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experience??

Discussion in 'Optometry' started by jlcutie, Apr 5, 2002.

  1. jlcutie

    jlcutie Junior Member

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    hey everyone .. i'm planning on applying to optometry school this august.. only thing is i have not done anything with optometry.. i plan to do it this summer.. maybe work with an optometrist in a private office or does anyone suggest volunteering at an eye hospital instead??.. a lot of people who i have spoken to about optometry seem to have worked many years in optometry offices before applying to the schools.. so i kind of feel at a disadvantage? also.. can someone tell me about the interview process?!.. i'm a bit nervous about that.. i'm planning to apply to all the schools that are closest to the east coast.. so anyone from these schools out there?.. write back please? (or anyone at all!) THANKS!!
     
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  3. mpp

    mpp SDN Moderator
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    Don't worry...everyone has to start somewhere. I suggest checking the phone book for some nearby optometrists and just call the offices and explain that you are interested in a career optometry and would like to learn some more about it. See if the optometrists would be willing to briefly discuss the career with you over lunch or some other free time (perhaps right after the office closes). Then ask if you could perhaps "shadow" them for an afternoon or two. I would suggest trying this with optometrists of various types of practices (e.g., chain store, private solo practice, eye-clinic type practice, etc.). Once you build rapport with one O.D. I'm sure they can hook you up with other colleagues they know. It's nice to get a good feel for the different styles of optometric practices available and the admissions committees will appreciate the time you've put into researching the profession.

    I interviewed and was accepted at SUNY optometry so I can tell you a bit about that interview. It is a fairly formal panel interview. Prior to the interview you will be asked to write a short essay on a topic they provide. The essay I was asked to write was in regards to procedures that were not covered by insurance. I would suggest you familiarize yourself a little bit with the concepts of insurance and health maintenace programs and how they work.

    The interview itself lasted about 45 minutes. The interviewers (one clinical faculty, one science faculty, a resident, and another I can't remember her position) took turns asking questions about my background, how I came to be interested in optometry, what my strengths and weaknesses were, what my expectations for the career were, why optometry as opposed to other professions, etc. I think the important thing is to relax and be yourself. They are not looking for canned answers but rather your honest opinions. Try and think beforehand your motivations and expectations of optometry.

    The interview day ended with a tour of the facility by the dean of admissions. SUNY Optometry is in a great location in Manhattan -- not far from Grand Central Station and directly across from the Main Branch of the NY Public Library and Bryant Park. The building is recently remodeled and there seemed to be lots of space for students. The clinic arguable one of the best in the country as they see a huge variety of patients. There is lots of research going on there and if you are interested in the combined OD/PhD program, there is a lot to pick from. Students seemed friendly and supportive and most were from the NY/NJ/CT area.

    Good luck with everthing. I'm sure cpw and the other optometry students (and optometrists) on this forum will offer tons of assistance in your pursuit...
     
  4. christie

    christie Senior Member

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    I agree with mpp, don't worry too much that you don't have any experience with OD's. You have plenty of time this summer. Schools just want to see that you know what Optometry is about.

    I interviewed at suny, newenco and pco. The newenco and pco interviews were laid back. The pco interview was good in that the interviewer doesn't know any info about you, only your name. So, basically you just tell him or her about yourself, hobbies, why you chose optometry and why you want to go to pco. It was a one on one interview, then after the interview you meet with an admissions counselor. The admissions counselor goes over your file with you, to see if there are any outstanding prerequistes to complete. This part is not really the interview, however, the admissions counselor does right down some things, and their comments are added to your file.

    The newenco interview was one one one as well. It was a laid back interview. Just be yourself, and you'll do fine.

    If you have any more questions, feel free to email me.
     
  5. r_salis

    r_salis SDN Supa-Mod Emmetrope
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    Christie,

    What was your SUNY interview like? (I'm planning on applying to PCO, SUNY and Nova next fall for Fall 2003.)
     
  6. r_salis

    r_salis SDN Supa-Mod Emmetrope
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    Man, I'm being really spacey tonight... I just read mpp's (very detailed and helpful!) description of SUNY's interview, so I assume christie's was similar... Just ignore me tonight, I must be stressing out about my organic exam on Monday!
     
  7. christie

    christie Senior Member

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    For me, the suny interview wasn't as laid back as the other two. It was 4 people that interviewed me at the same time. It was pretty formal.

    If you have any questions regarding the admissions process let me know. I am just recovering from it :)
     
  8. mpp

    mpp SDN Moderator
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    One more thing to consider. Be sure to show some enthusiasm for the the particular school at which you are interviewing. Think about some questions you might want to ask the interview panel that shows your interest in the specific school to which you are applying.

    I have no idea if it was a factor in my acceptance, but I can remember that on my tour at SUNY (given by the director of admissions no less) the other interviewees did not seem very interested in what they were being shown. Show your interest and enthusiasm...it certainly can't hurt.
     

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