Student Focus on Fareedah Haroun


Fareedah HarounName: Fareedah Haroun
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
Hometown: Dublin, Ohio
High School: Dublin Coffman High School
Undergraduate Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Undergraduate Degree: Environmental Science
Anticipated #OSUopt Graduation Year: 2022


How old were you when you received your first eye exam? What was the experience like for you?

I was 11 years old when I got my first eye exam right here at Ohio State! I only had great experiences, and it was while I was a patient that I started thinking about Optometry as a career.

When did you realize that you wanted to pursue a career in optometry?

I always had a passion for serving others; it was instilled in me by my parents. As a result, it was important for me to enter a profession driven by compassion and service. To me, Optometry is the perfect fit for that. Realizing that this profession allows us to not only be clinicians, but advocates as well really pushed me to pursue it.

Why did you choose Ohio State Optometry?

It was about tradition for me. My dad went to graduate school here, my siblings went/go here and my family is local. Ohio State seemed like the perfect choice!

What was your first impression of Ohio State Optometry?

To be honest, I was very overwhelmed that first year. You have to adjust to a lot of change, but slowly you begin to make the necessary adjustments. I have to thank my classmates for being so warm and welcoming during the first few months. We really got through it together!

What surprised you most about Ohio State and/or Columbus?

Growing up in Columbus, I have a great understanding of what it means to be a Buckeye. But, the intimate feel of our College is what stuck out to me. The small class size really allows for special connections with other students, faculty and alumni.

Which clubs/organizations have you joined at Ohio State?

My favorite organizations that I am a member of are NOSA and IPC. I have really enjoyed these two because they have allowed me to grow as a leader and make an impact throughout the University.

Who has most positively affected you during your time as an optometry student so far?

Dr. Delgado-Nixon, Dr. Davis and Jen Bennett have really helped me see this journey through. Their support and encouragement has meant the absolute world to me. I wouldn’t be here without them!

Tell us about your extern rotations so far – what did you learn? What did you most enjoy?

This summer, I rotated through the College’s speciality clinics, and I am currently finishing up at the Southeast Louisiana VA. Being at the College was wonderful, it allowed me to build on my foundational skills and challenged me to critically think on a whole new level. It prepared me well for the VA. I’ve really enjoyed my time here in New Orleans at the VA, the diverse patient population allows for a ton of exposure to ocular pathology. It’s been great learning how to co-manage advanced glaucoma and retinal conditions with ophthalmology. I can’t complain about the food down here either!

What advice do you have for students who are going through their optometry school application process now?

My biggest piece of advice is to be yourself and allow that to show through your application and interview. Your individuality is what got you this far and what makes you stand out, lean into it.

When you think of life post-optometry school, what are you most looking forward to?

I’m definitely anxious about what life after graduation will look like, but I am also just as excited. I have always embraced change and new experiences; so, I am looking forward to starting my career…wherever that may be!