Optometry Student Profiles

Class of 2022


Hannah 

Name: Hannah Groseth

Graduation Year: 2022

Major: Biology Minor: Management

Your Story: Hello! My name is Hannah Groseth and I am from Altoona, WI. When I came to Gustavus, I knew I wanted to major in biology and pursue a career in healthcare. Originally, I thought about going into pharmacy, but after taking a few chemistry courses, I knew that pharmacy was not the career for me. After talking with family friends in optometry and shadowing various optometrists from my hometown, I became interested in the profession and started taking prerequisite courses for optometry school.

But ultimately, shadowing the optometrists at Carlson-Tillisch Eye Clinic in Mankato during my J-term career exploration was the driving force in my pursuit of a career in optometry. I had the opportunity to not only learn about the duties of an optometrist, but the social and business aspects of the practice as well. Additionally, I gained a better understanding of the diverse population of patients that I would see everyday and the number of conditions that could be detected through examining the eye.

I look forward to providing meaningful patient care and making a difference in the lives of others. For me, optometry is the perfect blend, combining my love for the natural sciences and my enjoyment in helping others. My education and shadowing experiences have confirmed that optometry is the right path for me.


Top Five Activities/Experiences (in no particular order):

  • January Interim Career Exploration at Carlson-Tillisch Eye Clinic
  • Shadowing other various types of optometry practices
  • Tri - Beta
  • Lucia Singers and Choir of Christ Chapel
  • Club Tennis


Advice:

1. Take advantage of all the opportunities Gustavus has to offer. This could include studying abroad, joining one of the many clubs/organizations on campus, etc. Many schools look for well rounded students, so any experience you have will likely strengthen your application, even if it is not related to optometry.

2.  Reach out and make connections that will benefit both your undergraduate and professional career.

3. Remember to find a balance between work and play so that you can enjoy your time at Gustavus.


Future Plans: I will be attending Indiana University School of Optometry beginning in August 2022 for their Doctorate of Optometry (OD) program. After completion of the program, I hope to join a private practice or start my own.


Class of 2021


Jordyn_Olson-Merrick_ 


Your Name: Jordyn Olson-Merrick 

Graduation Year: 2021 

Major: Biology 

Your Story: In 2017 I was a senior attending Duluth East High School with every intention to not attend Gustavus in order to not predictably follow in my mom, dad, brother, and sister’s footsteps. Through some research, tours, and conversations, I quickly realized why all the people I love also had a love for Gustavus. I am forever grateful that I decided to trust my family as my time at Gustavus was something that I cannot imagine any other college could have provided me. Through Gustavus’ unique sense of community, I was able to navigate my way to my goal of a future in optometry. Additionally, I filled my undergraduate years with a well-rounded education (with courses from organic chemistry to kayaking to feminist controversies), and memories with people that I am confident will be with me forever. 

I went into my freshman year at Gustavus with optometry school at the forefront of my post-graduation plans. However, I realized that it was healthcare in general that I was truly certain about at that point in time. I studied biology as this was the perfect blend of my passion for health and the world around us, and also included courses that were prerequisites for many healthcare paths. Through Gustavus’ career development, I was fortunate enough to have experienced many opportunities that allowed me to observe a multitude of healthcare settings and professions. These experiences taught me that I did have a particular passion for optometry and the career included similar aspects to those I found important during my career exploration. I am incredibly grateful for the support I received from my professors, alumni, and the health professions career development staff. Through their help and support I was able to enter the optometry school application process with confidence that led me to being accepted into the optometry school at the top of my list. I am eager and excited to give back by helping future Gusties do the same. 

Top Five Activities/Experiences: (in no particular order) 

1. Gustie Buddies 

2. Volunteering through Caring Hands at the Mankato Mayo Clinic 

3. Studying climate change in Cusco, Peru in January 2020 

4. January Career Exploration at River’s Edge Hospital and Clinic 

5. Run Club

Advice: 

1. Reach out. There are so many opportunities at Gustavus and in healthcare settings that would be impossible to know about unless you reach out. At Gustavus, the faculty, staff, and alumni are great resources that find joy in helping another Gustie succeed. 

2. Branch out. Your time at Gustavus is the perfect opportunity to explore different paths and extracurriculars that help to understand what makes you excited and what you want to dedicate your time and effort toward. Take classes that you’ve never taken before, join clubs that interest you, and see how you can be a part of the St. Peter community. Before you know it, you will have a concrete understanding of what interests you and you will have a team of people by your side. 

3. Understand that your path may look different than others. It can be easy to convince yourself that you must follow a certain timeline to reach your goal, but this is not the case. The best timeline is the one that works best for you. Take the time to know that your goal is truly what you want to do. Reaching your goal will come much easier when it is driven by passion and a happy mind. 

Future Plans: Attending Pacific University College of Optometry, starting Fall 2021.

5/13/2021 HAB