What was your background before joining Specsavers?
I have worked for Specsavers as an Optical Assistant and a Lab Technician at weekends and holidays since studying Optometry at the University of Ulster. I have only had 1 year away from Specsavers, working for Boots Opticians as a Pre- Reg Optom, returning to Specsavers after passing my Professional exams in July 2002.
In a nutshell, what do you do?
I am the sole Director of Specsavers Banbridge. I am responsible for running the business and promoting a positive culture to drive the business forward. We have only been open since October 2016, so I am currently also the only full-time Optometrist in the store.
What does your typical day look like?
My days at work are all about working with different people: a typical day involves seeing customers for eye tests and contact lenses. I also deal with queries from customers and suppliers, answer emails and keep up to date with any changes to the business plan. My team are also really important so I’m always working with them to review performance and targets.
What makes you most proud of your time at Specsavers so far?
I am most proud of being sole Director of Specsavers Banbridge in my home town. I have had success along the way including completing Specsavers development program “Pathway”, and winning both the “Culture and Brand” and overall “Project of the Year” award.
I am especially proud of my team, who have developed since the store opened in Oct 2016, and how they work together helping me and each other.
How have you developed?
I learnt about optics by doing every role in the store starting as an Optical Assistant and Lab Technician. I completed my Pre-Reg Optometry year and started in Specsavers Newry as a newly qualified Optometrist in 2002. I progressed to become Principal Optometrist and have been able to pass on my knowledge by supervising both trainee Dispensing Opticians and Pre-Reg Optometrists. I completed Pathway (a course which helped me prepare to make the step from being an Optometrist to being a Partner) and became Director of Specsavers Banbridge opening the store in October 2016.
What do you love about your job? What is a challenge?
I love meeting different people from different backgrounds and providing the best service I can. It is great to be able to help someone. I have a great team who I enjoy watching progress through their time in store.
The biggest challenge can be being sole Director, having to be able to understand and juggle all aspects of the business and still perform my clinical role. Time management and delegation is important and I have a fantastic team that I can trust to help me.
Describe the Specsavers culture in three words
Teamwork, Community, Caring
What advice would you give someone looking to join Specsavers?
Specsavers is a great place to work, with lots of development opportunities in both the Optical and Hearing side of the business. I have worked my way up from a weekend Optical Assistant, to a store Director. If you want a career rather than just a job, Specsavers can give you the opportunity to achieve that.