'Teaching is fantastic, as the lecturers are passionate about their subjects and topics are explained thoroughly.'
How did you develop an interest in Optometry?
I’ve always been fascinated by medical sciences and the eye in particular took on great significance for me. Such a small and yet complex organ but more importantly, it can enable you to tell a lot about a person’s health. Having the ability to change and enhance someone’s life by simply giving them a pair of prescription glasses or detecting a pathological problem so that it can be treated, is an invaluable gift you can give someone and being able to do that has always been an ambition of mine.
Why did you choose to study at City, University of London?
I’ve always enjoyed visiting London and taking advantage of what it has to offer from attractions and restaurants to jazz bars, musicals and many more. I thought having these amenities on your doorstep was too good an opportunity to turn down. From the course perspective, City’s lecturers had a fantastic reputation for being specialists in their fields with teaching facilities that complemented their expertise. From attending the open day, I had the opportunity to meet some of these lecturers and discovered firsthand just how friendly, helpful, but also passionate they were. This cemented my trust and belief in City as the university where my future aspirations of being an optometrist would be best developed.
What has been a highlight on the course for yourself / what have you most enjoyed learning about?
Clinical Skills is my favourite module. Being able to learn the techniques which you will go on to use for the rest of your life is amazing as by the time you get into second year, you’re half way to completing a full routine eye examination! Eye Disease is also fascinating as you learn about different pathologies – some of which present in a very similar way – and being able to develop the skills to differentiate between them to determine the correct diagnosis is a real challenge.
How have you found the teaching and facilities on your course?
Teaching is fantastic, as the lecturers are passionate about their subjects and topics are explained thoroughly. They are also incredibly helpful – if you have any questions irrespective of their context, they’re just an email away! City also has an eye clinic called ‘City Sight’ where in the year, we test the general public under supervision which is incredibly exciting!
What kind of things are you involved in outside your course?
A real passion of mine is participating in musical ensembles. It has opened up many opportunities for me, from meeting like-minded people to performing at some of the most prestigious concert halls in the world, including the Royal Albert Hall and Carnegie Hall in New York! You need a good work-life balance but getting involved in extra-curricular activities will definitely make your university life more enjoyable. I’d highly recommend attending Fresher’s Fair to discover all the different societies and sign up to whatever takes your fancy.
What have you enjoyed most about your time at City?
Meeting new people. Coming to university can be quite daunting at first but meeting new people whether they be on your course, in the same society, or the same flat really helps you to settle in and enjoy your time.
How did you find moving away from home?
I was very excited to move out and experience London. If you can survive in London, nothing is beyond you! Being able to have your independence really helps to develop you as a person. You definitely take your parents’ cooking and cleaning for granted but living with new people and experiencing London has been an invaluable and worthwhile experience, one I’ll never forget.
What are you looking most forward to during the rest of your time at City, University of London?
Testing patients in the final year clinics at City Sight. We currently use these clinics for our Contact Lens sessions, but being able to use them to test the general public and get a feel for our future profession is something I’m very much looking forward to! We have the opportunity to see patients with various different eye conditions and from different age groups, keeping our work very diverse. These include paediatrics, low vision, contact lens, primary care and binocular vision. This means that every patient is a different experience, which you can genuinely learn from in preparation for the working world.
What do you plan to do after you graduate?
I hope to complete my pre-registration in a hospital. We are fortunate to have the world-renowned Moorfields Eye Hospital on our doorstep, which we visit on placements in our final year. The skill shown by the practitioners here and their empathy towards their patients is awe-inspiring. Seeing the level of care towards patients in this environment is fascinating. The challenge of putting all the knowledge you have acquired as well as all the skills you have developed towards the patient’s health really motivates me. I aspire to learn the clinical support available to these patients and just how much I can help them and for these reasons, I wish to pursue hospital optometry.
What would be your advice to anyone considering studying BSc Optometry?
Be yourself. If you’re passionate about providing care and have a genuine interest in the eye, this should be clearly evident. Get involved in charity work, obtain practice experience and if you can, acquire some hospital experience – do all that you can to show how dedicated and enthusiastic you are in your aspiration to join such a diverse and credible healthcare profession.
Date of interview: