Framing education with experience gave this Opticianry grad a head start in her career
By Melissa Nilan, Marketing and Communications
For Prabhjot Sandhu, becoming an optician was a no-brainer. The career combines everything she loves: health care, fashion and providing excellent customer service.
“You’re helping someone find a frame that suits them, and you’re helping them see. I like that blend of artistry and science,” says Prabhjot.
Choosing Douglas for the Opticianry (OPT) program, previously called the Dispensing Opticinary program, was also a no-brainer: The two-year program provided more hands-on opportunities in the field than programs at other schools.
Looking for options
The classroom learning of the Fall and Winter Semesters is interspersed with short on-campus practicums in at the College’s Vision Care Centre. During the Summer Semester, DOPT students arrange their own full-time practicums with businesses of interest to them.
Prabhjot did one practicum at an optical store, and one at an optometry clinic – where she was the only dispensing optician on staff.
“I did all the fittings myself, from start to finish. I really got a feel for what it was like as a dispensing optician in the real world. It was great for learning and building my confidence,” says Prabhjot.
A career in sight
Working in two very different environments helped Prabhjot decide which route she wanted to take after graduation.
“I wasn’t a fan of the clinical environment because it’s very focused on disease and pathology. I prefer retail because I love the interaction with clients and helping them find eyewear solutions.”
Now a licensed optician at the same optical store where she did her practicum, Prabhjot wants to one day open an optical shop with her sister – a fellow OPT grad.