It's important to gain experience working with optometrists and patients. Both the range and the depth of your experiences are key.
You can begin with your own optometrist or by searching for optometrists in the area, and arranging to interview them, asking them what they do, what they like about their jobs, what they don't like about their jobs, what advice they have for people interested in entering the profession, and making arrangements to shadow for a few days.
Most of our candidates gain more substantial experience by working as an assistant in a optometry office or optical dispensary.
Volunteering and Social Service
In addition to optometry experiences, some schools emphasize a demonstrated commitment to social service. Many of our pre-optometry students, for example, volunteer as readers for the Audio-Reader Program.
For more local volunteer opportunities consult:
- KU Center for Community Outreach
- KU Center for Civic and Social Responsibility
- Volunteer Douglas County
Optometry is an applied science, and it's helpful to know how this knowledge is developed. Working on a research project is also a good way to earn a substantial recommendation letter from a faculty member who knows you well. Most students volunteer their help, some earn directed study credit, and a few are paid for their assistance. To get involved, you can start at the Center for Undergraduate Research.
University Career Center:
Entry into an Optometry program includes interviewing with the school of your choice. When you get an invitation to interview, practice with the University Career Center! You may want to get started by using a pre-built medical school mock interview available in HireJayhawks.com (Type "medical" in the keyword box to access it.) To schedule an in-person practice interview, call 785-864-3624 or schedule online. Need an outfit for your interview? Visit The P.H.O.G.
The UCC can also help you put together a resume to apply for optometry assistant positions. Then, search for local dental offices. Introduce yourself, and leave a resume that they can keep on file. Check back every semester or so, to update your resume, and let them know you're still interested in a position. Also, let your friends and family know you're looking for a job as an optometry assistant.
Most Optometry programs require supplemental applications, and personal comments essays and/or personal statements. When you finish a draft we recommend you meet with the Writing Center to review! Call 785-864-2399 to schedule a review with a consultant.