My name is Matt and I was born in Australia but have a Vietnamese background. I have lived most of my life in Mount Waverley, a suburb in south east Melbourne. I graduated from Deakin University in 2015. As a high school student I had taken an interest to work as a healthcare professional, and my stronger subjects were mathematics, physics and chemistry. I did commence undergraduate pharmacy for a year but then decided that I would try my hand at studying optometry and transferred to Deakin University.

Early in high school I developed myopia which was subsequently diagnosed by an optometrist, and if not for spectacle correction I would be legally blind. Optometry appealed to me not only for its optics components, but also due to the high incidence of correctable vision loss throughout the community.Optometry work was also relatively non-invasive compared to other health professions, which was a bonus.

I have had a positive experience working as a Graduate Optometrist at Specsavers Wodonga. My key highlights are the welcoming staff and the working environment. Greg and Ruth, the optometry and retail partners respectively, have been very supportive from the beginning and have helped me immensely throughout my time in Wodonga.

When I initially moved to Wodonga, I had been quite anxious moving to a new location, and Greg and Ruth offered accommodation and even a truck to transport furniture and appliances if I needed. The dispensing staff helped recommend suitable locations for me to move into, by outlining the different structural and socioeconomic areas in Wodonga. Other concerns included starting off immediately on short appointment times, but Greg was quite happy to start me off on hourly appointments until I felt comfortable. I was also concerned about the ability to visit my family on weekends, but I frequently have a long weekend break where I can go to Melbourne. Melbourne is easily accessible by train which takes about 4 hours, or alternatively a driving trip will take ~3 hours along the freeway.

My experience working as a graduate optometrist, despite its many challenges, has been fulfilling and rewarding. The regional community I have found to be very friendly compared to where I have lived in Melbourne. Given the relatively reduced access to healthcare available in regional Wodonga and surrounding regions, we get customers and patients from the outskirts of town and beyond. I have encountered a lot of ocular pathology and this has contributed a large amount to my learning experiences.

Greg has been an excellent mentor, and is always happy to help with clinical advice or any general questions or concerns. Our store also had very positive feedback from the two Deakin clinical placement optometry students that attended in late 2015 and early 2016. The store team has been fantastic to work with over the past year. We have probably around 10-15 staff that get rotated around, but all are very friendly and lively with their own personalities. Most of the team have years of dispensing experience and have become very proficient and knowledgeable in all aspects of optical dispensing, and can be well trusted in their recommendations as well.

I live in a block of flats and have made good friends with my neighbours so on my days off I will get invited over for coffee and lunch or dinner. We also frequently go out to Albury for meals or to go to the cinemas. We have also been to various outdoor tourist attractions such as Woolshed falls, and camping on Mount Buffalo. For leisure activities I have taken part in the local table tennis and pool clubs. I will also spend a fair amount of time on the computer. The internet speed is quite fast here.

For a regional practice, I would say Specsavers Wodonga lives up to expectations for the patient demographic and presentations of clinical pathology. There is a high incidence of diabetes so there is a lot of dilations. The Albury eye clinic nearby has ophthalmologists who will work closely and communicate their findings and managements of patients, and are experts in the field, and their return letters are great ways to develop clinical knowledge.

I would highly recommend working at Specsavers Wodonga. Despite being ~300kms out from Melbourne, Wodonga is right off the freeway and there is public transport available to the city. Greg is the best mentor I have had and is always willing to give friendly advice or a helping hand. Specsavers Wodonga is also fortunate enough to be part of a store pilot where frames have been re organised according to shape, look and feel as opposed to by pricing.

For more information about Specsavers Graduate vacancies please feel free to contact Sarah Lee on 0477012249 or for a confidential discussion.