Insights from CooperVision's Best Practices Summit: A Student Perspective

CooperVision recently concluded its 2023 Best Practices Summit in Savannah, Georgia, where three optometry student scholarship winners had the opportunity to participate. In this episode of the ECP Viewpoints podcast, Dr. Jennifer Palombi, Senior Manager of Professional Education and Development at CooperVision, interviews the three student scholarship winners: Emily Benson, Makayla Harr, and Susmitha Narisetty. The students share their top takeaways from the summit and discuss their unexpected learnings and valuable experiences.

Watch the podcast here:


Key Takeaways:

The students unanimously agreed that the summit provided valuable insights into marketing and storytelling. They emphasized the importance of effectively marketing oneself in the optometry world, utilizing social media, and staying updated on new technologies. The keynote speaker, Matthew Lunn, highlighted the significance of storytelling in pitching oneself to colleagues and patients, making connections, and enhancing patient experiences. The students were pleasantly surprised by the emphasis on personal connections and the willingness of industry professionals to help them succeed.

Unexpected Learnings and Insights:

While the students expected to gain knowledge about optometry practices and industry trends, they were pleasantly surprised by the honest discussions about failures and challenges faced by successful practitioners. This realization reassured them that facing ups and downs in their future practices is normal and provided practical insights on problem-solving. Additionally, they learned about the science of storytelling and how it can capture patients' attention, create a personal touch, and enhance communication with patients and communities.

The Value of Connections:

The students highlighted the importance of making connections during the summit. They appreciated the opportunity to network with practitioners from different practices and schools, expanding their knowledge beyond their immediate circles. They learned from low vision practitioners, which they were not particularly interested in, but recognized the potential impact on their future patients. The connections made during the summit allowed them to exchange business cards, share experiences, and gain valuable advice for their future careers.

Advice for Fellow Students:

The student scholarship winners expressed their gratitude for the opportunity to attend the summit and emphasized the honor and privilege it represents. They encouraged fellow students to put themselves out there and seize opportunities for personal and professional growth. They emphasized the significance of connections in the optometry industry, highlighting the small circle and the importance of networking. They urged students to make the most of such experiences, as connections and learnings can contribute to their success as future practitioners.


CooperVision's Best Practices Summit provided the student scholarship winners with valuable insights into marketing, storytelling, and the optometry industry. The students appreciated the emphasis on personal connections and the opportunity to learn from successful practitioners. They encouraged their peers to pursue similar opportunities, recognizing the honor and privilege it entails, and emphasizing the significance of connections in the optometry field. Attending events like the Best Practices Summit can contribute to students' growth and success as they enter the optometry profession.


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