Woman in headscarf working in Specsavers shop

A trainee Dispensing Optician (and new mum) postponed studies when she learned of her husband’s brain tumour

Mansura Rahemtulla had her heart set on becoming a Dispensing Optician when her life was turned upside down. She is a shining example of someone who has stared adversity head on and overcome it to thrive and succeed.  

‘Life was great – I was married, I had a child, and I owned my own home. I had a definite plan for the future. Then my life was turned upside down. When my son was six months old, my husband was diagnosed with a brain tumour. Everything fell out of place. As the primary carer for them both, I had to drop out of the Dispensing Optician course.’  

Two extremely difficult years then followed, ‘After two years supporting my husband’s recovery, I was ready to get back to work. I wanted a part time role at first to ease myself back into the workplace, whilst also giving me the time I needed to care for my son and my husband (who thankfully at this point was on his way to recovery).’  

‘My first interview was with Specsavers Peterborough. I was determined to get back to some sort of normality, whatever that was. I was armed with positive thinking, determination and a can-do attitude.’  

‘He changed my perception of Specsavers by demonstrating how caring and professional they were towards both customers and staff.’ 

Mansura had not worked for a large business-like Specsavers before. She tells us about her misconceptions of what a career at Specsavers involved.  

‘I had never worked for a multiple before, so when I saw a job vacancy at Specsavers,  I was very unsure whether to apply or not,  because of my preconceived ideas of how Specsavers stores operate. I applied anyway and had an interview with Director Steve Emmingham, he came across as very professional. He changed my perception of Specsavers by demonstrating how caring and professional they were towards both customers and staff.’  

Steve employed Mansura as an Optical Assistant initially but later created a supervisor role for her at the store, which was perfect for her at that time and allowed her to look after her husband while integrating back into optics. ’Steve understood my circumstances and was very empathetic.’  

‘I am grateful to be working for a company like Specsavers.’ 

This professional relationship was further strengthened after Mansura recognised there was an opportunity to develop her career. ’Steve recognised my potential and created a supervisor role for me. That was my first step up. I grew into the role quickly and set my sights on the full time Assistant Manager position, which was about to come up. I worked hard and decided I was ready to progress – I applied for the position and was offered an interview then the job. Finally, life was clearer… and I knew what direction I was heading in once again.’  

‘In my time as Assistant Manager, Specsavers Peterborough was accredited as a Platinum store and I improved the communication and performance of my team through coaching. I also managed to fit in ILM3 (management course) which I completed.’  

Mansura always had the confidence to find new opportunities that would allow her to improve ’My adaptability and potential led me to my next rung on the ladder… I eventually became the Manager of the store. I have successfully kept a perfect balance between work and home life. I had to take charge of my life and I am grateful to be working for a company like Specsavers, that gives employees opportunities to be successful, to grow and fulfil their dreams.’  

‘Success is defined by who we are, what we believe in and what we think it means to be successful.’ 

When asked about her future and the plans she has moving forward, Mansura felt very positive about her next steps: ’The next step for me is to become a Store Director, where I can nurture and support individuals to get them to achieve their full potential – as my Directors did for me.’  

Mansura has shown incredible self-belief to overcome her personal difficulties and doesn’t look like slowing down with her career progression anytime soon.  

‘The next step for me is to become a Store Director, where I can nurture and support individuals to get them to achieve their full potential…’ 

‘Success is defined by who we are, what we believe in and what we think it means to be successful. There have been a few hurdles along the way to get to where I am in my career. I was prepared mentally to overcome the obstacles in my life by keeping an open mind, being confident, self-motivated and passionate in everything I do – and listening to / acting on feedback from my colleagues which has all helped me to grow.

I’m not done with my dreams, but I know that I have been successful on my journey so far. I’m finally on my last steps on Pathway [Specsavers Joint Venture Partnership training programme], the plateau to achieving my dream of one day owning my store’. 

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