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Eryn Kraning, Senior Director of the Office of Admissions, SCCO

I have a confession to make… I never wanted to be an Optometrist. (Gasp.) I also never wanted to be a doctor, or a nurse, or anything else that might have to deal with blood or icky things. Why? Because if you show me a scab, or a picture of a “cool” injury, or even just tell me about something gruesome, I’ll pass out. Literally. It’s called a vasal vagal response, and it’s my cross to bear.

I knew I wasn’t cut out for healthcare pretty early on in life. In second grade I saw Paul McCarthy flip his eyelids inside out and I fainted on the playground, so I thought about other options. Teacher? Nope, not patient enough to handle a class all day long. Missionary? Nope, I hate bug bites. Airline Stewardess? Nope, don’t like lifting luggage. (As you can see, my thought process was extremely thorough.) I knew I wanted to help people, but with no clear career direction as I entered college, I went “undeclared” for as long as I possibly could, and threw myself into volunteer activities and community service. During my 4 years of undergrad, I volunteered at homeless shelters, tutored at juvenile detention camps, mentored teens, studied abroad in Italy, babysat, went on a mission trip to Amsterdam, ran a marathon, and worked about 5 different jobs, just to name a few. I walked away from Pepperdine University in 2006 with a Liberal Arts degree, a zillion fun stories, a bunch of student loans, and still no clue as to what I wanted to do with my life.

So I got on a boat. (Did she just say she got on a boat?) Affirmative. One day while visiting a boat show with my dad I was approached about the possibility of being a stewardess on yachts. I had no idea what that meant, but as soon as I heard the boat was going to Costa Rica, I signed on the dotted line and was gone. For the next 18 months, I lived and worked aboard the Motor Yacht Sojourn, catering to wealthy clients as we explored Costa Rica, Mexico, Canada, Alaska, the Panama Canal, Florida and the Bahamas. My Jack-of-all-Trades degree came in handy as I found myself coordinating itineraries, planning events, driving a 130’ boat, cooking for guests and crew and dealing with some of the most interesting people I’ve ever met. The experience was amazing, but it just delayed the inevitable. I got back on land and still had no idea what I wanted to do. Default to Eryn-mode… I volunteered again, this time for a church. I bounced from high school ministry working with teens to the missions department working with people all over the world. I also went to grad school for half a year, started my own wedding coordination business, and got certified to be a personal trainer. With interests in helping others, coordinating events, leading my peers and working with young people, I’d narrowed down my passions to something in education, specifically Admissions.

My resume was quite “colorful” by the time I joined the SCCO Admissions Department. Turns out, colorful was just what they were looking for. Some people (aka my parents) call my journey “random.” I would rather think it as the perfect training for my job here as the Director of Admissions at SCCO. I love what I do, because I love helping people. In all the occupations and experiences that have led me this far, I’ve been blessed to work alongside and encourage people from all walks of life. Now I get to walk alongside you. I love working with sharp students who want to make a difference in the world and do something I cannot- work on the frontline of healthcare. I’m honored to advise you on how to be a competitive applicant, or to give you a campus tour, or strategize on how to raise your GPA, but as a “Vasal Vagaler,” I leave the health care providing to you.

What Makes A Competitive Applicant for SCCO’s Optometry Program

As SCCO Admissions, we have reviewed thousands of applications and have developed expectations for essential elements that we look for in competitive applicants—those who will qualify to advance in SCCO’s admissions process. The most fundamental explanation of SCCO’s admissions process is that it has two serial qualifying rounds.  […]

Financial Aid 101: Making Sense of the Cost of an Optometric Education

As an admissions officer, I consult with many who are justifiably concerned with the potential costs of an optometric education. Most pre-optometry students research programs’ websites and use the fee for tuition as the key indicator and thus the cost basis for comparison. This is a mistake.  Annual tuition cannot be […]