Clinical and Community Service Experience
Experience with the optometry profession is essential to preparing for optometry school. If you apply to optometry school but you have no experience observing or working with optometrists you will not be convincing to an admissions committee. Students must get experience in an optometry environment in order to make an informed decision to pursue a career in optometry. You need this exposure to prepare for optometry school and a career in optometry.
Job shadowing is an excellent way to explore the daily life of an optometrist and find out if a career in optometry is the right fit for you. Many students are able to arrange shadowing initially through a family optometrist. If you do not know of any optometrists you could ask to shadow you may wish to send a letter and resume to some local optometrists asking for the opportunity to shadow. Many preoptometry students are also able to obtain experience by working in an optometrist's office.
In addition, optometry school admissions committees prefer applicants who demonstrate a long-term commitment to serving others. If you plan to apply to optometry school you should endeavor to gain experience serving the community through volunteer activities. Community service activities are very important in helping you build the interpersonal skills you will need as an optometrist. Admissions committees prefer a few meaningful experiences over a long period of time rather than a list of scattered, superficial activities, like participating in an occasional fundraiser.
The resources below can help you connect with community service opportunities in our area.
A website provided by the City of Bloomington lists numerous volunteer opportunities in our community, and is updated every week.
The Indiana University Service-Learning Program offers service-learning opportunities that combine college coursework with community service. Please see their website for information on their programs.
For more community service opportunities consult the HPPLC Volunteer Opportunities page.