If you want to strengthen your application and demonstrate your commitment to your future profession, joining the pre-optometry club on your campus is a no-brainer! Come interview time when you’re asked whether you’ve been a member of your undergrad’s pre-optometry club, you will not have a defensible answer should you respond “No.” What could you say in your defense? My point exactly…
In California, most of the big UC schools have pre-optometry clubs. Most of these clubs are large and active: UCLA, UC Davis, UC Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz, UC Merced, UC San Diego, UC Riverside, UC Santa Barbara, and UC Irvine all have large, active pre-optometry clubs. This is common knowledge, especially to interviewing panelists. If especially one of these schools is your undergrad institution, you will be glad when the interviewing faculty ask you if you belong to your pre-optometry club, that you can reply with an enthusiastic, “Yes!”
Not only will you learn more about the profession, but you will learn from other students on how they plan their strategies for a successful admissions outcome. It’s a way to stay on track and gauge your progress from others in the same boat. It’s a way to stay encouraged as you face the individual hurdles like taking the OAT and writing your personal essays.
Posted here is a link to an article written by a pre-optometry student, Jade Mclachlin, from Grant MacEwan University. She did her research because by polling many students who are members of pre-optometry clubs as to the benefits of attending meetings and maintaining active involvement: Benefits for Pre-optometry Club Members
If you don’t have a pre-optometry club on your campus, you have a GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY to start one! These clubs not only serve pre-optometry students, but they also serve the profession by creating interest on behalf of optometry to other pre-health students who are undecided, who have yet to choose how they want to serve in healthcare.
It’s easy to start a club and run the meetings. Go on Facebook and join the many clubs hosting pages to get advice from well-established clubs for meeting agendas and speakers. Once you establish the club, you elect officers. When a senior officer graduates, the club’s leadership transfers to the president elect and the new officers; thus the club grows with each successive season and from contributions from each year’s membership. Best of all, YOU are the founding president–now that’s something to talk about when you interview!
Here’s a link to information about starting a club written by a student who did so: Full Guide for Starting a Pre-Optometry Club
ASCO’s list of pre-optometry clubs across the country: Find a Pre-optometry Club on Your Campus
Want to register your pre-optometry club with ASCO’s national registry: Register Your New Club
Here’s what ASCO (Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry–aka, the Mother Ship!) says about the benefits of joining a pre-optometry club: More Benefits
Don’t be that embarrassed applicant in an interview, who after just stating why they love the optometry so much, when asked if they are a member of their club’s pre-optometry club, they have to admit that they are not. It’s a must!
Here’s the PDF flyer: Starting a Pre-Optometry Club