"I Can Really Do This!"

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When I was younger, I didn’t know if I wanted to be a lawyer or an engineer… or a researcher, a dentist, or a doctor. I loved science and business and really enjoyed the idea of building something, but I also liked the idea of helping people. (I even considered massage therapy for a time, knowing how much people love getting massages.) Private practice optometry checked all the boxes: you can build a great business, you help people, and you get to use cutting-edge science tools doing it.

As I was wrapping up my final year of optometry school this spring, I had the opportunity to put my skills and education to the test by entering the VSP Premier Edge Student Business Challenge, which awards $10,000 to an optometry student with a winning business plan for opening a private practice. I was already familiar with VSP Vision, given their support for schools of optometry like mine through scholarships, grants, and sponsorship of our private practice clubs, and was excited to see if I had what it took to achieve my career goals (and win $10,000!).  

My business plan centered on opening a pediatric practice, which is my dream. As a new dad, I’ve come to realize the important role I have in my kids’ development and future potential, and I love the idea of helping other kids have the same opportunities I hope to give my own children. I spent a lot of time putting the plan together, leveraging my undergraduate business minor and the business management course I took in optometry school, but, more so, the education I received networking with like-minded people, attending industry conferences, and combing through forums and blogs on building a successful business.

I was so excited to learn I had won the Student Business Challenge. The $10,000 will be invaluable on my path to private practice ownership, but As Eye See It, the true reward is the validation that I have what it takes to make my dreams come true.

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