Berkeley Optometry Ambassadors (BOA)
BOA Biographies and Email Contacts
The Berkeley Optometry Ambassadors (BOA) work in conjunction with the Admissions & Student Affairs Office to provide prospective students with "real life" information regarding what it's like to be an Optometry student here at UC Berkeley. We are also your tour guides and class escorts for our Friday Visit Program. We encourage you to ask us questions via email and we will be happy to share with you our experiences and passion for Optometry at Cal. However, we ask for you to please respect the following guidelines: If you are seeking academic advising, please visit Ask An Advisor to schedule an advising session via phone or in person. Additionally, as we are all full-time students, please be sensitive to our time constraints and refrain from sending the same question(s) to all of us. So that we can have a meaningful exchange, we encourage you to read our bios and pick one of us as your main point of contact. Thanks for your understanding!
I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, and my family relocated to northern Indiana in the middle of high school. I attended the University of Notre Dame for my undergrad degree, where I majored in both Science Pre-Professional (a fancy way of saying "pre-med") and Japanese. Although I had always known that I liked to care for people, I never really considered pursuing a medical degree because of the highly intensive and extremely long process. I also didn't want to have my job keep me perpetually stressed, work strange hours, and constantly be on-call. I wanted a more normal lifestyle, one where I could have a family and social life outside the confines of work, which is where Optometry entered the picture. After discovering that optometry school was a different entity entirely from medical school, this revolutionized the way I looked at the allied health professions. I looked at similar programs such as dentistry and veterinary medicine, but I came to the conclusion that my main interest remained the care of one's vision. Coming from the Midwest, I was specifically targeting optometry schools in California because I wanted to keep up and improve on my Japanese, which would be next to impossible elsewhere. I had targeted Berkeley from the beginning because of its academic prestige and lively atmosphere, and I loved seeing it even more in person. Being on a college campus was also very important to me, as opposed to being in a solitary building in a city. I also felt like a member of the family even during the interview process — I relish the feeling of a caring and close-knit community, and I felt that attitude from Berkeley at a capacity of roughly 150%. I hope to someday combine my two passions of optometry and Japanese, and I know Berkeley will lead me down that road better than anywhere else.
I have been a California native all of my life and grew up in Aptos, near Santa Cruz. After high to school, I became a Cal Bear at UC Berkeley, and majored in Molecular and Cellular Biology, with an emphasis in Neurobiology. Throughout college, I had a fuzzy idea of what I wanted to do. I knew I wanted to combine my interest in science with service to others, but I wasnt sure exactly how to do it. I considered a few different career paths in science, and then the summer before my senior year I stumbled upon optometry. The more I learned, the more I was excited about pursuing optometry as a career, and the more it seemed like the perfect combination of what I wanted to do. I attended Opto-Camp, joined Foresight Pre-Optometry Club, and attended the UC Berkeley Fall Conference, and these experiences really helped me finalize my decision. I knew optometry was the right career choice for me mostly because I could see myself being part of the amazing optometry community. I began working in a private practice and shadowed a few different modes of practice as well, and then I began the process of applying to optometry school. I chose Berkeley because of the amazing faculty, the outstanding clinical program, the awesome admissions staff, and especially the incredible students. Additionally, I love Berkeley and think it is a wonderful place to live and learn. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions! Go Bears!
Hi everyone! I was born and raised in Orlando, Florida and attended Georgia Tech in Atlanta for undergrad, majoring in Biomedical Engineering. Entering college, I had a mindset of pursuing a PhD so I worked in a tissue engineering lab for two years until I realized it wasnt my passion. It was around my junior year that I struggled with what I wanted to do for the rest of my life so I thought about what was most important to me: interaction with people. My interest in optometry grew after being exposed to it through a family friend and after working in several settings as a technician, I was able to confirm my purpose and reason for pursing optometry. In my opinion, Berkeley Optometry stood out from other schools that I applied to because they are completely centered on students. As one of the few out-of-staters, they were able to make me feel really comfortable on Interview Day and really gave me a sense of belonging. For that reason, there was not even a doubt in my mind that they would give me the best education that they possibly could. Please let me know if there are any questions I can answer for you, and feel free to contact me!
Linda S. Ly
Hello! I'm from Tracy, California, which I like to refer to as "Cow-town." I completed my undergraduate studies at California State University, East Bay. There I obtained a BS in Biological Sciences with a Cell and Molecular emphasis and a minor in Chemistry. I loved my time at CSUEB from being a photographer for the university newspaper to tutoring to discovering what my niche was in society. I believe that we are all individuals primarily because we have this ability to perceive through our sense of sight. Because of this, my life goals are to preserve this individuality by becoming an optometrist and to help those who are less fortunate in obtaining adequate vision care. I was inspired to bring together others who had the same goals and co-founded the first pre-optometry organization at CSUEB where our main focus was eyeglass drives. To gain more knowledge I worked, shadowed or volunteered at VA hospitals, a blind rehabilitation center, vision screenings, private practices, corporate practices, OMD/OD practices and university health clinics. I even interned at a company that manufactures and develops ophthalmic products that optometry offices commonly use to "pre-test". At each location I had a feeling that my life would be extremely fulfilling by being able to work with my patients on an individual basis to improve their vision. I chose Berkeley because of the quality of research, its clinical and academic reputation, and the fact that it is a small program that is part of a larger university. On my free time, I'll definitely be taking advantage of what the large campus and the city of Berkeley has to offer such as gyms, numerous libraries, restaurants and great hiking trails. I'm also a huge foodie, so if you ever hang out with me you will be sure to gain some pounds! I'd love to help out in any way, so feel free to ask me any questions!
I graduated from UC Davis with a major in Biological Sciences, emphasizing in Neurobiology. During undergrad, I ventured into the field of eye care, volunteering at a local optometrist's office. I was exposed to the wide array of diagnostic equipment and learned about different eye conditions, such as keratoconus. The doctor I shadowed also consulted with and referred patients to retinal specialists. Through this experience, I realized the important role of an optometrist as the primary eye care provider. Soon after, I took a neurobiology class on vision and the brain where I became fascinated with the complexity of vision, further igniting my interest in optometry. During my third undergrad year, I got involved with Unite For Sight and its mission to end preventable blindness. Volunteering locally and abroad with UFS helped me recognize the importance of vision as a basic need and my love for working with people. All these experiences together led me to pursue optometry as a career. I chose Berkeley Optometry due to the program's early exposure to clinic and the supportive, collaborative atmosphere. If you have any questions, I am more than happy to answer them!
I was born and raised in San Jose, CA. I love music, exercise, food, and the Bay Area! My optometry discovery began in high school when three of my family members experienced ocular problems. These conditions demonstrated to me the importance of proper health and routine eye exams. I became fascinated with optometry and immersed myself in the field. I had never worn glasses before so I had a lot to learn! I graduated from UC Berkeley with a BA in Integrative Biology. In undergrad I marched with the Cal Marching Band and served as a member of Berkeley's pre-optometry club, Foresight. At Berkeley and during a year off, I gained experience in optometry through shadowing, volunteering, and working. The optometry community is the perfect fit for me and vice versa. Every optometry experience brings a smile to my face, reminding me that I know where I belong. I chose to attend Berkeley Optometry because I was convinced that their well-rounded program, early exposure to clinic, and accessible faculty would provide me with a fantastic education and a fulfilling student life. As a future optometrist, I look forward to educating the community about maintaining healthy eyes and bodies, thereby helping them improve their quality of life. Feel free to email me about taking a year off or anything! Go Bears!
