Fall 2015
Fall 2015

A New Voice for ICO
We have been listening. We’ve been paying attention to feedback from our students, faculty, staff, and alumni. As a result, ICO is learning more about how our established program is perceived in the universe.
Written by Jenni Gaster Sopko, MA

For the past several months, we worked with Junction Lab, a Chicago-based firm, to get a better perspective on the emotional factors that are driving enrollment decisions among potential ICO students- even the ones that didn’t choose us. How did they come into the profession of optometry? Why did they select, or not select, ICO?

Many of the things we learned were expected, but a few new insights were surprising. One of the takeaways—and one that you, no doubt, have been hearing a lot about lately—is the shifting attitudes of Millennials. For most of this generation, it’s not about going to the “best school” or even being the “best doctor.” It’s about having a career that fuels the lifestyle they’ve always wanted.

We have been working to translate all of our discoveries into a clear, articulate brand position. Today, we think we have found a better way to share ICO’s story in a unified, powerful voice. Not to worry- the nuts and bolts of ICO’s esteemed program are still the same.

So, what does all this mean for the largest optometry network in the land? Simply this: the journey to becoming a great doctor isn’t taken alone. Within the confines of our campus on the South Side of Chicago, you are part of the experience.

From the start, many alumni provide potential and current students with shadowing opportunities. Others are externship preceptors during the fourth year. Then, even more open the right doors for graduating students to become practicing doctors. We appreciate your time, the willingness to open your practices, and your pearls of wisdom. We hope you will continue to do these things; they’re part of what makes ICO students best prepared to practice!

ICO uniquely prepares students to become great doctors. With a nod to that message, we encourage you to explore the redesigned www.ICO.edu. There, you will get a feel for ICO’s updated tone and personality Eventually, we hope you’ll visit your alma mater in-person to see even more growth: a renovated RC, updated print and digital assets, even improved live interactions. These and more prepare ICO students for life.

Heard around campus:

What does it mean to be #ICOPrepared?

“Being#ICOPrepared now means being the best in our field later!”
– Nicole Gall, ’17

“Living in the RC, studying until late hours in the study lounges, going for RC adventures, and meeting some awesome people. Wouldn’t have it any other way.” #ICOPrepared
– Brianna Branch, ’19

“When I put on this white coat and walk into IEI, I know this is what I want to do and I know this is where I want to be. That horrendous stack of notes we got at the beginning of the quarter (and more still to come) doesn’t feel so heavy anymore. I am #ICOPrepared”
– Winnie Li, ’19

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