How should I ask for a shadowing opportunity?
So far, I've been making calls to a few optometry centers to ask for a shadowing opportunity. One of the receptionists told me to show up in person. I gave him my resume without directly speaking to their optometrist, who doesn't work on that day. Would it be better to speak with their optometrist directly? Also, how long should I wait for a call-back about the opportunity? I'm not sure how much longer I should wait for a call-back until moving on to ask at another center...
I would go ahead and ask as many people as you can first, because waiting one at a time may be a disadvantage for you. If you ask everyone ahead of time, like in a job interview, you can give it a few weeks to get as many answers as you can and go with the best option for you, while politely declining the other opportunities. I do not have experience shadowing but I would think this could better help your chances, as some places may forget or have it low priority.
Also I think it could leave a good impression to meet with the optometrist in person first, but that is just my personal opinion as I do not have experience there. Perhaps it could help your chance of shadowing, but I am not sure.
I would not hesitate to ask at other places. If you get a "yes" from somewhere while waiting to hear from another it's ok. They are doing you a favor but they are not counting on your presence to get their job done. So if you choose to not come it its ok. If they call to tell you you can come in but you no longer need that location, express your gratitude. Another option is to observe 2 locations. This way you can observe how different people do things.
Also you can option offer to help with anything you can while shadowing. They may need some help with something and be eager to accept you. Don't be afraid to ask. They can always say no. It's ok. Be polite and professional. Who knows. You could leave a favorable impression and open up a potential future career opportunity.