Hello! My name is Glen and I was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta all the way up in Canada. I completed my undergraduate studies at the University of Calgary, with a major in Biological Sciences. I was initially unsure of what career I wanted; however, volunteering in a hospital and research experience at my university directed my interests towards the sciences, especially the healthcare field. I was also fortunate enough to obtain a part-time position as an optometric technician in a busy optometrists office. After exploring the field further, I decided that optometry was the right career for me. There were many aspects of the profession that appealed to me. Certain ones that stood out were the significant differences you would make in peoples lives as well as the intellectual challenge. Optometry also affords various volunteer humanitarian opportunities in addition to a wide range of career options. The decision to enroll in a school of optometry in the United States was not an easy one. UC Berkeley, however, stood out in its clinical excellence, research reputation, genuine staff and most importantly, its students. What also drew me to Cal was the campus environment and the surrounding area. The Bay Area also deserves a mention as well, with its bright and warm weather, international culture and welcoming people. I truly believe that this is one of the best decisions I've made for my career. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me. I hope I can answer any questions you might have with Berkeley Optometry!
Greetings! I was born and raised in Germany. At the age of twelve, I was plunged headlong into the Californian way of life when I moved to Ventura County. I attended the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) majoring in Neuroscience & Behavior. During my studies at UCSC, I gained valuable research experience while working in an environmental toxicology laboratory. Several neuroscience classes first peaked my interest in optical illusions and perception tests. While my interest in the nervous system has endured, it was not until after graduation that my enthusiasm for optometry developed when shadowing various optometrists and an ophthalmologist. After observing patients eyes under a slit lamp, I was sold! I realized that the technical aspects of the profession and the extensive one-on-one patient interaction was rewarding and fitting for me. Berkeley Optometry not only offers an optometry program of academic and clinical excellence, but also provides unique patient-based research opportunities. The sense of community between students and faculty members was immediately apparent when I visited on Friday Visitation Day and on Admit Day. I feel fortunate to be a part of Berkeley Optometry and would gladly share my experiences with you. If you have any questions concerning the program, life in Berkeley, or any other matters, feel free to email me.
I grew up in Valencia, California and completed my undergraduate studies at UC San Diego with a major in Human Biology. As an undergrad I was still unsure of what career I would choose for the future, so I really took the time exploring my options. I wanted a career that was interesting, challenging, and rewarding at the same time. I also wanted to be able to continue my hobbies, such as music and sports, and still have time to spend with family. I realized that Optometry was exactly what I was looking for! During my third year as an undergrad I started to shadow optometrists at private and hospital settings and was truly fascinated by it all. So I decided to pursue optometry and apply to optometry school. UCB stood out to me because of its clinical excellence, outstanding faculty/staff, and incredible students. Everyone here really caring, hardworking, and devoted to optometry. I have already learned so much as a first-year and I've truly enjoyed my time here so far. Feel free to contact me with any questions, I would be more than happy to help!
I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, but I spent my last four years in San Diego studying physiology, neuroscience, and economics at the University of California, San Diego. While in San Diego doing my undergrad work, I changed my major five times until I came across the sciences, and I realized I found something I was good at, and it was enjoyable! While at San Diego, I was actively involved with volunteer work, research, a sorority, and the beach,I untimely chose optometry as my career path because of the impact it has made on mine and my families lives: both my brothers and I have worn glasses since we were young, and my father had been diagnosed with macular degeneration. Choosing Berkeley Optometry to pursue my career was an easy one. Berkeley Optometry faculty, staff, and students are so friendly and welcoming; everyone I met wanted to see me succeed. The cultural diversity of the Bay Area, the clinical experience I will receive here, and of course the school spirit were also a huge draw for me. In my free time, I like to dance, work out, go to the beach, and shop! If you have questions about anything, email me! I am more than happy to help!
Hi! My name is Charmine and I am from San Diego, CA. I graduated from UC San Diego with a BS in Human Biology and a minor in Linguistics. During my first two years of undergrad, I did not have a clear idea of what I wanted to do as a career. I knew that I wanted a fulfilling career that will utilize my science degree and apply it to helping others. Enter: UCSD's Insight Pre-Optometry Club. During my first meeting, I learned so many fascinating things about optometry, and started then to seriously consider optometry as a career path. As an undergraduate teacher's assistant and biochemistry tutor, I enjoyed teaching my students, and as a prospective optometrist, I look forward to educating my patients about their eyes and systemic health as well. I solidified my interest in optometry through interning and shadowing optometrists from different modes of practice, and visiting schools in New York, Boston, and those in California. What especially stood out for me about Berkeley Optometry was the strong sense of community and collaboration. It was here that I discovered that students, staff, and faculty all worked together in an environment that is nourishing, encouraging, and challenging. Now in my first year, I am excited to learn more about this profession and encourage you to do the same! Please feel free to email me with any questions. I am more than happy to help!
Hi! I'm Patty and I grew up in Sacramento, CA, but went to sunny San Diego to study Biochemistry and Cell Biology at UCSD. My interest in optometry began when I was in the third grade, I was rapidly getting more nearsighted every year and my optometrist prescribed me hard contact lenses. As a little kid, I loved my contacts and being able to run around and play on the playground without glasses on my face. I knew I wanted to help people feel like their life was better, just like how my optometrist helped me. In college, I worked as an optician and was able to interact with patients and see firsthand the doctor-patient relationship. I was excited at the thought of being an optometrist, and my choice for optometry school was confirmed. Berkeley Optometry is a great program because on day one, you start training in pre-clinic, and it makes learning in the classroom relevant to what you will actually be doing in a practice! Also, the faculty and optometry staff truly care for their students, and really do all they can to teach and push us to be the best doctors we can be. I would be happy to answer any questions that you have, so please email me!
I was born in Portland, Oregon, but have spent most of my life just outside of Portland in Vancouver, Washington. During my undergrad years I attended Stanford University, where I majored in Biology and Asian American Studies. Pursuing such varied interests while in college helped me to realize the range of characteristics I was looking for in a future career: engagement in science and research, ample opportunities to interact with people while impacting their lives in a tangible, positive way, and enough flexibility so that I could find fulfillment in my career as well as in other areas of my life. I had considered optometry in the back of my mind since I began doing research at Devers Eye Institute in Portland, Oregon after my freshman year in college, but it was not until I started shadowing several optometrists that I decided optometry was the ideal profession for me. I hope to be able to help people like my father, who was diagnosed with glaucoma at a relatively young age and has shown me just how precious the gift of sight is. I chose to attend Berkeley because of the great clinical and research-based education I knew I would receive here, and because of the pride and enthusiasm that Berkeley Optometry students and faculty unfailingly show for their school and their profession. I am so excited to be at Berkeley Optometry, and I look forward to helping you with any questions you may have, regardless of where you are in the process of deciding to pursue optometry!
