This summer, I was lucky to spend four weeks in Chicago as an ASDA Administrative Extern. While rotating through ASDA’s different departments, I saw firsthand the hard work required to manage an association of over 18,000 members. Here are a few of the things I learned along the way:
10. Don’t wear a flowy dress in Chicago. It’s called the Windy City for a reason!
9. I am not receiving ASDA emails! All ASDA members should receive hard copies of the print publications in the mail, as well as monthly e-newsletters in your inbox. If you are not receiving either of these (as I was not), shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or log into the website and update your contact information.
8. Whether you’re interested in legislation, public health, writing, or just getting free lunches, there is an ASDA leadership opportunity available for you. From big jobs to small, volunteering with ASDA is a rewarding and worthwhile use of our limited free time during dental school.
7. The two best views of Chicago are from the Adler Planetarium and the women’s restroom on the 95th floor of the John Hancock Building.
6. Most of the specialty associations encourage student membership and have helpful resources available for students. Check out this blog post with links to all the different membership opportunities. (Psst – a few of the student memberships are FREE!)
5. I had the misconception that ASDA is the student version of the ADA. That is not the case! ASDA works with, but operates separately from the ADA to focus solely on issues affecting students. Thankfully, ASDA membership includes ADA membership as well so we can enjoy the benefits of both organizations.
4. You must never put ketchup on a Chicago style hot dog. If you ask for ketchup, you are “defacing” the dog, and it’s no longer a true Chicago style hot dog.
3. ASDA is kind of a big deal. Did you know that over 88% of dental students are ASDA members? Also, as Colleen mentioned, ASDA’s executive director Nancy Honeycutt was just awarded the very prestigious Inspiring Leader Award from the Association Forum of Chicagoland. Wow!
2. There is a hardworking, dedicated staff of twelve at the ASDA central office working tirelessly to improve our lives as dental students and prepare us for careers in dentistry. Best of all, this staff is approachable and eager to help students make the most of their ASDA membership!
1. Involvement in ASDA is the perfect way to enrich our experience as dental students. In dental school, we learn the technical aspects of dentistry, but there is so much more to it! Through ASDA, we gain leadership skills and develop camaraderie with our colleagues that will last a lifetime. That is what ASDA Fever is all about!
~Megan Guthman, Chicago Administrative Extern, Alabama ’14