A local Bedfordshire optician who began her career as a part-time weekend assistant is set to celebrate her three year anniversary as a fully qualified optometrist.

Inspiration

Sofia Rafiq, who practices at Specsavers Dunstable, had been working at the store for two years when she was inspired to train as an optician following the news that her grandfather had lost his sight due to glaucoma.

Training

To realise her dream, Sofia began training to be an ophthalmic dispensing optician while juggling her studies with her role as an optical assistant. She qualified two years later and while many would have been content to spend time enjoying their new role, Sofia continued to strive for her ultimate goal of becoming an optometrist. Two years and lots of hard work later, she completed her qualifications and graduated.

Providing a trusted service to Dunstable

Sofia says: ‘I am delighted to be working for Specsavers as a fully trained optician. My grandfather’s blindness inspired me and I wanted to be able to help him and others who suffer with glaucoma and other sight problems. Training to become an optician was the best way for me to achieve that.

‘Balancing my existing role in store with my studies and training was challenging, but with the support of everyone at Specsavers and my family and friends I was able to achieve the grades I needed.'

Working alongside qualified members of the team really helped and I’m looking forward to using my skills and expertise in years to come to provide a trusted service to the Dunstable community.’

Shabbir Kaka, director: ‘We were delighted to help her reach her goal and we were happy to offer our support every step of the way. Investing in our staff is extremely important at Specsavers and we hope to see many more of our part-time assistants rise up through the ranks in the near future.’

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