I grew up mostly in Arizona (and a little in Texas and Canada), and I'm happy to call Berkeley my home now. When I entered college, I hadn't even considered optometry as a career option since I'd never had regular appointments and my exposure to the field was limited to dissecting sheep eyeballs in middle school. I was lucky to walk through Minor Hall many times as an undergraduate as I considered career possibilities. These glimpses encouraged me to learn more, and after researching the field online, I signed up for an optometry seminar and a vision and science course. I joined a lab in Minor Hall to explore the research aspect of the field, and shadowed several doctors to experience different clinics. Shadowing pushed me to pursue a more active role working in an optometry clinic for a summer, and I also joined a service group to provide vision screenings to the community. The more I immersed myself, the more convinced I grew that optometry was the field for me. I've really enjoyed clinical work for the patient interactions, and I enjoy research for the opportunities to ask and answer questions. I'm considering going into clinical research so I can live in both worlds, and I feel that Berkeley provides fantastic clinical experience as well as many research opportunities. Feel free to ask any questions and I look forward to seeing you in pre-clinic!
Hello! I grew up in the Bay Area and graduated from UC San Diego with a major in General Biology and a minor in Psychology. I was always particularly interested in the health sciences, but I didn't know that I wanted to pursue optometry until the end of my third year in college. After shadowing a nearby optometrist for the first time, I knew it was a career I could see myself doing. I really like the doctor-patient interaction and the primary care aspect in optometry. With an interest in optometry, I did as much as I could to learn more. I joined the pre-optometry club, Insight, attended Fall Conference and open houses at various optometry schools, and shadowed and interned in different optometry settings. I took a year off before applying for optometry schools so I could gain more experience. I worked at the Meredith Morgan Eye Center during my year off and was able to familiarize myself more with optometry. I kept an open mind in choosing schools and still decided that Berkeley Optometry is the best because of its strong clinical experience, academics, and great faculty, staff, and students. I am so excited to be at Berkeley Optometry! Please feel free to email me with any questions!
Hey everyone! Let me share with you a bit about myself. I was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. I went to Queen's University, where I graduated with a Major in Life Sciences. At the beginning, I knew I wanted to work in the healthcare sector, but was unsure of what area. I was fortunate enough to be able to experience the different healthcare environments throughout my academic career. From my experiences, I was able to understand the different healthcare professions and myself a lot better. My heart had finally settled on optometry. I realized I enjoyed the business aspect of having your own practice along with the medical side of seeing patients everyday. In my second year summer, I took my OAT and began to look at optometry schools. I was initially hesitant to apply to Berkeley because I was unsure if they admitted international students into their program. It was only until I emailed them and came for Opto-Camp did I realize the opportunities that lied in store for me here. From then on, I was set on attending Berkeley and haven't looked back ever since. So please feel free to email me with any questions or concerns you may have with the admission process and about our school. I look forward to meeting you in person!
Hi! My name is Amelia and I grew up in Orinda, a small city fifteen minutes away from Berkeley. I went to UC Davis where I got a degree in Exercise Biology. When I was younger my sister's vision was changing so rapidly her optometrist thought she would be blind by the age of sixteen. Luckily, her nearsightedness slowed down and stabilized, but this occurrence sparked my interest in optometry. I initially didn't know what this profession entailed; however, during my third and fourth years at UC Davis I started shadowing a couple optometrists and got a better understanding of the field. Due to my positive experiences shadowing, I began looking at different optometry programs. I attended events at UCB such as the Fall Conference and Opto-Camp. One thing that caught my attention about the program was the immediate exposure to eye related subjects, which showed Berkeley Optometry's level of devotion to preparing its students for success as future optometrists. In addition, talking to current students and hearing about their positive experiences with peers and professors solidified my interest in Berkeley Optometry. If you have any questions, feel free to email me!
Hi! My name is Lindsey and I grew up in Fremont, CA. I graduated from UC Berkeley, majoring in Integrative Biology. I came into Berkeley knowing that I wanted to pursue a career in the health sciences, but was unsure of which field I wanted to go into. I always had a good relationship with my optometrist, so I asked if I could shadow her. After shadowing her for 3 weeks during winter break, I was confident that I wanted to pursue optometry as a health profession. Besides improving my quality of life by prescribing me ortho-k lenses, I observed how she had such a great impact on several people's lives, and I knew that I wanted to do the same. I took several optometry-related classes at Berkeley, became a member of Foresight Pre-Optometry Club, and volunteered at the Binocular Vision clinic in Berkeley's Eye Center. Each experience made me more confident of my decision to become an optometrist. I chose Berkeley Optometry because of its excellent clinical program, personable and accessible faculty, great students, and of course, my memorable experience as an undergrad at Berkeley. I received a lot of help and support during this process- I'd be more than happy to do the same for you! Feel free to contact me with any questions, and look forward to meeting you!
I was born and raised in southern CA. After graduating from UC Berkeley with a Bachelor's degree in Psychology, I decided to live and work abroad in Taiwan for a few years before returning to the states. My trip abroad was a life-changing event that added depth to my limited worldview and experiences; eventually, it also helped me in my preparation by adding diversity to my life. After returning to southern CA, while working at my last job, I met my optometrist who inspired me to this career path. She graduated from Berkeley Optometry and after talking to her and learning more about optometry, I couldn't stop thinking about it! I had always been interested in the field from childhood experiences, and I had also taken a vision science seminar while at UC Berkeley, but I had never seriously considered pursuing the field until then. Thus shortly afterwards, I began my rigorous preparation for optometry school by becoming a student again to fulfill the many prerequisites for admissions. I also had a chance to gain exposure to the field by shadowing, talking to different optometrists, and volunteering or working at different practices. In the end, I chose Berkeley again because of the school's history and caring community, academic excellence, top faculty, enthusiastic staff, and unforgettable experiences as an undergraduate. My path towards optometry has been rather atypical, so I would be happy to answer questions or share my thoughts with you from the perspective of a non-traditional student!
I was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii. I attended Linfield College, a small private institution in McMinnville, Oregon, where I majored in Chemistry and minored in Biology/Math. Through experiences as a chemistry TA/tutor and studying abroad in Chile and New Zealand, I grew to love education, travel, and connecting with people from all walks of life, so I knew a career in a helping profession would be a good fit. In addition, I was fascinated with vision since I started wearing contacts at a young age. I worked as a technician for my family's optometrist after my junior year of college and enjoyed it. After graduating, I took time off to gain real world experience and further explore careers. This time off was truly invaluable. It helped me discover optometry would be the perfect fit, bringing together my interest in vision, knack for detail, passion for helping people, and desire for lifelong learning. I also interviewed at schools in Oregon and New York, but ultimately chose Berkeley because it stood out in every aspect! Berkeley was not only strong academically and clinically, but also offered a well-rounded experience where I could keep up hobbies such as playing basketball and going to concerts! I was drawn to the diversity of the Bay Area and the fun, caring people I met in the program. I would love to share my experiences about taking time off from school, coming from out of state, or any other questions you have! Feel free to contact me!
