In an effort to promote the profession of optometry and incorporate the teachings of Schools and Colleges of Optometry, Walmart/Sam’s Club sponsor a national scholarship competition in conjunction with the annual American Optometric Association’s (AOA) Optometry’s Meeting. Representatives from most of the 23 national schools and colleges of optometry attend this professional conference which was recently hosted in Denver, CO.
The competition aspect of this event featured teams of students that were encouraged to create a business model that closely represented this year’s theme: “Your Walmart/Sam’s Club Practice Makes Perfect.” The regional round entry consisted of teams of 2 students submitting a preliminary entry questionnaire that highlighted their practice model concept for Walmart/Sam’s Club while incorporating the company’s basic beliefs and mission. The judges from this round evaluated all entries and selected up to 3 teams from each school to compete in the regional on-campus round.
Student teams that were selected in the regional round then presented to a panel of judges at their respective campuses. The 15 minute presentation is followed by a 10 minute Q&A session from the panel. Based on the panel of judge’s decision, 8 teams were selected to advance to the national competition in Denver.
Similar to the regional round of competition, the national finals included a 15 minute presentation, followed by a 10 minute Q&A. The final round presentations were evaluated by a 6 judge panel comprised of Walmart/Sam’s Club Leadership Administrators. Additionally, the students created a poster presentation of their model that was displayed at the Walmart/Sam’s Club Dessert Reception.
UIW and the Rosenberg School of Optometry (UIWRSO) wish to congratulate 3rd year students, Janelle Sventek and Verle Judd for claiming the top prize in this competition! In addition to the $15,000 team scholarship award, the winning team also receives a traveling trophy for display at their respective institution. The award winners were named and recognized at the Dessert Reception in front of their peers, faculty, and other conference attendees.
Through both academic coursework, along with a Private Practice Association, and experienced faculty, UIWRSO is committed to helping provide guidance and support to students with aspirations of opening their own practice at time of graduation. Janelle and Verle are well on their way!