Optometry staff and students at the workshop.

Exams are around the corner and as final-year Optometry students prepare themselves for the world of work, their Discipline’s Clinical Resident, Mr Tate Madlala, co-ordinated a first-of-its-kind grooming workshop facilitated by the renowned Fay Coleman and Megan Coleman – Miss South Africa in 2006 – of the image consultant company, Image Insured. 

Fully sponsored by the Discipline’s contact lenses supplier, CooperVision SA Ltd, the workshop was motivated by the Discipline of Optometry’s desire to prepare final-year students for the corporate world.

Madlala, who is also a Practice Management and Community Optometry lecturer, said: ‘We want to produce well-rounded graduates both academically and corporate ready. As our final-year students complete the clinical programme, we want to equip them with image consultancy and grooming tips so they can better represent their image in a manner that is consistent with their personal, social and professional roles.’

The Coleman duo, who say it is vital to create a positive first impression in the workplace, gave students tips about eye contact, shaking hands and body language.

There was a definite link between personal and corporate image and they discussed building a practical working wardrobe. The students saw examples of suitable corporate colours for the workplace and were fascinated to learn about the importance of ‘wearing the right colour for your skin tone’.

Hair, nails, nose hair, shoes, socks, belts and the appropriate jacket and skirt cuts and lengths, necklines and underwear lines were all flagged as significant considerations in the grooming process.

The workshop covered CV writing, managing social network accounts and job interview skills.

Feedback from students suggested that similar workshops should be held on an annual basis for all final-year students.