Posted Jun. 25, 2019

ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT - Nadine Odermatt, Grad Class of 2011

ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT - Nadine Odermatt, Grad Class of 2011

Alumni Spotlight – Nadine Odermatt – Grad Class of 2011

A clear vision of her future from Pacific University in Oregon.

Which years did you attend Immaculata?

I attended Immaculata from Grade 8 in 2006 until I graduated in 2011.

What are your best memories of Immaculata?  

I have several great memories from Immaculata! Some of the best came from my years on the school’s various sports teams, including volleyball, soccer, and cross-country running. Immaculata always fostered respectful and supportive relationships amongst students, which helped to build teams that were very successful but also fun to be a part of. A few of my closest and most long-lasting friendships were formed from the experiences we shared on those teams. I’ll never forget the feeling of being in a big team huddle for the “I Believe” chant before each Sr Girls Soccer championship game. I also enjoyed the many class trips and events that I was able to be a part of, including band trips, school dances, the annual school fast, and of course some great field trips.

What did you like the most about Immaculata?

I am so grateful that Immaculata provided a tight-knit community during my high school years. I still proudly tell people that it is normal at Immaculata to know virtually everyone in all grades, as well as most of their siblings, and maybe even who their parents are or how their family fits into the local community. That’s extremely unique compared to larger public high schools, and this familiarity led me to seek and contribute to similar supportive environments throughout my post-secondary years. I also can’t say enough about the high-level academics that are taught at Immaculata. Every teacher encourages individual students to achieve their personal best, and to always strive towards their goals with true passion.

What life lessons did you learn at Immaculata?

Immaculata taught me the value of community. I learned very early how rewarding and empowering it is to feel like you have a big school family behind you, always there for support when needed, and always cheering you on. Being friendly to, and understanding of others is also something Immaculata encourages, and those morals have served me extremely well ever since. Additionally, I learned that people aren’t all passionate about the same things, but everyone is amazing at something. I have seen my classmates do so many unique and incredible things in our years post-graduation, and they are all very successful people in their own ways.

What advice could you offer the current Mustangs?

Be yourself! Take some time to reflect on your personal interests, passions, and talents and then proudly own them. Refine your skills, grow as an individual, and apply yourself to building the future you dream of. High school may feel like a long time, but it’s only the start of finding out who you are and who you want to become, and it’s the perfect time to start believing in your potential.

After Immaculata, where did life take you?

After graduating from Immaculata, I attended the University of Calgary’s School of Medicine, where I earned a Bachelor of Health Science. During that degree, I participated in a few research projects and completed an Honours Thesis in Vision Science, which allowed me to graduate with First Class Honours in Biomedical Science. A few months later, I moved down to a small town west of Portland to pursue Optometry at Pacific University. I was lucky to have the Oregon coast as my backyard for 3 years and would highly recommend a trip down Route 101 to anyone who hasn’t been! I’m now out on external rotations that will have me working at clinics in Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia. Attending Optometry school at Pacific as an international student has been an amazing experience filled with unique opportunities and trips to places I never expected to visit. By attending school in Oregon, I received training beyond the scope of optometric practice that is currently allowed in Canada, so I am already well-prepared for future medical advances. I'm very excited to receive my Doctor of Optometry degree in May 2020 and begin practicing as an Optometrist back home in the Okanagan!

Who are the most important people in your life?

I have a large, loving, supportive family who has stood behind me through every step of my journey so far. I also have many friends and mentors I’ve maintained from high school and gained along my travels. Once I'm back in the Okanagan, I look forward to visiting them all throughout North America – from Vancouver Island, to Texas, to Pennsylvania, and many places in-between!

What do you like to do in your spare time? 

I love to explore the outdoors. I’ve always found hiking and trail running to be great for stress relief, and the views from mountaintops are so humbling. I also enjoy fishing and camping in the summer, skiing and pond hockey in the winter, and I’ve continued to play on various soccer teams throughout my schooling.