Snezhana Belukov '07
Area(s) of Study
Major in Biology and Minor in Chemistry
Vernon Hills, Illinois
Doctor of Optometry
Illinois College of Optometry
What made you choose Lake Forest College?
I chose LFC for the small classroom size and the individualized education. Every class and lab was taught by a professor and not a TA. There is always an opportunity to grow whether through participating in student organizations, doing research, or working as a TA. Additionally, LFC offers networking in the Chicagoland area which allowed me to assist with plant biology research at the Chicago Botanical Gardens and also assist with cell biology research at Rosalind Franklin University. LFC makes students feel important and the professors care about your educational development and guide you to success.
How did a liberal arts education make a difference for you?
The liberal arts degree has given me the ability to problem solve in the real world and has prepared me to be a well-rounded individual. The variety of courses offered prepared me for the rigors of optometry school and has enabled me to contribute to the betterment of our society.
What experiences outside of the classroom do you think helped prepare you for the Doctor of Optometry program you engaged in?
My participation in healthcare organizations, volunteering and shadowing opportunities allowed me to narrow my career aspirations towards optometry. Additionally, LFC provides excellent resources that make you a well rounded student such as opportunities to conduct lab work, become a TA, and take leadership roles within student organizations. The academic and life skills that I learned at LFC have made me a stronger leader, a productive individual, and paved the way for a successful in my career.
What do you think of the new Health Professions Program between LFC and RFU?
I believe this initiative takes away uncertainty for students who are certain about pursuing a career in medicine. The early exposure to career track courses and the resources provided allow students to build confidence that the health profession they’ve chosen is the right fit. Furthermore, this allows motivated students to begin their career expeditiously and can reduce financial burdens related to more years of schooling.
What skills and experiences at Lake Forest do you believe will help you be successful?
LFC has taught me how to be a good multi-tasker, team player, problem-solver, and to have a good work ethic.
What advice would you give a high school student looking to pursue pre-health and is considering Lake Forest College?
I would tell prospective students that you are in the right place to get a world class education that will allow you to grow and prepare you for your future career. LFC provides the tools and resources to help students succeed. I encourage prospective students to visit LFC and spend a day with a current student to get a feel for the campus. Additionally, it may be worthwhile for prospective students to schedule a time to speak with a representative of the academic department in which they wish to major in order to address any questions they may have. High school is an opportunity for explore various career tracks. Reach out to a health professional in your area that is currently practicing in a field you’re interest in and ask if that professional would be willing to discuss their profession and allow you to shadow them for a day.