in my handmade tags as well as seeing repeated customers - this is the greatest compliment for me.

    How do you balance between optometry and your own business/passion project? 

    It was difficult to find the right balance! What I found has helped is not leave too many loose ends behind. When I clock off as an Optometrist, I try to ensure I have finished all my referrals/reports and other optometry-related work so that my mind can switch off when I am working on my business at home. Likewise, when I am working on UNTAGGED, I do the same to the best of my ability. The reason for this is that I left too many things unfinished. I would dwell on it at home and it made me less efficient when I was working on UNTAGGED. I also have set days that I work on the business during the week and outside these times, I am either in clinic or spending time with family. This is still a work in progress. 

    Do you have any advice for young optometrists out there who would like to pursue their passion but haven’t quite gotten started?

    I say go for it! But before you do, ask yourself why you want to pursue this passion, how will you pursue it and what are you pursuing. I'd also recommend having a plan, and then a backup plan - don't throw all eggs in one basket, and be willing to be fluid & resilient. 

  • 18 Dec 2023 11:21 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Karuna Darvesh graduated optometry at the end of 2022 and is going on to the end of her graduate year at Specsavers. She enjoys taking her dog for little adventures, playing sports, traveling to new places, and eating different cuisines. She recently had the exciting opportunity to perform Bharatanatyam (an ancient classical Indian dance form) at the Qudos Bank Arena to welcome the Indian Prime Minister, Mr. Narenda Modi. 

    Tell us about your journey as a new graduate optometrist!

    The transition from doing numerous placements during university to a graduate optometrist was initially a challenging experience. I am very grateful to all my mentors and colleagues for all their patience and support in helping me to develop my skills, communication and confidence as a practitioner. The open door policy allowed me to ask questions or get a second opinion at any time with my designated mentor. There have also been several new graduate events held throughout to check in with all first year graduates, which is a nice way to interact with peers and share each others’ experiences. 

    Ocular Disease that you find interesting

    It’s always exciting when you see your very first presentation of a disease (especially when it was assessed in your therapeutics oral exam!) For me this was acute anterior uveitis and it is rewarding when your management can help the patient. 

    What drives your passion for Optometry? Qudos Bank Arena performance photo

    Being able to help people to experience clearer, comfortable and functional vision is what drives my passion for optometry. It is so satisfying to see the positive impact that you can have on a patient’s quality of life through your recommendations and management. It has taught me to never underestimate the importance of the small things which can actually make a great difference. 

    Do you have any goals for your optometry career?

    My goals for optometry include learning new skills, experiencing practice at different locations and ultimately becoming the best optometrist that I can be. I want to strive to continue making a difference to the lives of my patients. It is all about addressing and understanding the patient’s concern and giving them the best care that you possibly can to improve their quality of life. 

    Looking back at this year, what was your biggest worry going in as a new graduate and how did you overcome that? (if you could remember) 

    My biggest worry going in as a new graduate was time management. I started off with almost 1 hour long appointment slots and this time was slowly reduced over the year. This enabled me to hone my clinical skills and focus on improving upon areas of weakness. I also worked a few days at other stores to challenge myself and learn to adapt to different environments.

    What advice would you give to optometry students who are about to become graduate optometrists in 2024?

    Embrace this new chapter in your life, keep an open mind and be willing to learn as much as possible. Learn from your mentors, colleagues and friends. Ask lots of questions and don't hesitate to seek help when you need it. It will always feel difficult at the start but after some time you will form a good routine and feel more comfortable in your role. And finally, enjoy the process. After the final exams make sure to take some time off to relax, travel and spend time doing the things you love before you start full time work. It’s important to have a balance and make sure you are keeping yourself healthy and happy!

  • 27 Sep 2023 4:26 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Linda Lam graduated from QUT in 2015 and is now the principal optometrist and owner of Eyesquire Optometrist in Rockdale, NSW.

    Linda started off working as a sole optometrist in a small practice but, after feeling stagnant in her role, she moved onto taking over an established practice to further her goals and passions. 

    Why did you start up a business and how did you go starting it up?

    I started a business as I was feeling a bit stagnant in my current position and wanted to learn about what else was out there. At the time I had been at my first job for over a year and it was a small independent practice where I was the sole optometrist. My employer was in a different state and this gave me the opportunity to learn the foundations of how a clinic operates; how to build rapport with patients and grow the clinics database. Whilst working I acquired the skill of fitting ortho-k lenses and, after successfully fitting several patients, I became curious about different areas of optometry. This started my interest in behavioural and neuro-developmental optometry.

    I started looking up ads on Optometry Australia for a role that would give me the opportunity to explore this area further. This is when I stumbled across a behavioural optometry clinic for sale which prompted me to send in an expression of interest and has led me to where I am today. 

