Gina O'Neill Wesley
Major: Natural Science
Year of Graduation: 2002
Graduate School: The Ohio State University College of Optometry
Please give a brief description of your current position:
I own my own private optometric practice in Medina, MN called "Complete Eye Care of Medina." I practice primary care optometry with a focus on family eye care, disease management, and specialty contact lens fittings.
What path did you follow to arrive at your current job?
After I graduated from optometry school, I started working at a large group practice in the Twin Cities. From there, I branched out on my own after a year or so to start my own practice.
What advice/suggestions would you have for students who might be interested in your career?
Shadow other optometrists, talk to them about their careers, and see what different paths you can take with optometry. Know that you will have to have a strong science background and may want to consider business courses as well if you ever want to own your own practice.
What skills are important in your field?
The ability to work with people and communicate effectively are important.
What is the most satisfying/rewarding part of your job? Most challenging?
The most satisfying is seeing the rewarding outcomes when you help someone see clearly or effectively manage their visual needs. The most challenging is being a business owner and managing staff.
What activities/experiences were helpful at CSB/SJU (and elsewhere) in preparation for this career?
Although I didn't get a minor in business management, I did take a lot of business classes at CSB/SJU and Ohio State that helped a lot when opening my own practice. While in optometry school, I also volunteered for service trips and led a service trip to places like El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, and Nicaragua to provide eye care and glasses to the underserved and poor of those countries. I also publish and lecture on various optometry topics all over the country, which helps broaden my knowledge of the profession and new technology.