Hi there! My name is Raj and I'd love to talk to you about Berkeley Optometry! I grew up in the small town, Tracy, CA, and after seeing my optometrist year after year, there my interest in Optometry began to increase. What drew me to this field is that when I started becoming myopic, I realized how important vision is to quality of life and I wanted to do something in which I could impact someone's life every time they came to me. And Optometry fits that description perfectly! I attended UC Berkeley as an undergraduate and majored in Public Health. The sciences have always fascinated me and I wanted a career where I could join my love for science with my desire to help others. During my undergrad years I decided to make sure Optometry was the right career for me by shadowing optometrists, participating in Berkeley's Pre-Optometry Club, Foresight, and by working in an optometry research lab for two and half years. After seeing this profession as a group of people working towards a similar goal (providing amazing eye care), I decided this is a profession I wanted to be a part of. Once I visited a few schools, choosing Berkeley Optometry was an easy decision for me. The caring faculty, helpful staff, and the welcoming student body make it feel as if they're here to make sure you become an amazing doctor, and that is the main thing I wanted from a school. As a Berkeley Optometry Ambassador I hope to hear from you and to answer any questions you may have. Feel free to email me any time! Go bears!
Hello! I'm Janet and I grew up in Simi Valley, CA which is in SoCal. I attended Cal as an undergrad and graduated with a Molecular and Cell Biology major with an emphasis in Cell & Developmental Biology. I actually didn't decide on going into the optometry field until the summer before my senior year. I got interested in vision science when I volunteered in a summer program that taught third-graders about the different parts of the eye and dissected a cow's eyeball together. In my senior year, I took an optometry seminar and shadowed an optometrist at Kaiser. As I observed the various health conditions an optometrist looks for and the kind of care an optometrist provides for the patients, I realized how much I had taken optometrists and my eye health for granted. Working at an optometry office during my year off and seeing about the level of care optometrists can provide helped solidify my decision to become an optometrist. I chose Berkeley Optometry because I was attracted to the strong sense of community among the faculty, staff, and students and because of the various clinical opportunities that are available to the students. I'm excited to start my first year as an optometry student and I will be glad to get to know you and answer any questions you may have!
I am from Fort Collins, CO and received my undergraduate degree in Anthropology from the University of Colorado at Boulder (CU). I chose optometry after watching my younger brother struggle in school due to poor eye muscle coordination and then witnessing the positive, life-changing impact of Vision Therapy on his academics. His experiences in Vision Therapy, and later mine, encouraged me to pursue optometry as well as shadowing numerous optometrists and working as a technician and optician. After working in an office and having firsthand relationships with doctors and patients, I was hooked! My senior year, I was the President of CU's Optometry Club and organized the visit of Berkeley faculty to my campus. I chose Berkeley after attending Opto-Camp and meeting the wonderful admissions staff, approachable faculty, and enthusiastic students. I left Opto-Camp feeling like everyone wanted me to succeed. Berkeley Optometry is a great program because you are in the pre-clinic from day one and in the clinic getting valuable firsthand experience earlier than many other programs. Making the decision to leave Colorado and attend Berkeley would not have been possible if I hadn't felt complete confidence in my decision. Please email me with questions!
Hi all! I come from the beautiful emerald city of Seattle, WA! During undergrad at the University of Washington, I was very involved in research. My degrees in neurobiology and molecular, cellular, and developmental biology allowed me to take several interesting science courses that fueled my scientific interests. I always knew that I would be in health care, but I thought it would be from an applied science perspective. However, during my junior year, I had the opportunity to tutor students as well as volunteer at the UW Medical Center. These activities showed me that I have a passion for helping people on a daily basis. I then expanded my career gaze to health professions and found optometry. As I learned more and more about optometry, I became convinced that it is the ideal career for me. Not only do optometrists help people on a daily basis and develop a rapport with patients with each interaction, they also have the option to pursue research. Berkeley was my fifth and final interview because I was sold after Interview Day. I was attracted to Berkeley's clinical and academic prestige, research reputation, and location in the Bay. Perhaps most importantly, however, was the fact that I felt most at home at Berkeley Optometry than any other optometry school that I interviewed at. The administrative staff and students here are like one big, supportive family. Please let me know if I can answer any of your questions; I'd be happy to answer them!
I was born and raised in the Bay Area and completed my undergraduate education at UC San Diego. I became interested in optometry rather early--my junior year of high school. This combined with finding the pre-optometry club by accident during my first week of college was a serendipitous sign of good things to come. I had the pleasure of gaining valuable leadership experience and friendships through the pre-optometry organization. In choosing optometry, I knew I wanted a career that allowed me continuous learning and exploration. With optometry having such a diverse array of specialties, the opportunities are endless! My devotion to the organization and my work experience affirmed my choice in a career that I knew would be a great fit. During the instances I visited Berkeley Optometry, it was hard not to notice the camaraderie and support fostered by faculty, staff, and students. Their enthusiasm in giving advice and testimony combined with the faculty and staff's genuine care for their students shined and affirmed my desire to choose Berkeley Optometry as my place of education. Having experienced that their positive attitude, personalities, and values align with mine, I couldn't imagine being anywhere else!
My name is Gina Siri. I was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, but moved to Chico, CA during high school. As an undergraduate, I studied psychology at UC Davis. I was introduced to the optometry profession at the age of ten when I first started wearing glasses. However, it wasn't until my junior year in college when I first considered optometry as the profession for me. I prepared for admissions by getting involved with whatever extracurricular activities I could. I became a member of the Foresight Club on campus, coordinator of Prevent Blindness and I assisted with research at the Vision Science and Advanced Retinal Imaging Lab at the UC Davis Medical Center. I chose to attend Berkeley Optometry because of the collaborative learning environment, high academic and clinical standards, as well as the close-knit family feel. The students, staff and faculty are among some of the smartest, engaging and passionate people I have ever met. Not to mention the city of Berkeley has so much to offer with its diversity of people, foods and activities. I love being apart of the Berkeley Optometry family, and I would love to share my experiences with you. Please feel free to contact me with any questions.
Hello! My name is Susan and I am from Irvine, CA. My interest in optometry developed during my time at UC San Diego, where I completed a BS in Human Biology. Although I had wanted to become a veterinarian since childhood, I could feel my interests shifting elsewhere as I seriously considered my future career. I was initially attracted to veterinary medicine because of its challenging and rewarding qualities. However, after working as a kennel assistant and shadowing veterinarians, I realized that while I enjoy the one-on-one interaction with patients, I do not want to work in an environment in which emotionally taxing circumstances and emergencies are the norm. As I began to explore other professions, both in and out of the health care industry, I found myself particularly drawn to optometry due to its diverse career opportunities and its positive impacts on individuals and communities alike. To gain more insight into the field I interned, shadowed, or worked at a vision therapist's office, various private practices and a commercial practice. I also volunteered at the Orange County Braille Institute, where I taught music appreciation to the friendliest group of visually impaired individuals. Choosing Berkeley Optometry was an easy decision. It offers the most well rounded program in clinical exposure and research and the most enthusiastic and supportive collection of faculty and peers. I have no doubt that I made the right choice! Please feel free to email me with any questions!