    The practice I took over was already well established and did not require much additional preparation, besides learning the foundation of the existing business model. I was fortunate to have my father guide me as he is an optical dispenser, he taught me the basics of dispensing and how to network with optical suppliers. My clinic was also an existing Provision member. As a member I was allocated a business coach who helped me transition from being an employee to an employer; this covered everything from questions about how to hire new employees, optical supplier negotiations and marketing.

    Should I take over a business or start brand new?

    I think there are both pros and cons to taking over a business and starting brand new. 

    From my experience taking over an existing business provides you with an existing database of patients. This makes starting out much easier as your books can be easily filled which can help stabilise the business quite quickly. However, the transition to you as the new optometrist can be challenging, as you must build rapport and trust with existing patients. The cons that I’ve experienced is that an existing business will have its own model and structure. Existing staff have been trained in certain ways that can be hard to change. Implementing change that works for you can take some time but the bones of the business have already been set up for you, which can make taking over an existing business easier.

    Being able to start a new business and to grow something of your own from the ground up, with your own personal touch and finishes can be extremely rewarding. However, there are a lot of sacrifices and the first few years can be very tough. 

    Strong marketing and exposure are needed to make sure your clinic stands out from its competitors. You start off with no database and must work hard to build this. Location is also very important. Starting brand new also means learning how to train and hire staff, setting protocols and management in place to run a smooth clinic and networking with optical suppliers, just to name a few. 

    Whether taking over an existing business or embarking on a new venture, both will require significant amounts of trial and error. This is part of the process and is necessary for discovering what suits you best.

    What are some key points I should consider when going from employee to employer?

    Going from employee to employer requires a lot of sacrifices and risks. If you work for yourself there are no more sick days or annual leave days. Any day off is a sacrifice to your earnings. 

    As an employer the responsibility of the business and staff relies solely on you. Understanding financial management is important to sustain the business over time.

    How is your work life balance as a business owner?

    My work life balance as a business owner is much better now than when I initially started the business. I personally believe work life balance is what you make it out to be. You can have a good balance but you have to sacrifice financially in some situations. At this point in time I pick and choose my hours and when I want to take leave, comfortably knowing how this would affect my business and income.

    What was the biggest obstacle you encountered during your journey, and how did you overcome it?

    The biggest obstacle I faced was taking over the role of the previous owner optometrist who had been there for 40 years. To this day I still have patients that the previous owner saw when he first opened. I experienced discrimination from my age, to my gender, I was often compared and questioned for my lack of experience and knowledge.

    It did not go without a lot of mental and emotional strength as well as having self confidence in my abilities as a clinician. I was confident in my skills, I kept up to date with current literature, and took my time to really listen to my patients. I educated them and with time I built their trust, friendship and loyalty. I learnt that I didn’t need to fill someone else’s shoes, but to dig my own feet in the sand.

    What advice would you like to give to all the YOs that are interested in opening their own business?

    Don’t be afraid to try if it’s something you’re interested in. Do a lot of research and networking first to help guide you on your way. If you can, work in different clinics to gain more understanding of how clinics are run and managed, to learn what works best for you. Running your own business is a big commitment and something I only encourage if you find that point in your life where you’re looking for something more - keeping in mind it’s for the long run.

  • 22 May 2023 2:22 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Aimy Huynh graduated from UNSW in 2023 and is currently working full time at an independent optometry practice. In her free time, she enjoys dancing, cooking and spending time with family and friends. Her favourite TV show is Friends and she love travelling to new places and eating lots of food!

    Name:  Aimy Huynh

    Workplace: Eyesense Optometrists

    Favourite Disease: Dry Eye Disease

    What about Optometry really grinds your gears? (if any!):

     When equipment malfunctions during the consultation! 

    What drives your passion for Optometry?

    Seeing how grateful my patients are by helping them throughout their vision journey, whether it’s prescribing glasses, diagnosing a disease, or listening to their troubles. 

    Do you have any goals for your optometry career?

     I would love to be an all-rounder optometrist, including excelling in fitting hard contact lenses. 

    Tell us about your journey as a new graduate optometrist!

    Starting off as a new graduate was difficult and stressful as I realised it was very different to working at the university optometry clinic. I struggled the most on time management for consults, medicare billing, and learning how to prescribe glasses. Moreover, working on days where I was the only optometrist at the practice tested my ability to make clinical decisions on my own. Months later however, I feel more confident in my skills. I still have many things to learn, but I am willing to persevere to become a great healthcare practitioner. Seeing my patients happy with their care and having a laugh at work (with my coworkers and patients) has been a great reward in this career. 

    What keeps your sane outside of your work life? Do you have any hobbies or passion you pursue?

