On Thursday, April 21, 2016, over 140 students gathered to learn from recent graduates at the third annual Graduate Strong Event. As part of NECO’s ongoing support for students and their career options, the Graduate Strong program seeks to provide information to students on issues related to their future careers.
The event, sponsored by NECO’s Alumni Association, was open to all students. Last year, the Alumni Office offered two events, one for US students and one for Canadian students, on separate evenings. This year, the US and Canadian programs ran concurrently during the evening, as one united event.
Alumni Association Board members, Drs. Jonathon Jimmerson, ’12 and Nicole Ross, ’11 served as moderators for the US and Canadian programs and student council members played lead roles in managing all aspects the event. Members of NECO’S Canadian Club enthusiastically assisted Dr. Ross with event logistics for the Canadian program.
For the United States edition, speakers included Kasia Babinski, ’12, Daniel Bastian, OD ’12, Brittney Mazza, OD ’10 and Angelique Sawyer, OD. Speakers for the Canadian program included Drs. Shannon Bligdon, OD ’13, Nicole Ross, OD ’11, and Petar Prpic, OD ’12 who flew in from Vancouver. Drs. Jennifer Liao,’13, Tom Poon, ’08 and Adrian Wan, ’12 were participated in real time via videoconferencing.
Speakers on both the US and Canadian panels shared personal and timely advice on handling post graduate issues which included: debt management, practice insurance and credentialing, licensing, employment search and professional resources. The speakers encouraged the students to take advantage of their resources, be proactive, and never doubt the value of their optometric education.
The Canadian panel also addressed optometric topics specific to Canadian students who will be returning to Canada or who are interested in practicing on both sides of the border.
Classmates from 2012, Drs. Petar Prpic and Jonathon Jimmerson, pictured here with Petar’s wife Christine.
A reception followed the program at which students were able to have informal discussions and network with panel participants.