I was very fortunate to be selected by my chapter to attend ASDA’s National Leadership Conference last year. It was an amazing experience that I highly recommend for anyone who wishes to grow as both a leader and a professional. During my time at the Conference, I attended various sessions that were focused on ways to improve ASDA chapters, and I also learned from other ASDA chapters that were in attendance. The most informative points I heard chapters discuss were:
- Proactively involve the incoming class of D1 students and explain what the organization could do for them. Topics to cover include the business of dentistry, business management, leading an office and being a leader in the community.
- Pair an upperclassman mentor for each incoming student.
- Share ASDA initiatives, such as advocacy efforts, with all your members; this information isn’t just for upperclassmen or the most-involved students.
- Share information and ideas by organizing a meet-and-greet or a gathering to welcome the new incoming students and pique their interest in ASDA.
- Explore new fundraising ideas, such as: an auction with doctors’ services or dinners with faculty, a suturing class with the oral surgeon faculty, and holding a barbecue for all students, alumni, faculties, and their families. These types of events not only benefit students but also give faculty and dentists in the community the opportunity to get more involved with their local chapter.
- Consider organizing your own smaller-scale leadership conference at school to provide students with the opportunity to advance their leadership skills.
My time at the ASDA National Leadership Conference opened my eyes to the importance of involving dental students from all different classes in our local chapter, brainstorming ideas and organizing events. I hope we can spread the ASDA fever and work to make our local ASDA chapter more collaborative and innovative.
Have you attended NLC in the past? Share your favorite takeaways in the comments below!
~Feras Ziadat, Arizona ’18
Registration for ASDA’s National Leadership Conference is now open! