Bryan Cholico-Class of 2012

"I think one of the most important things to do throughout the application process is to remain in touch with the admissions administrators."

Advantage Scholar

Biology Major



First Steps

The Pacific curriculum, as challenging as it may seem, has allowed me to work through challenges and further develop myself not only as a student but as a person as well.  Pacific has allowed me to expand my knowledge not only in the classroom but also beyond its walls.  I’ve met many wonderful individuals who have impacted my life in one way or another.  It’s been an amazing experience. What brought me to Pacific at first was the optometry program, but then I fell in love with the campus and small college atmosphere. I majored in biology and minored in Spanish at Pacific. My most significant accomplishment pertaining to my biology major was probably my senior project in which I raised awareness and argued for tighter regulations on older allergy medications due to their potential life-threatening side effects. The experiences and personal attributes that led me towards my chosen health care profession was my interest in eyes as well as seeing the gratitude of patients towards their optometrists. I figured this out while shadowing and both attributes were large factors in my choosing of the profession. I like to credit my high school anatomy teacher for getting me interested in eyes.  Also, my local optometrist provided me with a solid understanding of what the profession entails.  But most importantly it was my parents who encouraged me to choose a career I would completely be satisfied with.  The interest arose from my teacher and optometrist, but the support and ultimate inspiration came from my parents. I think it’s my passion for trying to make a positive impact on lives and the compassion I show towards those who seek health care that makes me compatible to the profession. I think my desire to help and care for the health of others will be my greatest strength and will lead to great satisfaction by my own future patients.

Choices and Challenges

One major challenge I faced was at the beginning of my undergraduate studies.  I was not adapted to the challenges of the curriculum so I needed to correct my studying habits first and foremost.  Once I changed that, the rest of my undergraduate studies were more successful. Just as I experienced the initial shock from the undergraduate curriculum, so have I needed to adapt to the graduate program’s challenges.  Although I am still trying to figure out a way to overcome the challenges, I’ve had plenty of success. I think one of the most important things to do throughout the application process is to remain in touch with the admissions administrators.  They are the inquiry center and guidance to all admissions. I would suggest that if you are looking into this profession that you make sure that this profession is something you would be fully committed to.  The preparation and hard work to become an eye doctor is far too great to later decide that this is not what they want to do.

Finding a Pathway

As far as research goes the benefits of the Advantage Program of receiving a guaranteed interview and the insight provided for the application and admittance preparation by the Advantage Program is what compelled me to apply to it. The Advantage Program made me become aware of all that needed to be done in order to apply to optometry school and it most importantly, allowed me to connect with the admissions director early on. In my opinion, my most significant accomplishment in optometry school thus far has been learning all that I have in such a short amount of time.  I can honestly say I’ve learned more in the last semester and a half than I did in all of my undergraduate time.

Success and Highlights

In particular there is one experience that has left a lasting impression on me.  When I was in undergrad, I went home for one break and participated in shadowing.  I would sit in on some of the exams while the doctor routinely examined his patients.  Specifically there was one older man who needed some eye care.  After the doctor was through with the examination, he guided the old man out of the room to the reception area.  On his way out, the old man turned to me and thanked me for my time and wished me luck in my studies because he knew I would make a difference.  He was so grateful for the doctor’s care that he had thanked me for just sitting in on the exam.  I had done absolutely nothing, and here he was thanking me because he knew I would make an impact on future lives.  This impression of gratefulness is something I’m sure all optometrists look forward to and something I will definitely aspire to.

Posted by Career Development Center ( on Mar 11, 2013 at 2:04 PM

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