“Have you shadowed an optometrist yet?”
Looking at grad schools to study optometry.
Currently a rising senior at BU, where she is a biology major.
Location - 10
Much like Fisher College, NECO is located on Beacon Street in a series of converted mansions. We were a little alarmed by the fact that we had to pass the Church of Scientology to get there, but we made it there okay without having to take a free stress test. We had a little trouble locating admissions, but that’s also due to the fact that NECO is also an eye clinic and Jay-Z didn’t mention admissions to the receptionist.
Lobby Appearance - 6
NECO’s lobby was just like the lobby at the doctor’s. It was perfect.
Holly, a third-year graduate student and former bio undergrad from Maine. Fun fact: She usually goes home to eat lunch because she lives so close to campus.
Personality - 9
Holly was surprisingly friendly and did not seem like a stereotypical optometrist, which we found refreshing. She was eager to show us around while adding tidbits of personal information about her time at NECO. We got the sense that she really loved NECO and optometry and we would gladly put our eyes in her hands.
Appearance - 9
Holly was wearing a white t-shirt and a cute mid-century-modern-patterned skirt with adorable white crochet flats. She even had her hair pulled back neatly out of her face: a sign that she obviously follows lab safety. On the hotness scale, Holly received an 8.
Ability to answer questions - 10
Since we know absolutely nothing about science, eyes, or applying to graduate school for medicine, we had a lot of questions, most of which we were too embarrassed to ask. Jackie did a pretty impressive job of faking her knowledge of these subjects, but Holly was equally impressive with her ability to answer our questions.
Ability to relate - 10
Holly and Jay-Z bonded over their shared experiences as bio majors, and Holly even said that they had a leg up over other students because of all the science they’d had to do while undergrads. We also spoke briefly to an admissions coordinator after the tour, who was excited that Jay-Z had gone to BU since her husband had also gone there.
Informative (1) vs Entertainment (10) - 4
The tour was very informational, but Holly managed to keep it interesting by showing us all the cool features of the buildings and telling us about the opportunities she’s had through NECO. We thought that this was definitely one of the most interesting campuses we’ve toured.
Quality/Quantity of free stuff - 7
We received an application, a brochure about going to school in Massachusetts, a brochure just about the NECO clinic program, a general brochure about the school, and a more specific one about the grad programs. All of these came packaged in a white envelope upon our arrival. We didn’t have to pick anything out ourselves.
Quality of literature provided - 7
The literature was well-designed while remaining informative. Again, we really don’t know anything about applying to medical school or even applying to grad school, but thanks to the information we got at NECO, we are at least prepared to become optometrists.
Length of tour (1=too short, 10=too long) - 5
The tour was perfect. We got to see all of the school and its facilities while learning a lot about the program and the admissions process. We even had time to chat with the admissions coordinator for a few minutes afterwards.
Quality of tour content - 9
We saw labs, lecture halls, and student life areas. We learned what classes students take and how they get to work in the field doing screenings from the moment they arrive on campus. While talking to the admissions coordinator afterwards, we also learned that Jay-Z can submit her application without having taken the OATs yet: they will put her application on hold until they get the test scores. This provided some good motivation to finally sign up for the test.
Was there Dr. Pepper? 0
Was there a sitcom TV set in the library? 0 - No, but there was a case of eyes. The jury is still out on whether they were real or glass.
Font choice/use? 7- NECO’s font choice was simple and classic. They mixed fonts well, and, most importantly for a vision school, everything was legible.
Favorite tour member? N/A
Meal Plan Breakdown:
Paulo, the cook, makes breakfast and lunch in the cafe for the students. The food’s pretty good, and there’s always coffee. There’s even a fridge to put your lunch in if you bring it from home.
Our first impressions of NECO. It’s crazy how many colleges there are in former mansions in the Back Bay!
NECO has optometry labs where students can practice various things they’ve learned in class. They also serve as a clinic where Bostonians can get eye exams.
And yes, there were eye charts everywhere.
Seriously, how cool is it that NECO is in a real Back Bay mansion?
We even got to visit the president’s office as a part of our tour: now that’s a Rate My College Tour first.
But really. We can’t get over the fact that this school is in a mansion.
OVERALL NECO EXPERIENCE - 7
If you want to know actual information about possibly attending NECO, head over to StudentAdvisor.com to find out if this is the right school for you.