Hey, I'm Kevin and I am originally from Rancho Cucamonga, CA, but I moved to Tucson, Arizona when I was 5. For undergrad, I attended the University of Arizona and majored in physiology with a minor in business. Entering college, I wasn't sure what I wanted to do in life so I started in engineering because that seemed to be a safe choice and it was what my dad and a lot of my relatives had done. Throughout the course of my first year, I realized engineering wasn't for me because I wanted something where I could interact with different people on a daily basis. I stumbled upon optometry and decided to start shadowing and volunteering in different settings. I fell in love with the profession and decided to pursue it. Initially, Berkeley Optometry was not my first choice. As I had received an admissions offer to another program, I had planned not to attend the interview extended by Berkeley Optometry, but something changed my mind, and I decided to go anyway. It was a good thing because, starting at the Interview Day, I began to really like Berkeley Optometry. The community that the students and faculty share is incredible, the campus is gorgeous, and the things I loved about attending a big university like the U of A are still present here. Needless to say, I decided on Berkeley Optometry and couldn't be happier! Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions!
Hi everyone! I emigrated from Vietnam at the age of 9, and grew up in San Jose, California. I completed my undergraduate studies at UC Berkeley and majored in Molecular and Cell Biology. Throughout high school, I gained a good impression of the field of optometry through my annual eye exams. I realized that optometry is a flexible, interactive and rewarding career choice. During undergrad, I began to explore the field further by joining Cal's Foresight Pre-Optometry Club. Foresight provided me with many resources related to the field, and was a portal for networking with my future optometry classmates and colleagues. Having an optometry school right on campus was definitely an advantage! I had the opportunity to learn about the clinical aspect by shadowing a first-year optometry student, and learned more about Berkeley Optometry by attending the Fall Conference co-hosted by Berkeley Optometry and Foresight. I also took a freshmen vision seminar, which offered me a perspective on the complexity of our eyes! Finally, my misconceptions of the field disbanded when I volunteered as a retinal photographer for EyePACS, Berkeley Optometry's telemedicine program, which allowed me to interact with patients directly, and broadened my scope on not only optometry, but also the need for healthcare in underserved communities. In addition, I learned of the business side of the profession by working at a private practice. My love for the profession was deepened by the strong sense of community I discovered among the students, faculty and staff at Berkeley Optometry. Feel free to contact me with any questions; I look forward to helping you out! GO BEARS!
Hello, Prospective Colleague! I grew up in the Bay Area. I love baking, eating my baked goods, and dancing those calories away. I graduated from UC Berkeley where I majored in Molecular and Cell Biology. One of my professors once said, "People find out what they don't like about the world, and grow up to fix what they don't like." I didn't like it that without my glasses I could barely see a foot in front of me, or that my diabetic father could go blind due to his condition, and because of this I knew I would go into healthcare. In my undergraduate studies I was still unsure of which field to go into, until I developed severe dry eye issues in my second year. I had to see many doctors, including the ones from the Berkeley Optometry clinic. Learning from the optometrists about how to care for my eyes and help them heal made me very interested in the science of the eye. This led me to join the pre-optometry club, Foresight. After graduating I took a year off and worked and shadowed in various optometry offices in the Bay Area where I gained experience and solidified my decision to go into optometry. I learned that optometry is not only about learning the science, but also that it is about being a part of the community. Being in a community is the largest reason why I chose Berkeley Optometry. I have a family here. I can't wait to further get to know my classmates and the awesome faculty. If you have any questions about applying, taking a year off, shadowing, baking, or anything, please ask!
Today, I can honestly say that I am very fortunate and proud to be a member of Berkeley Optometry. However, I did not initially feel this way. I have been a California girl all my life, with the exception of several earlier years spent in Thailand and a precious summer abroad in Japan. Though I love California, the possibility of attending optometry school in a complete different state was undeniably enticing. Interviewing in the Midwest and East Coast allowed me to explore the differences in social atmosphere and academia at each school. I had almost given up on Berkeley when I received my interview, and I was shocked by how impressed I was with the experience. After prioritizing my values, I found that Berkeley was unrivalled in their quality of education, extracurricular resources, affordability, rich student life, and research opportunities. But most of all, I had an unmistakable feeling that I was genuinely valued as a student and contributor at Berkeley. My commitment to becoming the best optometrist I can be was matched and reinforced by the school even before I accepted my seat in the class of 2015, and I cannot imagine myself at any other institution. Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns about the whole process. I'm more than happy to have an honest discussion of all your options as well as share the advice I received from my family and mentors throughout my application, interview, and decision-making process.
Hi! I grew up in San Gabriel Valley in Los Angeles. I had always been interested in biology, and while attending UC Riverside for my first two years of college, I decided to go into the health field. At first I wasn't sure whether I wanted to go into pharmacy, dentistry, medicine, nursing, or optometry so I joined a hospital internship called Clinical Care Extenders. That experience along with shadowing optometrists, dentists, and other hospital volunteer experiences allowed me to conclude that optometry was right for me. To me, there is no other profession that offers the diversity, interest of subject, life style, and growth that optometry does. I later transferred to UC San Diego to finish my undergrad degree. There I participated in health clubs and shadowing experiences such as vision therapy that allowed me to learn even more about the profession. After I applied to grad school and was offered an interview at Berkeley, I was very impressed by the beauty and environment of the campus and the surrounding community. During our interviews when we were given tours of the facility and the opportunity to dine with professors in an exquisite restaurant environment, I knew that this was a school that really catered towards its students' interests and needs. This gave me confidence that I had selected the right school for my optometry education.
Hi! I chose Berkeley Optometry because I'm really interested in the field of optometry, working with patients on daily basis and getting to be a point person for their physical health. I guess you would call me a "non-traditional student," having spent three years out of college in the working world. I don't regret taking this route because it allowed me to learn how to relate to people from all walks of life, got me out of the "college bubble" for a while before going back to school, and gave me time to really think about what career path I want to take. The field of optometry fascinates me and the instructors I have met here are so down-to-earth and relatable, and knowledgable in their field of expertise. Preparing for admission was a rigorous process: studying for the OAT, gaining experience in an optometry clinic, etc. But it all helped to solidify my decision to go into optometry and gave me a lot of experiences and lessons to take away that I'll never forget.
