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importance of community service and shadowing

Discussion in 'Pre-Optometry' started by meiforeverfree, Dec 8, 2008.

  1. meiforeverfree

    2+ Year Member

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    Hi guys,

    I recently interviewed at SUNY and they put me on hold. I haven't done much volunteer work but I do work at an optometrist's office. I've worked there a few months and I've learned a lot but not enough when compared to other applicants who handle the machinery too. My question is, how much do schools emphasize the volunteer work and background knowledge of the profession. I am 100% sure that I was to be an optometrist. I feel like my inexperience and lack of extracirricular activities is what made SUNY put me on hold. They told me that they can't keep accepting people since there are limited seats and will review my file in January.

    GPA: 3.62
    OAT AA 370
    OAT TS 390
     
  2. sportsdude00

    2+ Year Member

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    they just want to know you have experience and an understanding of what you're getting yourself into. from what you just said, you come off like you're very interested in optometry, but very limited as to what goes on in the profession and such. if thats how you came off in the interview, that might have been a concern for them. your stats are good though, so no worries.
     
  3. blysssful

    blysssful SUNY c/o 2013
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    Did they say you lack volunteer work, or shadowing? They're different. Volunteering = helping out the community in some way; shadowing = following an optometrist during the work day to see if it is what you want to do (generally unpaid b/c if you're getting paid, you're going to have specific responsibilities that would interfere with you really paying attention to what s/he is doing).

    You do have great stats, so the academic part isn't the issue. Did they ask you anything in the interview where you tripped up (maybe a question about your future in optometry, or what you know about what you would be doing...)? I only ask that because even if you are certain about optometry, with limited shadowing hours & interview answers that may have seemed uninformed, it could have painted the picture that you don't quite know what you'd be getting into.

    I'm not in any way suggesting that you ARE uninformed... only that we all have those questions where 10 minutes later, you think "DAMN, I should have said XYZ!" or "why didn't I think to tell them about my XYZ experience?!"


    To make sure that you do get accepted when they review your file again, do some shadowing in the mean time. Maybe even ask that OD write you a recommendation stressing your aptitude for optometry.

    On the bright side: at least the potential problem with your application isn't about your GPA or OAT score that would take MUCH longer to fix. If they want you to get some more experience, do it ASAP! A hold is not a rejection, remember that!
     
  4. jupiterOD

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  5. Oogilily

    Oogilily Soccer rules all
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    I know that here at PUCO they weren't only looking for good academics (which you have more than enough) but they were also looking for certain personalities that they thought would fit their school well. I did some shadowing, didn't do really any volunteer work and I hardly knew anything about optometry and still got in. So, it may be that you aren't just what they are looking for (I don't mean that to be rude). I would call them and ask them why you weren't accepted and only put on hold when you have such good stats. It would be nice to know for the future. It's hard to tell you specifically why you weren't accepted. That is up to the school.
     
  6. blysssful

    blysssful SUNY c/o 2013
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    I agree with the bold statement, but I think most schools look for at the very least 30+ hours of shadowing... or more.
     
  7. meiforeverfree

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    wow, guys. thanks for the prompt response.

    SUNY didn't say they didn't want me, just that they didn't want to make a decision so soon. it was me who kept thinking i lacked the experience and the community service. january seems so far away.
     

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