Pre-optometry: The career that shouldn't be overlooked
College of Saint Benedict senior Gina Silvers was like many students - undecided about what career path to follow after graduation. But eventually, she saw a clear future in optometry.
"The benefits and options with it are outstanding. I know I will be doing something that I love, and will still have time for a family," Silvers said.
She said she discovered a passion for eye care after job shadowing and working at an eye clinic associated with LensCrafters while at CSB/SJU.
"Volunteering and job shadowing are great ways to gain experience and get advice from professionals," Silvers said. "A good way to find doctors who are willing to work with students is by asking professors or upperclassman. The experiences will not only be amazing learning experiences, they will help you decide if you are choosing the right career path."
In addition to job experience, her biology professors have helped foster her career goals even though she said she is a "shy student."
"Their doors are always open to help with school work or just to chat. I really appreciate their desire for us to learn and succeed in life," said Silvers, who is originally from Sartell, Minn.
She said that she only knows two other pre-optometry students that are seniors this year, but finds student support in general to be very beneficial when is comes to making plans for after graduation, in addition to forming long-lasting friendships.
"I share many of my classes with a lot of the same pre-professional students who I have gotten to know quite well. It helps that many of us are in the same position when it comes to interviews and getting accepted into school for next year," she said.
"I would say the relationships I have formed throughout my four years here have been outstanding." Silvers added. "I have met some wonderful people, in class and out, that have motivated me in many ways and helped me form memories that I will have forever."
Silvers plans to attend optometry school after graduation, with her top choices being Ohio State University, Indiana University, University of Houston and Pacific University in Oregon.