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  • briiibuckley

Making Money During Optometry School

During optometry school, I mostly have had to live off of my student loans. This money allows me to eat, pay rent, and get to ICO- you know, the necessities! But let’s face it, we are in Chicago. There is so much more to do and explore that can cost money. We definitely don’t want to take out more loans than necessary.

Fortunately, there are many different work-study jobs that ICO provides. However, the times you are needed to work may not always correlate with your class and clinic schedule. My solution to getting some more spending money this past year was dog walking. I tried to think of a creative job to make money in a way that I enjoyed, worked with my schedule, and was very flexible. Also, I’m a little obsessed with dogs and miss my dog like crazy! I even got to watch a four-month-old golden retriever grow up since I started watching him from the beginning (that’s him in the beginning in the cover photo and him now down below!)

Wag and Rover are apps that Chicago residents use to find local dog walkers and sitters. I was very fortunate to find a few good residents and be able to watch their dogs on multiple occasions. It allowed me to work around school while still being able to study and play with dogs. Once part one of boards came around, I realized I was not very productive in my own apartment. This job allowed me to get out and study elsewhere. So, really, it was a win-win for me!

One other awesome thing about this job is that I got to choose how far I wanted to travel to watch these dogs. Not having a car here, I did not want to go too far. It was also a good workout to walk to some of the apartments and back! The residents are very understanding and I haven’t had any experience with a bad owner or dog.

I have been trying to think of different off-campus jobs that would be easy to incorporate with school. I know of other students who have bartended or waitressed. Having another commitment on top of school may sound a little scary. You may worry that it will take away from your study time, but sometimes that’s a good thing.

Comment below if you have had or can think of any other off campus jobs that would work with such a demanding schedule!

P.S. 1st and 2nd years at ICO: if dog walking/sitting interests you, I am looking for someone to take over the dogs I watch since I will be off to externships! E-mail me if you’re interested in this opportunity. 🙂


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