From Graduate to Partner – Nhi Nguyen shares her career story

2 August 2023

From kicking off her career in the Specsavers graduate program, to taking advantage of our development programs, Pathway and now working as a partner in her own store, Nhi Nguyen is a great example of how Specsavers continues to invest and grow its graduates throughout their careers.

Nhi started with Specsavers in 2017, where she completed her clinical placements at Specsavers Morley in Perth, and Specsavers Cranbourne in Melbourne. She completed her grad program in 2020, commenced the Pathway program in 2021, and has recently become a joint venture partner at Specsavers Burnie.

“I chose Specsavers because I believed in the company’s drive to provide affordable eye care. Providing fully bulk-billed eye tests with complete diagnostic testing, Specsavers has enabled early detection and intervention of multiple eye diseases, and as a result, preventing avoidable blindness,” she says.

“Knowing that I contributed to saving the vision of countless patients fills me with a sense of purpose, pride, and fulfillment – and that all that stress from OSCEs was worth it! Aside from optometric care, Specsavers has also provided me with endless opportunities for growth and self-development.”

Following her clinical placement, Nhi chose to work in Burnie in Tasmania hoping to further expand her knowledge and encounter a wider range of ocular pathology.

“During my time here, I have been exposed to a variety of interesting cases, some of which have even left ophthalmologists puzzled. I am forever learning new things and have become much more confident in decision making and handling complex cases,” she says.

“Burnie generally has an older population, but we also have many young families. We have a close relationship with our local GPs and therefore we see and manage many diabetic patients, urgent care and red eye/foreign body patients. We are also very fortunate to have two large ophthalmology clinics close by. Our graduates have recently spent the day at the local ophthalmology clinic as part of their continued learning.”

“At Specsavers Burnie, we are very proud of our team culture, and this is reflected through our amazing Great Place to Work survey results of 98 per cent,” she says.  “We have cultivated a positive feedback culture and have regular check-ins with team members to encourage continuous learning and development.

“Having completed the graduate program myself, I firmly believe that the most effective approach to learning is through practical experience – practice makes perfect. Everyone learns differently, I will tailor my mentoring style to your preference, because at the end of the day, this is your journey. Initially, we would do a 50:50 split between testing and observations, and adjust the balance based on your confidence and progress. Starting on 60-minute eye tests, we’ll gradually work on improving your efficiency.”

Nhi says she has grown to love the lifestyle and community that Burnie offers and has never regretted taking on a role in a regional location.

“I definitely enjoy my morning coffee accompanied by the scenic ocean views from my home. Being a small town, the slower pace has allowed a good work-life balance and so I have picked up some new skills and hobbies. There are many opportunities to be involved in the community – I recently did a talk about the importance of routine diabetic eye checks at an information day held by Diabetes Australia.

“The patients in Burnie are incredibly appreciative of the care that we provide, and to be honest, this is the reason why I love my job and this town so much.”