July 30, 2012

Pacific University College of Optometry Interview

3rd Interview and it was by far the cheapest! Though I was really set on moving to a different state for professional school, I knew it was a good idea to check out Pacific. The university is a mere 40 minutes from my parents' house and in an area that I feel naturally at ease.

Pacific University was the only Optometry program that was part of the typical university campus. It is a private school for undergraduates, graduates, and professional students, so you are surrounded by the feelings of youth, new idea, and possibilities. It doesn't hurt the school is situated amongst tons of trees. You feel like you're in a forest! Ok, enough about the look and feel of the campus (I really love nature and the NW if you can't tell). On to my interview day at Pacific!

7:45am - arrive and check in at the student union centrally located on the campus. Get name tag and meet fellow applicants.
8:00 - attend a morning lecture with current students!
9:00 - brief rundown of schedule for the day before given a 10-15 minute writing sample
9:30 - introduction/welcome to Pacific University and the College of Optometry by the Dean
10:00 - financial aid meeting as a large group
10:25 - 4th year clinical rotation information session
11:00 - Q&A session with student panel
11:30 - break for lunch; eat with students from panel and faculty (you'll be interviewing with these people!)
12:30 - break off into 3 groups for interviews, campus tours, or free time (1 hour for each)
3:45 - finish up final rotation before meeting back as a large group for social hour
4:00 - social hour with sweets, coffee, tea to chat with other faculty, students, administrators, and fellow applicants
5:25ish - feel the drain of the day and head back home

Pacific's Interview day is long, but you get a lot out of the experience. You have the option of sitting in on a lecture (awesome! triple brownie points!), chat with students, eat with the people you're going to be interviewing with (aids in feeling more at ease once you have your interview), and are given a full hour to just relax. At the end of the day you are exhausted, but feel like you're already a part of the Optometry program's family. They really do an excellent job of making you feel comfortable and at ease. When I first saw that interviews weren't going to be held until the afternoon I mentally freaked. I had to be anxiety-ridden until 2pm?! Maybe it was because I was already starting to get drained, had food in me, or had talked with students earlier, but I felt very relaxed when I entered the interview room.

An important note about the afternoon when they divide you into 3 groups: if you are not the first group to be interview, you will have to find your interview location on your own. This is somewhat scary, but your tour guides can point you in the right direction. My campus guide actually walked me to my building because she didn't even know where it was! I guess it was a brand new building that isn't used yet, so if she hadn't assisted me I would have missed the interview.

Next time I'll wrap up my experiences with my final interview at SCCO.

Until Next Time,


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