Why did you choose SCCO?
My decision to attend SCCO was primarily influenced by location, as staying close to home would help me maintain strong relationships with my support systems. I highly value the family and friends who have supported me in my journey and would love to continue sharing my progress with them. Recognizing the importance of maintaining these relationships, and acknowledging mental health, will allow me to better support others as a future healthcare professional. Furthermore, when I first visited the MBKU campus, I observed a sense of camaraderie and respect between the faculty and students that convinced me to apply. The faculty at SCCO supported their students academically, personally, and professionally and by doing so, created an environment conducive to success. Everyone I met during my visits was kind and welcoming, and it felt comforting to be remembered on separate occasions amidst the many students. SCCO truly strives to foster a sense of family and community as a potential student. Upon observing the interpersonal relationships between faculty and students, I also learned SCCO's interprofessional education allows their students to become well-rounded individuals by developing their knowledge beyond their scope of practice. Even though I will be specializing in vision, it is equally important to learn about the systemic function within the body and practice effective collaboration with other healthcare professionals. I want to finish optometry school with confidence in my abilities to diagnose and treat patients, which was conveyed to me during my visit with students at Ketchum Health and through my own personal optometrist. Lastly, some minor reasons for wanting to attend SCCO are the bigger class size on a smaller campus, familiarity with the quarter system, social media presence with admissions, the extensive alumni network, medical mission trips with SVOSH, and access to state-of-the-art facilities.
What do you like to do when you’re not studying?
Typically, when I am not studying, I enjoy watching movies and shows on Netflix or playing with my dog to relax. During the weekdays, my downtime often includes cardio or working out at the gym, listening and singing to music, learning new recipes to cook and bake, or adjusting my skincare routine. Additionally, I like to travel and take long drives, hike different trails, visit museums, go thrift shopping, and attend various festivals/concerts beyond the normal work week.
Any advice for Prospective Students?
I would advise students to not only maintain a competitive GPA, but participate in experiences that they enjoy and can develop personal growth from. When applying for optometry school, you must realize that most admissions committees take a holistic approach when reviewing your application. Therefore, while grades and test scores are important, they are not the only factors that determine a competitive applicant. They not only want to see if you can handle the rigorous curriculum expected from graduate school, but they also want a student who possesses a genuine passion for optometry and service. This is deduced from several factors that compose your OptomCAS application: GPA, OAT, letters of recommendation, extracurricular activities, and personal statements. To maximize your chances of acceptance, you should plan to apply between the months of July to December since most schools do rolling admissions. It would be preferred to have a GPA of at least 3.0 and an OAT score of 300, but ideally, I would base my statistics around or above the previous entering class's profile. I would strongly recommend that you network with pre-optometry students and admissions officers to see how you can improve your application and what they are looking for in an applicant. This is also to your benefit since admissions will be able to recognize you based on your prior interactions. Furthermore, shadowing as many optometrists and specialties allow you to expand this network and display your motivation to learn more about the profession. To display your interest to the school, you should take the time to research their curriculum, mission, and program offerings and utilize personal experiences to showcase traits that make you a good fit based on the school's core values.