You may have seen a Pre-Optometry table at a student organization fair and thought something along the lines of…
“Hey I know all about applying for optometry school and I got a pretty good handle on the OAT so I don’t need those meetings and membership fees”
…but let’s take a closer look, shall we?
Gaining Relevant Experience
Simply putting down on your resume that you were a part of a pre-optometry society isn’t much help but there are plenty of ways to get involved in events and programs put on by the organization. Pre-optometry clubs offer a wide range of opportunities to be proactive in bettering yourself through things like for instance mentoring programs or gaining experience volunteering in the world of eye-health.
Within the ranks of the organization you can lead peers and drive the club to success.
Taking on a leadership role can be challenging but you gain the very valuable skills for a future in optometry in communication,negotiating, and problem solving just name a few. Besides leadership positions always look great on a resume.
Access to Resources
These organizations have resources you may not even be aware exist and in order to take advantage of them you have to be in the know! An example of one of the many perks of a pre-optom organization is that school representatives from the different optometry programs will schedule more visits should they anticipate an audience of pre-optometry students. That means many clubs will host these representatives to come and talk to the group and answer any specific questions or even host a whole panel of representatives to speak!
Figure Out Exactly What You’re Doing
Optometrists, ophthalmologists, and opticians OH MY!
So what exactly is the difference and what exactly do you really want to do? Student orgs may bring in a wide range of people in the optometry profession to talk on what they do and offer advice and help you discover exactly what you’d like to do someday!
Misery Loves Company
You’ll meet other pre-optom hopefuls to share the woes of preparing for optometry school!
With everything from the OptomCAS, the OAT, letters of recommendation, etc making connections with fellow students that know exactly what you’re going through can be both comforting and helpful! Chances are at least a few of the people will be in the same classes as you so you can study together share the wisdom! You can even share your wisdom about how great OAT Cracker is! 🙂
Check out your school’s pre-optometry society/club/organization here.
If there isn’t one on your campus, why not start one? Find out how here.
In review, pre-optom clubs both spread awareness of the optometry profession as well as help members stay on the track and offer things like college panels and mentoring programs! So why would you want to join? The better question is why not?