After graduating with an audiology degree in 2021, Zain Qaisar got his first job with Specsavers. He explains why Specsavers is the perfect place to start your hearing care career after university
I’d known since I was a teenager that I wanted to be an audiologist. My younger brother Saahil is profoundly Deaf, so as a 12 and 13-year-old I went with my family to his appointments and saw the world of audiology through him. He has two cochlear implants and I saw how they transformed his life.
Saahil’s audiologist, Sheila, was so calm and compassionate and, to this day, we all give praise for what she did for us. I remember thinking, I want to be like Sheila, I want to have that much of an impact on someone’s life.
This is the career for me
At high school I wrote a case study for my health and social care coursework about living with a disability. I did mine about Saahil. I researched audiology and hearing care services, the roles and responsibilities of an audiologist. And I thought, ‘This is definitely what I want to do’. It consolidated the fact that this was the career for me.
So I moved to Leicester for a three-year audiology degree at De Montfort University and did placements in NHS audiology departments in Harrogate, Nottingham and Barnsley. And I achieved an award from the British Academy of Audiology for the student who performed best on placement.
Specsavers was where I wanted to be
I really enjoyed my NHS placements on my course, so I was definitely looking at a career in the NHS. But then I spoke to audiologists who work at Specsavers, I heard about their career progression and how Specsavers opened doors to great opportunities for them. I didn’t realise that I would see NHS patients as an audiologist at Specsavers, and I’d also get to work with the latest technology, and get to carry out wax removal. So I decided that Specsavers was where I wanted to work.
A clear path to advance my career
I’m an audiologist at Specsavers in Sale and I’m loving it. I’m at the start of my career and I aspire to be the best I can be. I don’t want to look back at the end of each year and see no progression. And at Specsavers, learning, development and progression is what it’s all about. I want to be a clinical lead in the next few years, and then an Audiology Partner, where I’d own and lead my own Specsavers Audiology business.
Support to be the best I can be
Specsavers is a great place to start your Audiology career. Everyone made sure I could ask for help at all times and that there’s no such thing as a stupid question. I’ve been really supported and had time to settle in, but at the same time I was also encouraged to get going in the job. If you have ambition and want to progress, Specsavers is for you. There’s a clear career path and lots of opportunities to keep developing yourself and your skills.