Hello! My name is Krystal and I am originally from Toronto, ON, Canada, but grew up mainly in Phoenix, Arizona. I took my undergraduate studies at the University of Arizona, where I majored in Biology and minored in Chinese and Chemistry. Since my aunt is an optometrist and I’ve worn glasses since I was young, I joined the pre-optometry club during my freshman year to learn more. After shadowing or working in a few practices, I realized optometry was rewarding, diverse, and something I definitely wanted to do. To me, being able to help people see clearly everyday and monitor such an essential system as vision is unmatched! After a great experience at Opto-Camp, Berkeley became my first choice because of the distinct close-knit feel. The enthusiasm and passion that I witnessed spoke volumes about the community between the students, staff, and faculty. The beautiful campus and Bay Area was also a major draw! In addition to a great, recognized academic and clinical program, everyone is incredibly supportive of your journey to become an optometrist starting from your first step into Minor Hall. I would be happy to talk with you about my experiences/interests or any questions you have on optometry, Berkeley, and applying, so don’t hesitate to email me!
Hello! My name is Jessica, and I am from Seattle, where I attended the University of Washington (UW). My involvement in lab research and tutoring led me to realize how much I value constant learning and serving others. However, I did not realize my values could be epitomized in a profession until I joined Unite For Sight, UW Chapter. Unite For Sight taught me to promote eye health awareness and access to eye care in my local community, and I became captivated by this ideal. I had never realized how much eye health can be overlooked, and how improving eye health could have such a long-term positive impact on others. I became inspired to use my scientific knowledge and tutoring background to pursue optometry, so I can educate patients about preventative eye care. My commitment led me to co-found VISIONEYES Pre-Optometry Club at the UW. As President, I was able to network with optometrists and learn about the true scope of the profession. All of these experiences allowed me to develop the skills needed to pursue optometry as well as the personal understanding of what this profession means to me. I then had the confidence to apply to optometry schools. I was most impressed by Berkeley Optometry: its high professional and academic standards and the support its students receive from both the staff and their peers are unparalleled. I am thrilled to be attending UC Berkeley School of Optometry and look forward to sharing my passion and enthusiasm with you!
Hello there! I am from Seattle, Washington, and I received my undergraduate education at the University of Washington (UW) with a major in chemical engineering and a minor in chemistry. I have been seeing an optometrist since the early years of elementary school, which stirred my interest in eyes. In my early undergraduate years, I was unsure in what I really wanted to do as a career, so I decided to explore different routes pertaining to eyes that seemed interesting, mainly medical school and biotechnology research. After exploring both routes, neither of them really sparked my interest. Then during an annual eye exam, I noticed the optometrist’s diploma on the wall said, “University of California, Berkeley,” causing my curiosity about the school, which transitioned into a conversation about optometry. After conversing with and shadowing more optometrists, my interest in the broad and dynamic field of optometry significantly increased to a point that caused me to make it my profession. I joined the UW Unite for Sight chapter and the newly formed UW Visioneyes Pre-Optometry club and had leadership positions. I was highly involved in networking with practicing optometrists, optometry students, and school representatives. They helped me determine which school I would want to attend, and Berkeley was at the top on my list of two. During Interview Day, I felt comfortable, at home, and connected to everyone at Berkeley. Throughout these years I asked a lot of questions, so if you have any questions, I am happy to answer them!
I took a somewhat longer and non-traditional path toward optometry school. I was a sociology major in undergrad and did not enter optometry school until age 26. It took me longer to realize my passion for this field, but the experiences that I had along the way will all contribute to making me a better doctor. Originally from Indiana, I went away to college at Wake Forest University in North Carolina, and then moved to Houston, Texas after graduating with a degree in sociology. I taught elementary school with Teach For America in Houston before moving to Mexico for a year to teach English. That's about the time that I started piecing together my love for math, science, helping people, healthcare, and eyeballs (of course!). After Mexico, I moved back to Houston to take all the science pre-requisites for optometry school. Shadowing experiences and working in an optometry practice really helped me confirm that this was the right career for me. I spent a great deal of time exploring optometry schools, and in the end everything pointed to Berkeley. The unparalleled academic experience, early clinical exposure, and diverse patient base were important aspects for me. Beyond that, I am thrilled to be part of such a close-knit and supportive community of students, faculty, and staff. I know that my Berkeley experience will be lifelong, not just 4 years. After graduating, I plan to work as an optometrist in the Navy for at least four years since I was accepted into their Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP).
I grew up in Dickinson, North Dakota and completed my undergraduate studies at Dickinson State University with a major in Professional Biology and minors in Leadership Studies and Chemistry. As an undergrad I had the opportunity to work under and shadow two Optometrists in my community which deepened my interest in Optometry. There I was able to learn the multiple facets of Optometry, including the responsibilities of a paraoptometric technician and an optician, as well as many of the business aspects of private practice. The field of Optometry offers opportunities not only to pursue my interests in health care, but allows me to build personal relationships with patients, provide preventative care and education, become involved with research, and serve my community. I chose to continue my education at UC Berkeley Optometry because of its academic and clinical excellence, collaborative and supportive Optometry community, and the wonderful faculty and admissions staff. I look forward to being a member of the Berkeley Optometry community and would be happy to answer any questions that you might have.
Nicolas Gonzalez III
Hi, my name is Nick and I am from Covina, California (SoCal). I attended California State University, Fullerton for my undergraduate degree majoring in Biology. I had my first eye exam when I was 17. After seeing how much my optometrist enjoyed his job I decided to learn more about the profession. I was apprehensive about the idea of shadowing an optometrist, but when I finally did shadow, optometry proved to be something that I wanted to do as a career. Throughout undergrad I worked towards my goal of getting into an optometry school. Initially, I was overwhelmed by the amount of pre-requisites. However, I learned that the only way I could accomplish these tasks is to complete them one step at a time as opposed to trying to accomplish them all at once. If you have questions about shadowing, the OAT, extracurriculars or anything else I'll be glad to help! I chose UC Berkeley because it is an excellent school; the campus is beautiful and it doesn't hurt that it has a good football team. But to be honest, it was the faculty and staff that really attracted me to the school. When applying, Berkeley consistently took the time to reach out to me individually and rapidly when I had questions. They immediately made me feel welcome. The faculty are among the most genuine and amicable people I have ever met. If you have the opportunity to attend UCB optometry, take it!
Hi Everyone! I grew up in San Diego, CA and went to UC Irvine for undergrad. I majored in Psychology and Social Behavior and upon graduating, decided to pursue hotel management. I landed a job at a luxury resort and worked there for almost 2 years. Despite the many perks and pros of working in the hospitality industry, I felt dissatisfied and soon realized I wanted to pursue a profession in which I could directly serve people in need. This led me to explore various health professions. To learn more about optometry, I shadowed optometrists, reached out to the local optometric society, started working at an optometric private practice, and volunteered for a non-profit eye clinic. The more I learned about optometry, the more I realized that optometry was the profession for me! Being a psychology major, I had almost none of the optometric pre-requisites fulfilled so I stopped working and applied to a Pre-Health Post-Baccalaureate program at Cal State Fullerton. Through this program, I got into every class I needed to fulfill my prerequisites and was able to submit applications within 2 years. I was attracted to Berkeley Optometry because of its tight-knit community, excellent education, and unique community service opportunities. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. I’d love to share my insight and experiences with you!
