Student Ambassador Blog Articles

Optometry is a Flexible Career with So Many Options by SCCO Student Ambassador, Michelle De Los Reyes

A series of articles written by SCCO Student Ambassadors, here is Michelle De Los Reyes. To learn more about Michelle, where she is from, and why she chose SCCO, find her bio here listed alphabetically.

Why I Chose Optometry, a Flexible Career Path with So Many Options

By SCCO Student Ambassador, Michelle De Los Reyes

De Los Reyes_Michelle (1)I always was in love with the idea of optometry.  I loved the idea of seeing  patients day to day.  Though when I look back on my first thoughts about becoming an optometrist,  I never knew how diverse the field truly is. 

During undergrad, I was fortunate to get involved in a vision science research lab. We studied amblyopia in adults,  a condition where the eye becomes “lazy” by not alligning with the other eye, making true binocular vision impossible.  In this lab, we attempted therapeutic treatments for these adults, trying  to improve their stereo (3D) vision. I learned a lot while in that lab, such as creating my own trial lens glasses, playing with prisms, and even learned a bit of coding through MatLab. Also I learned about various eye disorders and basic terms that even helps me now in my first year as an optometry student. However, the most beneficial experience from this experience was solidifying the conviction that I wanted to chose optometry.

This research experience played a big role in my decision making process, and SCCO has so much to offer! The dual Masters in Vision Science program was a big factor for me. I loved the idea that I could get my OD as well as my MS at the same time, to really immerse myself in everything vision! I plan to one day become a professor, so SCCO’s program seemed tailored to me and for anyone who is interested in academia. Our professors here are so encouraging and really help you see the big picture when it comes to planning career goals. I love going to the fun one-on- one meetings with various faculty where I can ask the big questions like,  “How did you do it? How do I go into teaching as well?” Our professors are so willing to help us towards our specific career goals and go beyond just preparation for private practice optometry.

Optometry is such a diverse field and you have so much flexibility beyond graduation. Some optometrists actually never see patients in their day-to-day careers, but instead focus on academia, research, biotech, or even law! I think SCCO lays out all of our options helps student to reach their dreams! If you ever get bored in one field of optometry, there’s always a new avenue to pursue!

If you have any questions for me, feel free to contact me at michelledelosreyes.scco25@ketchum.edu

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