A promising optical career has developed for a newly-appointed optometrist whose career started during a week’s work experience.
Inspired at 16 years old
Philip Jones, aged 35, started work experience at Specsavers Llanelli when he was just 16 years old. Inspired by what he saw there, he started working part-time as an optical assistant alongside his studies. Some 19 years and a PhD in Optometry and Vision Sciences later, Philip has become the newest member of the optometry team at Specsavers in Swansea.
‘I remember the moment I decided I wanted to become an optometrist,’ he says. ‘I was fascinated by how they knew which lenses to use and when. I asked an optometrist there how they knew all of this, to which he replied, “three years in university”. So that’s exactly what I did.’
After graduating from Cardiff University in 2005, Philip returned to Specsavers Llanelli as a pre-reg optometrist and qualified in 2006. A year later, he went back to Cardiff University to study for his PhD. While studying, Philip continued to work as a locum for various Specsavers stores across south west Wales, including Gorseinon, Haverfordwest and Pembroke Dock.
He completed his doctorate in 2011 and has since shared his knowledge with undergraduate students at Cardiff University, spending two years as a clinical teacher at the School of Optometry and Vision Sciences. He later spent five years at an independent opticians and worked in hospital clinics before joining the Specsavers store on the Kingsway in Swansea.
Stephen Jones, director of Specsavers Swansea, says: ‘Philip is a great addition to our team, and his expertise will benefit the community. He has a real passion for optometry, which is demonstrated not only in his work ethic but also by the care and attention he shows his customers.’