At our meeting on October 22nd, we had a panel of second year Ohio State Optometry Students, Lauren, Emily, and Christine, answer our questions about the field of Optometry, Optometry school, and the application process. Thank you so much Lauren, Emily, and Christine for sharing so much advice with us!
The panel discussed various topics such as how their studying habits have changed from their undergraduate career, what they took into consideration when applying to Optometry schools, and how to be a competitive applicant. When it comes to studying for the OAT, they suggest studying in the summer or during breaks, making sure that you have taken all of the prerequisites beforehand, and signing up for a test date in advance so that you can have a target in mind and a motivation to study. They suggest building relationships with your professors by attending office hours if you are thinking about them for a letter of recommendation. They found it useful to dedicate specific periods of time to writing their personal statements and using on-campus resources to receive feedback on them. It is especially important that you convey who you actually are on the statement, and not just what you think the schools want to hear. Additionally, it is a good idea to start shadowing as soon as you can so you can get exposure to the field and understand how different practices operate. They especially recommend shadowing in multiple offices for a substantial amount of time so you can get a more holistic view of the field and see what you like or may not like about certain practices. When they were applying to Optometry school, some of the factors that were important to them were class size, tuition, proximity to home, board passage rates, and the overall feel of the school. They recommend visiting schools in advance if you can and doing your own research on each school to find the best fit for you. One of their favorite things about Optometry school is the fact that it is a very supportive environment where your fellow classmates and professors are rooting for you to succeed.
Thank you again Lauren, Emily, and Christine for taking the time to talk about your personal experiences and for offering so much information!