Student Focus on Jenna Jamil


Jenna JamilName: Jenna Jamil
Pronouns: she/her/hers
Hometown: Green, OH
High School: Green High School
Undergraduate Institution: University of Akron
Undergraduate Degree: Biology
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 around six years old when I had my first eye exam. Growing up being a high myope, I needed my glasses all the time but hated wearing them! However, I never minded going to see my eye doctor, because they were always so nice and optimistic.

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

I realized during my senior year of high school. For my English Comp class, we had to interview people in career fields that interested us and write a paper about it. I interviewed a PA, an ophthalmologist and an optometrist, because at that point I knew I wanted to do something in health care, and I found the eyes super interesting. The optometrist I interviewed had nothing but great things to say about the field, the work/family balance and highly recommended me going into optometry. The ophthalmologist actually recommended I should try optometry instead! The more I learned, shadowed and worked as a technician for an optometrist, the more I fell in love with optometry and sealed the deal to pursue a career in it!

Are there any optometrists in your family?

No, there are not.

Why did you choose Ohio State Optometry?

OSU was listed as one of the top optometry schools in the nation, plus it was closest to home. OSU was my first interview, and all the faculty and students I met were so welcoming. I just had a feeling it was the right place for me.

What was your first impression of Ohio State Optometry?

All of the students and faculty were very kind, and it had a family-friendly sort of environment. Rather than being super competitive with each other, everyone seemed very encouraging, and truly wanted each other to succeed.

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

I was surprised how going to a huge school like Ohio State could still lead to me finding a small close-knit community at the optometry school. I've gotten to know many classmates, faculty, and attendings super well and felt at home pretty quickly.

Which clubs/organizations have you joined at Ohio State?

The clubs I have been most involved in at OSU are Fellowship of Christian Optometrists (FCO), Lions Club, Beta Sigma Kappa, and ocular disease club. Through FCO, I was able to go on a mission trip to Jamaica, where we gave the people there eye exams and vision screenings. This was one of my favorite experiences while in optometry school and I'd highly recommend it.

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

The close friends I've formed here at optometry school! There were many long days of classes, studying, and practicing, that I know I couldn't have gotten through without their encouragement and support.

What’s your favorite way to relax or unwind after a busy week in class and/or clinic?

Trying a new restaurant with friends or getting ice cream at Graeter's! I also enjoy playing tennis or trying out some group fitness classes at the RPAC.

Tell us about your first extern rotation – what did you learn? What did you most enjoy?

I started my first extern rotation at the Canton VA. The VA rotations are known for being very heavy disease and also fast paced. Although there were definite growing pains trying to improve my clinical skills, efficiency and critical thinking, I most enjoyed seeing how far I had come as the semester progressed. I also enjoyed being able to apply all that I had learned in my optometry classes thus far - everything started to finally come together!

The Class of 2025 just started optometry school! What advice would you have for them?

Never give up and stay positive! Each year of optometry school has its own challenges, but each year also is so rewarding once you persevere through those challenges. You have amazing professors and attendings who have nothing but your best interest in mind and will guide you along the way. Also, remember to still take time for family, friends and yourself! It's ok to take time off each week to relax and recharge - you should, and you deserve it! Good luck, and I know you will do great!!