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February 16, 2012

SUNY Optometry Career Center Announced

Dr. Peter Shaw-McMinn( L), keynote speaker, and College President David A. Heath at symposium.
(Dr. Peter Shaw-McMinn( L), keynote speaker, and College President David A. Heath at symposium.)

More than 200 students, residents and young alumni attended the SUNY College of Optometry’s first Career Symposium on February 12, 2012.

In his welcoming remarks, College President, Dr. David A. Heath announced that the day-long program was the first step in the establishment of the College’s new Career Development Center which College officials feel will break new ground in programming and services for students. The Center will offer highly personalized and purposeful services to students, residents and alumni by involving them in their own career explorations and deliberations in ways that are uncommon at most American colleges of optometry. It is a goal of the Career Center’s strategic plan to ensure that 90 % of alumni are in positions of choice within five years after graduation.

“The establishment of the SUNY Career Development Center has been an important goal of our five-year strategic plan, "A Shared Vision".  The Center represents a heightened institutional commitment to students and alumni by proactively synchronizing co-curricular opportunities with key career decision points throughout their educational and professional development. The effectiveness of this innovative effort can only be measured by our students’ professional success,” said Dr. Heath.

Students attending the inaugural symposium were presented with a variety of career options ranging from private practice, VA hospitals and research, to positions in industry, academe and community centers.

“Optometry is listed as one of the most popular, dynamic and profitable careers in America today,” said Peter Shaw-McMinn, O.D., keynote speaker, national consultant and assistant professor at the Southern California College of Optometry.  He added,” This Career Symposium is unique. To my knowledge, no optometry school or college offers this experience to their students.  It gives the SUNY students a competitive advantage over students in other schools.  I salute SUNY for hitting a homerun.”
The three - track program included sessions on leadership skills, financial planning and debt management, practice options , work – life balance and developing a personal brand. 

According to Dr. Jeffrey Philpott, Vice President for Student Affairs and the person responsible for the Center’s creation, “The process that we went through to develop this symposium proved to be every bit as valuable as the event itself.  What impressed me most was the way the entire College community came together to assess the need for career development and to respond by creating such a high caliber event.”