    Dancing keeps me sane outside of work! It is what I look forward to most during the week. Also, spending time with family and friends whenever I can helps me to destress. I also enjoy cooking and eating lots of food too!

    What advice would you give to optometry students who are about to become graduate optometrists in 2024?

    My advice is don’t be too hard on yourself when you start working as a new graduate optometrist. Things will be difficult and stressful in the beginning, but remember that it is okay to make mistakes. Always be willing to learn more, regardless of how long you have been working. Preparation beforehand is also key to ensure you run on time during your consultations, such as knowing your medicare billing item numbers and looking at the patient’s spectacle record before they come in. Even doing simple things, such as removing trial lenses out of the trial frame from the previous patient, can save you time. Finally, it’s very important to have hobbies/interests outside of work so you can destress and enjoy your youth. You will do great and be proud of yourself for making it as an optometrist!

  • 15 May 2023 9:11 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Student Year: Final year Optometry Student at UNSW

    Favourite Disease: Glaucoma due to the varying presentations of how the disease can manifest as well as the array of different eye drops and management options we have available to manage the disease.

    What about Optometry really grinds your gears? (if any!): Contact lens wearers who have bad hygiene practices scare me a little.

    What drives your passion for Optometry? I like how optometry involves application of the clinical skills and knowledge you learn from university to the lives of real people. It is incredibly rewarding after a patient expresses their gratitude and appreciation for how you’ve made a difference to their quality of life and changed their vision for the better.

    Something you discovered about the uni not everyone may know?  Although all the supervisors at university have very different methods of teaching, ultimately, they have your best interests at heart and want you to become the best optometrist that you can be when you go out into the real world.  

    What is your go to place for food at uni? Stellini Pasta Bar and GYG at Lower campus.

    Something others may not know about you: I’ve been getting into crocheting recently – my latest creation is a little crochet duck.

    What song do you play that instantly lifts your mood? Ready to Fly by Sub Focus and Dimension

  • 22 Feb 2023 8:09 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Ann graduated from UNSW Optometry in 2019. She previously worked in a corporate practice in regional NSW but has recently moved back to Sydney and is working at an independent practice. She enjoys paediatric optometry and is involved with an organisation that organises school screenings across the Sydney Metro region. After work, Ann runs an e-commerce business called Cloud9 Lashes, and sell handcrafted false lashes and lash accessories online. With a background in optometry, her products are aimed for those who are looking for comfortable, hygienic, and hypo-allergenic false lashes and lash glue.

    Tell us a bit about yourself

    I graduated from UNSW Optometry in 2019 and my graduating role was in Nowra, NSW.  I love being outdoors and staying active, so Nowra was the perfect spot to enjoy hikes and swim at the nicest local beaches on my day off.

    Now that I’m back in Sydney, during my time off work I’m either weight-lifting, hanging out with family and friends, trying out food places, and working on my e-commerce business.

    What made you want to study optometry/be an optometrist?

    I’ve always wanted to work in the health industry as I find it very rewarding to help out people. However, I am very squeamish when it comes to working around blood and watching medical surgeries so I decided on optometry thinking it would be the safest option.

    Tell us about your business and what inspired you!

    I initially started Cloud9 Lashes to solve a problem of my own. I wanted long lashes but didn’t like how hard it was to maintain cleanliness with lash extensions, as well as being unsure of the risk of harmless chemicals used in lash extension glue. However, disposable false lashes that I’ve tried were uncomfortable and heavy to wear, and didn’t suit my eye shape. Talking to my friends about this problem, they also experienced similar issues as well. Due to this, I created a collection of false lashes that are suitable for petite eyes as well as latex-free lash adhesive to make applying and wearing lashes easier and more comfortable.

    Where can we find and follow your page?

    You can find us on Facebook, Instagram, and Tiktok @cloud9_lash

    Tell us about your typical day or week as a business owner? What do you find are the most challenging aspects and most rewarding?

    I run the business by myself, so I typically work on it during my spare time. Typically, this would be after gym and dinner where I would work on creating social media and scheduling my posts for the week, as well as fulfilling and packing orders to be sent the next day.

    The most challenging aspects is that creating an e-commerce on top of full time work takes up a lot of time, but I find it very rewarding as I am learning a lot of business skills, and I am able to be creative with marketing and social

    Do you have any advice for young optometrists out there who would like to pursue their passion but haven’t quite gotten started?

    My advice would be to do a good amount of research before you start, especially if you’re interested in making your passion/interests a business. It’s great to pursue what you love and jump in the deep end, however there are so many things to consider on the logistics/business side of things (eg. GST, tax, registering the business) and this can be a big time, effort, and finance commitment. Doing all this work before you start would help you feel less overwhelmed.

    Check out CLOUD9 LASHES here:

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