Since graduating from BSc (Hons) Optometry in 2017, Priya Rajbhandary has joined Specsavers as a pre-registration optometrist in London.
This is Priya's story
Optometry at Plymouth
"Being an international student, making a move to study in an entirely different country was a huge decision and by far the best I’ve taken. I chose to study my course in Plymouth not only to explore a new city on my own but also because it provided me with a firm platform, from the support provided by the members of the course, to be approached by various different optical companies to further develop my career.
The degree consisted of many placement opportunities throughout which strengthened my background knowledge, hence preparing me before stepping into the working life.
When I first moved to Plymouth there was a limited amount of information I knew about the career I was pursuing. As I came to the final year of my degree, this greatly broadened my mind about the different career paths I could take within the field of optometry which I never knew about.
Undertaking a course here highly tests your independence, and betters you, especially as an international student. At the same time, it has been the best three years of my life because of the people I met, the skills I developed and the great future professional outlook your degree gives you here at the University."
Peer Assisted Learning Scheme (PALS)
"There are several extracurricular programmes available for you for the enhancement of your professional and personal development which prepares you for whichever career path you undertake.
The University has numerous resources to provide excellent support. I was privileged to have been a PALS leader for the last two years of my degree, providing support and resources to further enhance learning and practical experience for first year optometry students. As PALS leaders we were able to share our own experiences with our peers, as well as constantly practice our own skills in the practical aspect our degree. We were provided with countless support from our lecturers in this entire process."
Stepping into the working world
"Since completing my degree, I moved to London to pursue my career in the field of optometry.
I am currently in the process of completing my pre-registration to practice as a fully qualified optometrist.
Graduating from university and stepping into the working world is a huge leap.
I gained a great deal of independence over the three years I lived and studied in Plymouth which is one of the reasons why I believe I was ready to move to a bigger and busier place like London.
Socialising with people from different parts of the world, joining new societies and providing support for my peers has enabled me to take these skills to my new workplace and do the exact same but in a better and more improved way.
I have the opportunity to interact and communicate with people of diverse backgrounds and generations every day in practice. I not only learn new things about eye health daily, but also about the society and the people within it. This is the most captivating aspect of pursuing a career in this field."
"The University has great socials when you first start your degree. This gave me the chance to meet new people who were in the same position as I was, who also recently moved to a new country.
I remember when I first moved in to my student accommodation how amazing the team were in making me feel comfortable and welcomed into my new place.
The international student office, in particular, was of great help throughout the three years in guiding me through the process.
If I were to start university all over again, I would definitely have liked to explore Plymouth more. It is such a great place to meet new people and travel to new places in and around the area to truly experience the city’s beauty.
I would highly recommend prospective students to venture out and interact with students not just from their own course but also from various other ones.
My favourite memory of studying here would have to be the people I met over the three years of my stay in Plymouth. We all made a great bond over the years which helped us get through our final and most important year of our university life with some laughter and fun.
The best part was completing our dissertations and enjoying that day by the Plymouth Hoe."
Do you want to pursue a career as an eye care professional?
Benefit from a pioneering, clinical degree set up to bring optometry to the South West, built in consultation with expert professionals in the field.
You will be trained in both the classroom, laboratory and, from the very first semester, the workplace – be that practices, hospitals or in the community – gaining key knowledge, skills, experience and confidence that you need to succeed as the future of the eye care profession.