Anna Dyngeland Myklebust, 25 years old and a trained teacher, is currently studying optometry. Her resume is filled with a range of roles at Specsavers. Since 2017, she’s worked part-time and held permanent positions in eight different Specsavers stores across Eastern and Southern Norway. She's even had the opportunity to travel with Specsavers to Tanzania.
“I never thought Specsavers would become such a big part of my life,” Anna says. In 2017, she stumbled upon an ad for extra help at Specsavers in Kristiansand, located along the southern coast of Norway. Since then, she’s been associated with the chain in multiple ways. She has worked in a number of stores in different Norwegian cities and areas, including Oslo. Last summer, she worked in Vesterålen in Lofoten in the north of Norway, in Sandnes near Stavanger, and in Lillestrøm just north of Oslo – two weeks at each store. She also has travelled to Tanzania with Specsavers.
Anna has made two trips to Tanzania as a participant in Specsavers' humanitarian project.
“Yeah, it's very exciting. Philip Reiler, at the Support Office in Oslo, manages the Norwegian contribution to Specsavers' humanitarian project in Tanzania. I’m lucky to have been there twice. During our trips, we provide adults and children with previously used but still functional glasses that have been collected and restored." Many people have never had an eye examination or the chance to obtain glasses in the areas we visit. This leads to long lines with people of all ages, including children, adults, and even entire school classes.
We've identified children mistakenly characterised as having lower intelligence, only to discover that their vision problems required glasses. On one memorable occasion, we encountered a man around 60 who'd never experienced a clear vision. His reaction was remarkable when he tried on the right pair of glasses. Although I couldn't understand his words, his body language spoke volumes about his gratitude and amazement.”
Anna isn’t done with Tanzania. Next year, she’ll complete her internship in a small town in Tanzania. After that, she’s set to graduate as an optician, ready to continue her career at Specsavers.
Two years ago, after graduation, she realized that she wanted to stay at Specsavers.
“I felt I was leaving my family. Everywhere I’ve worked, I’ve enjoyed myself, and many of my colleagues at Specsavers have become such close friends that we spend time together outside work. I simply wanted to experience more of what Specsavers has to offer. I've completed my teaching degree, so I’ve got the option to return to that career path at any time.”
Now, Anna is well on her way to finishing her bachelor's degree in optometry. What does she want to do once she graduates as an optician?
“My main goal is to become proficient in performing eye examinations and helping people with their vision. While I currently work in Oslo and like it, I'm open to living elsewhere. The time in Vesterålen was really great because I'm a big fan of nature and skiing uphill and downhill. So, maybe I'll consider moving up north after I finish my degree. In the long run, I might have opportunities to blend my optometry degree with my teaching background, potentially offering training courses. Specsavers provides so many possibilities.”
Anna is an outstanding ambassador for Specsavers, having dedicated six years to working across various stores. What truly excites her is the positive atmosphere and the people she encounters.
"In every store I've been to, I've been warmly welcomed with open arms," Anna shares. "The store owners have been a significant source of inspiration for me. They've shown belief in me, placed their trust in me, and provided valuable training. This has boosted my self-confidence and allowed me to take on more responsibilities. I feel I've grown professionally and have become much better at understanding and communicating with customers, addressing their specific wants and needs."
Anna also commends Specsavers for its systematic approach to developing its people within the organisation.
"Plenty of training courses are available for professional development whether you're in customer service, sales, optometry, or own a store. The Support Office in Oslo is always ready to assist you; reach out for help when needed."
Anna grew up on a farm in Sola, near Stavanger, where she holds allodial rights. However, she has no plans to pursue farming as a career.
Every day, she has a quick morning meeting on the phone with her grandfather.
“He's retired now but continued working long past the typical retirement age. His enthusiasm and love for work are truly inspiring. Everyone should have a grandfather like him.”
Photo: Morten Bendiksen