Tips on Communicating Professionally
It is important for prospective students to make the best possible impression when applying to optometry school. Communicating in a manner that is professional and courteous will not only make you a more competitive applicant, but will also help our staff to efficiently and effectively answer questions and guide you through the process. We’ve gathered some tips on professional etiquette that we hope will help ensure your success as an applicant to Southern College of Optometry.
Before your visit
Emailing the Student Services staff:
- Be sure to include your full contact information: first and last name. Also include your undergraduate school and anticipated graduation date.
- Write in full sentences that are clear and to the point.
- Be aware that sarcasm and humor do not always translate well over email.
- Use proper spelling and punctuation. Avoid emoticons and internet slang.
- Scan our website and materials to be sure your question hasn't already been answered. Our FAQs page is a good place to start.
- If you are emailing to request course approval before registering, email us ahead of time- don’t wait until the last minute. If you want us to evaluate a specific course to be used as a prerequisite, send us the following information: course name, number, and institution name.
Calling the Student Services staff:
- Call us directly. Don’t rely on family or friends to call for you. This is a great opportunity to introduce yourself and build a professional relationship with our admissions officers.
- Begin the call by introducing yourself. Give your name, current school, and anticipated graduation date.
- Prepare ahead of time. Make a list of questions and refer to it during your conversation. This will help keep you on track.
- If you have a time-sensitive issue, plan ahead and allow for plenty of time for a response. Before leaving messages with multiple admissions officers, allow sufficient time for the recipient to respond.
- Be friendly and avoid a demanding tone.
- If you leave a message, be sure to speak clearly and include the following: your name, undergraduate school, a brief message, and a phone number where you can be reached. Repeat your phone number.
During your visit
Advising appointments and campus tours:
Advising appointments and campus tours are a great time to make a professional first impression.
- Schedule your appointment well in advance of your visit. We suggest contacting us 2-3 weeks in advance to ensure availability of your requested date and time.
- Dress appropriately. This is not as formal as your interview day; however, SCO is a professional school, and part of the health care community. Business casual is suggested.
- Bring your transcript with you. This will help your advisor to guide you when it comes to grades and courses.
- Guests are welcome to join you as you tour the facilities.
Your interview is not only a significant part of your application, it is also a great opportunity for us to get to know each other. You will want to be polished and professional as you interact with us.
- Dress appropriately. Business attire is highly recommended.
- Come prepared with your own questions for us. The interview provides an opportunity for you to ask us questions. We want you to make a well-informed decision about your future education.
- Guests are welcome to tour the facilities with you; however, the counseling session and interview are meant to be with you only. We understand that parents, guardians and significant others are influential in your life decisions and we welcome their questions and concerns during the group sessions.
- Take time and initiative to research our program and ask thoughtful questions as they relate to your needs. We want to hear from our prospective students directly!
- Do not schedule an interview you do not plan to attend. If you schedule an interview and realize later that you will not be able to make it, contact the school immediately to cancel. There are limited appointments for applicants to interview and another candidate may benefit from your cancellation.
After receiving your acceptance
Avoid holding offers from multiple schools for an extended period of time. Once you have made your decision, be sure to decline all other offers within a reasonable time period.