Poppy Carlig is a typical dental student– that is if “typical” involves four NCAA championships and a nine-week stint on public television. As a student at Stanford, Poppy swam on the synchronized swimming team that won the NCAA championships all four of her years on the team. In 2008, she was on the US Olympic training squad but had to step down from the team due to a shoulder injury. In 2010, after earning an MA in Sociology, she was chosen for the tenth season of NBC’s The Apprentice, where she survived all the way to the top six in week nine. From synchronized swimming to swimming with “sharks”, Poppy’s enthusiasm and commitment have never waned. Now, as a student dentist and Pacific ASDA’s chapter Fundraising Chair, she brings her unique skill set to organized dentistry. Poppy tells us everything we need to know about how she went from Apprentice to student dentist, and how the two may not be as different as one might think.
What inspired you to apply for The Apprentice?
I applied to The Apprentice while undergoing the dental school application process which was just after my graduation from Stanford. I knew that the process would take about 1 year, and thought taking the New York adventure would be a fun last hurrah before buckling down in school.
Becoming a dentist was a career choice that came to me later in life. I knew that I wanted to be in the medical field, but wanted a very hands-on job that would allow me to nurture life long relationships with patients. After shadowing endless MD’s, I sat unconvinced and a bit befuddled in my dentist’s chair. He asked me to shadow him, and I soon realized that dentistry combined each of the qualities I was looking for in a career. I even began to recall the pride I have always placed in my smile, and how when I was the only middle schooler without braces or a retainer I would unravel a paper clip and put it across my anterior teeth as mock orthodontia.
Has your Apprentice experience helped you in dental school? Do you foresee any future influence it may have on your career?
My experience on the apprentice has helped me greatly in dental school. While my time with Trump didn’t teach me Physiology or Biochemistry, I learned about the art of business. Understanding your customer from a business prospective not only helps you tailor your work to your patient, but also helps to attract more patients and business. I look forward to exercising the business savvy skills I learned in my practice.
Why did you get involved with ASDA?
I saw getting involved in ASDA as an avenue to not only give back and be a more active member philanthropically, but also to help give students a voice. I take pride in being a representative and feel honored to be given the opportunity to serve.
~Danielle Marquis, Pacific ’13