Interview with alumnus Kevin La

Kevin La

Kevin La

Why did you choose to study Optometry and Vision Science?

I've always been intrigued about the importance of eyesight. Good vision plays a huge role in a person's quality of life, and I wanted to work in a profession where I'd be able to provide a positive impact in people's lives. Optometry has allowed me the opportunity to help others by providing clear vision.

What was your experience being an Optometry and Vision Science student?
I really enjoyed my time studying optometry at the University of New South Wales. It was a wonderful place to learn from some amazing academics and leaders in Australian optometry. The optometry and vision science cohort of students tends to be smaller than that of other schools as well, and hence you build quite strong friendships with the peers you spend five or so years studying with. The coursework is challenging, so there will be a lot of ups and downs that you experience together. It makes your time at university all the more sweeter when you graduate!

After graduating, how did your career path evolve?

I've spent my last two years working in corporate optometry in the greater south-west of Sydney. Although not technically deemed rural, I've had the pleasure of getting to know a lot of my patients who grew up in a rural setting as there is a lesser density of practitioners closeby (for now!) - we're on the real outskirts of the Sydney region. My workplace sees a great mix of people from all walks of life, those of different ages and ethnicities, those who grew up in the city and the rural areas. I find there is a lesson to learn from everyone who walks into my consulting room, and that's what I love most about my job.

If you were not an optometrist, what would you be?

I'd be a food blogger, travelling around the world (in a Covid-free world) and sharing my food experiences! It's always been a dream of mine to jet-set to different countries and completely immerse myself in different food cultures and traditions. I find food so fascinating in its ability to bring people from around the world together, so it's definitely a passion of mine to storytell through taste. In my spare time outside of optometry, I run my own blog "Sydney Food Boy" where I write about the different foods you can find in Sydney - your tastebuds can travel around the world in our very own city if you know where to look!

What would you say is your greatest accomplishment outside of the profession of Optometry?

Through my blogging, I have been able to increase awareness and provide much-needed exposure for a lot of small businesses in the food industry, many of whom were struggling throughout the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown. The conversations I've had with these business owners after a consequent increase in their customers and sales have been really humbling. It's great to know I'm able to provide support for others even outside of optometry!

Do you have any advice for school leavers considering studying Optometry and Vision Science at UNSW Sydney?

The Optometry and Vision Science course at UNSW is demanding, but you'll have a wonderful experience here. You'll come across some amazing people in your time at the school, and there's no limit to the things you're able to learn. My biggest piece of advice would be to actively try to create opportunities for yourself while at university. What you put in is what you get out, so give it your all and the opportunities will be endless.