Hello! My name is Andrew, and I was born and raised in San Jose, CA. I graduated from UC San Diego with a degree in General Biology and the intent of ending up in the healthcare field. My first experience with optometry was in vision therapy, which I ironically had no idea was even related to optometry. I was impressed by the patient care given by the optometrist, as well as the intimate relationships he fostered with his patients. My heart soon settled on the idea of making a career out of caring for humanity’s arguably most cherished sense. I continued to shadow other optometrists in different settings, and became an officer for UCSD’s Pre-Optometry club. Of the optometry schools I visited, I was most impressed by UC Berkeley. By far, UCBSO had the most opportunities to get to know their dynamic program, whether through their comprehensive website and attentive staff or attending Opto-Camp and Foresight’s Fall Conference. Most importantly, becoming a part of Berkeley Optometry felt like being welcomed into a family. The faculty is brilliant, warm, and approachable, while the big sibling program among the students encourages a real sense of camaraderie. I feel extremely blessed to have the privilege of attending UC Berkeley for my optometric education, and would be happy to answer any of your questions!
Greetings! I am from Calgary, Alberta in Canada. I majored in Psychology at the University of Calgary and am very excited to attend the UC Berkeley School of Optometry. Courses in vision science, and in sensation and perception piqued my interest in optometry. I then worked as an optometric technician for about a year and enjoyed observing the interaction between doctor and patient, and the business opportunities that are presented. Attending school in California was attractive to me, because I am a dancer I knew my life would not be complete without it, and there are many dance opportunities in California. Berkeley Optometry specifically was my number one choice because every student and faculty member that I spoke to on Interview Day was extremely down to earth and cared for not only the school but also the profession in general. The high academic standards and the close-knit community at Berkeley made my decision easy. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions at all, about psychology, optometry, dance, food, anything really! I am excited to give advice to anyone who needs it and to share my experiences. Go Bears!
I grew up in Corona, CA, but decided to trade in triple digit summers for the cooler weather of the Bay Area where I attended Cal and majored in Integrative Biology. As an incoming college freshman, I had always known that I wanted to work within the health care field but didn’t really know where to start looking. It wasn’t until my sophomore year that, at a friend’s suggestion, I attended a vision screening at the local men’s shelter. This initial experience grabbed my interest and the following summer I began volunteering as a fundus camera operator through the EyePACS program in various clinics throughout the Tenderloin. It was an extremely gratifying experience that not only exposed me to various communities in San Francisco, but also really showed me how multi-dimensional optometry can be. This multi-dimensional appeal is why I chose to attend UC Berkeley for another four years. At Berkeley not only am I surrounded by incredibly intelligent faculty and students, but I also get to study in one of the most diverse regions in the nation. As the field of optometry continuously evolves and grows, I know that my Berkeley education will fully equip me to deal with any and all challenges that I will encounter. Believe me when I say that a Berkeley education is second to none and I personally can’t wait to get started this semester. GO BEARS!
Hi there! I grew up in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., and attended the University of Maryland, where I received my BS in Marketing and International Business. After graduation, I worked for several years in human resources, first for the federal government in Arlington, VA, then for a public company in Brea, CA. I was initially attracted to HR because I wanted to help others, and I had a business background. However, it wasn't long before I realized that what I was really interested in was healthcare, since it was a field that would allow me to make a tangible difference in the lives of others. My sister, who was already an optometry student at the time, encouraged me to learn more about the profession and eventually inspired me to pursue it as well. And the rest is history! Since coming to UC Berkeley, I have been continually challenged by both faculty and peers as well as consistently amazed by the abundance of opportunities, resources and things to do. If you have any questions about pursuing optometry or about Berkeley specifically, please email me — I would be happy to share my experiences with you!
"Why?" is what a lot of people ask me when I told them that I double-degreed in Government & Public Policy and Biomedical Biology at the University of Arizona. My answer was simply "Because I was interested." It was not because I thought that a certain path would bring me the most profit or prestige, but because I was fascinated by it and I wanted to do what all my childhood fairy tales told me, 'listen to the heart'. It lead me to the field of optometry, both a legislative and healthcare profession. From the moment I put on my first pair of contact lenses and all the hidden details of the world were suddenly revealed, to the caring optometrists that showed me that precision performance and personal connections is what mattered most, I knew that I could spend the rest of my life dedicated to helping others to trust their perception of the world. Although I agreed that 'Heart' and 'Passion' came first in the dictionary, I did not agree that 'Success' came before 'Work'. Shadowing optometrists in all possible settings; re-establishing Omega Delta Pre-Optometry Professional Fraternity for 3 years as President; being one of the first to found Unite for Sight Non-Profit International Organization at any university in Arizona; earning scholarship to attend Berkeley's Opto-Camp; gaining real-life patient experience as an Optometric Technician at Affinity Eye Care and graduating Magna Cum Laude and as Outstanding Senior all contributed to admission into one of the finest programs in optometry. Currently as my school's Equipment Coordinator, I coordinate the purchasing of all optometric equipment and educate my class on the quality of the instruments they will be investing in for their future careers as clinicians. As a mentor for Foresight, I offer support to aspiring optometry students. I am actively looking for ways to promote the legislative profession of optometry because I want to make the future of optometry strong. As a current student of optometry, my goal is to invite you to my journey of becoming a respected and trusted clinician and to gain your support as a fellow colleague. I welcome you to contact me for any inquiries.
I am from Oregon City, just outside of Portland, Oregon. I graduated from Whitman College with a music degree in piano performance and plans to go to music graduate school. After graduation, while at a summer piano program on the east coast, I received vision therapy with a behavioral optometrist. Through this experience I learned a lot about vision therapy and optometry in general. I was fascinated. A year later, after completing my first year of music graduate school, I decided that music was not the profession I wanted. Remembering my experience with vision therapy the summer before, I took a job as a vision therapist. I worked as a vision therapist for five years while also fulfilling my pre-requisites for optometry school. Through my job I fell in love with the field of optometry! I loved working with patients and helping them to make positive life-changing improvements to their vision. I chose Berkeley Optometry because of how warm and supportive the students, faculty, and staff are and because of how clearly well run the program is. I would love to talk more about my experience applying for optometry school and answer any questions!
I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and completed my undergraduate studies at the University of Michigan, with a major in Biomedical Engineering and minor in Electrical Engineering. After hearing stories of family members failing to get proper vision correction at a young age, I became interested in becoming an optometrist and helping others understand the importance of regular eye exams. Through shadowing doctors and working in optometrists’ offices, I was able to observe the relatively low levels of stress and the flexibility many doctors had in their hours. Additionally, I learned that optometry is a clinically diverse field and dynamic with new technologies and treatments to improve patient care. Despite my engineering background, these experiences solidified optometry as my career choice. I chose Berkeley because of its excellent clinical program, challenging curriculum, and world-renowned faculty. Students here have the intimacy of a small class, but the resources and opportunities of a large university. The students and faculty are incredibly helpful and friendly, always ready to answer any questions. Moving here from the Midwest was a big change, but I wouldn't do it any other way. Please feel free to email me with any questions that you might have. I'd be happy to answer them.
