Shanta admits she is determined to achieve whatever she sets out to do, which is exactly why she moved up steadily from the front desk at a general Chicago area optometry practice – Rosin Eyecare – to the role of optician and finally optician manager at Rosin. All this within a six-year time span.
But, for Shanta, that was not enough. When she learned about an available optician managerial role at the Mind-Eye Institute, she applied – immediately.
“I was intrigued. I checked the Mind-Eye web site and learned that working at Mind-Eye would give me an opportunity to go beyond the standard optometry practice where emphasis is on 20/20 central eyesight to one that uniquely tests for integration of central and peripheral eyesight and synchronization of eyes and ears.”
The problem: Shanta knew nothing about the peripheral retina. And that is exactly what she told Mind-Eye executive research director and founder Deborah Zelinsky OD in her job interview. But her lack of experience in the new optometric science did not deter the Mind-Eye team from hiring her.
“To just about every question Dr. Zelinsky asked me, I had to answer honestly, ‘I don’t know,’” Shanta says. But Dr. Zelinsky says Shanta impressed her during the interview and has good critical thinking skills. “Shanta considered every interview question very carefully before responding. If she did not have the necessary information, she said so,” Dr. Zelinsky recalls.
What impressed Shanta was the willingness of Dr. Zelinsky and the other optometrists on the team to spend the necessary amount of time to prepare and train her for her new role.
“I had two other job offers at the time. I accepted the Mind-Eye position because of the willingness of the team to invest time in me. Why go anywhere else?” Shanta says. In fact, during her first week of training at the Institute, “Dr. Zelinsky took an hour or more out of her schedule every day to go one-on-one with me. And the other optometrists, Dan Myers and Carla Adams, carved out personal time of their own to sit with me and teach me what I need to know.”
Shanta is not new to hard work. She served as a mail sorter for a bulk mailing house in Chicago while still a senior in high school in the early 1990s, eventually achieving the role of billing manager before the company closed its doors. She moved on to a receptionist position for Mac Properties in Chicago’s Hyde Park and then to the front desk at Rosin.
The rest is history.
When she is not achieving, Shanta enjoys some down time with her husband, Reuben, and dog, Rio, at their Chicago area home. She also likes to be active, working out and playing basketball. Yes, Shanta was a point guard on the women’s basketball team at her Chicago high school.
And she appreciates cars – classic cars, particularly. “My dream job – to be a mechanic,” she laughs.