By: Yasmeen Syed,RO
Held January 29th from 3 – 7 pm at the Newnham Campus in Toronto; students, faculty, school administrators, associations, and industry vendors enjoyed an engaging afternoon.
The industry which represents eye care had the opportunity to showcase their products and services to future Opticians. In attendance was the Ontario Opticians Association which met with students and informed them about the importance of supporting their profession through their association and the many benefits of membership.
Led by faculty, Shan Khan and myself (Yasmeen Syed), the event strived to strengthen the connection between education and the field of practice. The trade show introduced students to new products and technologies and provided an opportunity to network with industry professionals.
In recent years and as a result of advice from industry advisors the course OPT407 – Product Knowledge was changed to OPT409 – Professional Practice to include and reflect content on business as it related to the optical environment. Topics in this course range from, marketing and retailing and working in a regulated health environment to ethical Opticianry practice and diversity and inclusion.
Final year students in OPT409 – Professional Practice are required to create a business plan to open an optical dispensary. This business plan must include research on: a store concept, key partners, competition, demographics as well as projected funding requirements.
Here is what one Ontario Optician had to say about the event:
“It was a great experience to see the level of engagement between the students and the industry suppliers. The exercise of setting up a business plan and building their retail space is a great way to expose the students to the demands of running their own business…. wish I had this when I was in school!”Jeff Fernandes, R.O.
On behalf of the staff and faculty within Seneca College’s Opticianry Program, Shan and I would like to thank all of the vendors for their attendance, their sponsorship contributions and the raffle prizes. We’re looking forward to the next one!