Greetings to everyone! I spent the first eighteen years of my life in Guyana, South America and was fortunate to further my education in the USA where I graduated with my BSc. with Distinction from Nova Southeastern University (NSU) in Florida. In Guyana, I accompanied my parents on many medical outreaches in remote areas, meeting the native Amerindian tribes who were having eye examinations or receiving other medical care for the first time. My interest in optometry stemmed from the hope given to the children in these areas who giggled as they could now see the shapes on the charts. As an undergraduate student at NSU, I furthered my passion for interacting with people of different backgrounds and being of service to the community. I was a Peer Leader, Honors Advocate and a member of the Pre-Optometry and Rotaract Clubs. I also participated in several travel studies to Europe and the Caribbean. I studied genocide in Poland, Bosnia, and Serbia and the climatic effects of Saharan Dust Aerosols on the Caribbean region. As a result of my travels and experiences, my focus has changed from just a career as a practicing optometrist to one of research and promoting Optometric care both locally and internationally. I was determined to attend Berkeley Optometry School because of its renowned faculty and reputation for research. I would love to share my experiences with anyone who is interested in pursuing such a challenging and rewarding profession.
My name is Tu-Anh and I am from San Jose, California. I completed my undergraduate studies at the University of California, Irvine and obtained a Bachelors degree in Biological Sciences. During my undergrad, I explored the field of eye care by volunteering at the eye clinic on campus as well as local optometrist’s offices. Through my experiences, I had the opportunity to learn more about the profession and to explore the diverse clinical settings of the field as well as improve my clinical knowledge and proficiency in the practice. The profession fit everything that I looked for in a future career; every optometrist I shadowed was enthusiastic about the profession and clearly enjoyed developing close relationships with patients and giving back to the community. After reviewing various aspects of what each optometry schools has to offer, I decided to attend Berkeley Optometry for the amount of faculty involvement, the welcoming and open environment, and the great balance of classroom learning and clinical experience. I also chose Berkeley because of the rich cultural diversity of the Bay Area. I am more than happy to share my experiences with you and answer any questions!
Hello everyone! I am from San Diego, CA and I graduated from University of California, Irvine with a degree in Biological Sciences. I always knew I wanted to pursue a career in the health professional field; however, I was not sure which profession. After getting involved in pre-health clubs on campus, I realized the profession of optometry stood out to me and I decided to expose myself more to the field. I began working at an optometry office where I was given the opportunity to sit in on eye exams. I admired how the optometrist was able to build strong relationships with his patients and make a difference in their lives. After much exposure, I was sure optometry was the right track for me. There are many reasons why I chose Berkeley Optometry. Not only did the students in the program seem closely knit but also the faculty and staff. There is a large clinic where an optometry student is exposed to an extensive amount of diversity in terms of patients and visual problems and disorders. Overall, I am excited to be a part of the Berkeley Optometry family. I'd be happy to share my experiences and answer any questions you may have, so feel free to email me.
Hey everyone! I was born and raised in the San Gabriel Valley of Southern California. From a young age I knew that I wanted to do something with eyes because I was exposed to the eye care profession at such an early age. My grandmother suffered from glaucoma and I would accompany her to most of her eye doctor visits and it was during these visits that I understood just how important our eyes and vision really are. As an undergraduate, I majored in Biological Sciences at UC Santa Barbara. It was also at UCSB that I co-founded the pre-optometry club, Envision, and started getting involved in extracurricular activities to prepare myself for admission. I shadowed optometrists in different settings, joined UCSB’s Street Health Outreach to help the under-served population of Santa Barbara, volunteered with a retired ophthalmologist at Sansum Diabetes Research Institute to help low-income families and individuals with diabetes, and hosted local vision screenings as a member of Unite for Sight. When it came down to applying for schools I kept my options open. It was during Interview Day that I felt Berkeley Optometry would be the right choice for me. Aside from the program’s challenging curriculum and outstanding clinical program I really enjoyed the sense of support and family among the faculty, staff and students. I am happy to be a part of Berkeley Optometry and I would not have it any other way! Please feel free to email me if you have any questions!
I grew up in the heart of the midwest in Lincoln, Nebraska. As a kid, I wanted to become a psychologist because I wanted to help people and I knew I liked working with people one-on-one. I went to the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities intending to major in music and psychology, but soon learned that I preferred chemistry and physics to my psychology classes. After many science and music courses, I graduated with a bachelor's degree in music and went on to earn a master's degree in Media Art at the University Michigan, Ann Arbor. I then worked as an electronic communications specialist at UC Berkeley, taking night classes on the side and exploring my career options. After joining Berkeley's pre-optometry club Foresight and shadowing some doctors, it became clear that optometry was the career for me: I could help people one-on-one while using my scientific knowledge and skills. I knew that Berkeley would be a perfect fit for me after working at this University for several years. I love the area, I feel at-home with the students and faculty in the optometry program, and I know that the education here is top-notch. Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have about optometry, Berkeley, or anything else.
Greetings! I am a Bay Area native and my favorite color is green. Now that we have the basics down, I would like to share my optometry journey. I am fortunate to be a part of the UC Berkeley community and to be joining the Optometry program after studying Integrative Biology and Film as an undergraduate here. I learned a lot and met great colleagues through the campus pre-optometry group, Foresight. I first started working in a private practice in Hercules and it was there that I began to interact with optometrists and appreciate eye care. After shadowing various optometrists in different settings, such as a health maintenance organization and pediatrics residency, I knew that I wanted to pursue optometry. I took a year after graduating to complete prerequisites and study for the OAT while also working as a research assistant for the Alameda County Optometry clinics. I am greatly interested in community health, which is an aspect that I value in outreach efforts of Berkeley. I had my eye on Berkeley Optometry from the beginning; the faculty and staff in this tight program hold great pride and care for its students. I hope that you will enjoy as much as I have discovering the optometry profession and all that Berkeley has to offer. I would be glad to answer any questions and I am excited to meet you!
Hey, I'm from Mercer Island, WA, which is just across the water from Seattle. I studied General Biology at the University of Washington for my undergrad degree and worked on my own research project on a gene complex found in invertebrates. I originally was interested with a career in dentistry for the first three years of college, but right before senior year, I went to a pre-optometry meeting with a guest speaker optometrist who happened to be a Berkeley alumnus. It was at that meeting that I began to seriously look into optometry and began shadowing several optometrists in the area. As you can guess, I really liked my experiences in the offices and found work as a technician and a contact lens study coordinator. Part of my interest in Berkeley Optometry is its strong academic record and the exciting research being done. When I arrived for Interview Day, I immediately felt a strong feeling of community that was different from the other schools that I interviewed at. To bring all the prospective students on the same day shows Berkeley Optometry's commitment to having a family-like environment and made me feel more comfortable attending the school. I'm also really excited to still be part of a large campus coming on top of being in a smaller community. I would love to share all the new things I discover here and hope you will want to come here too!
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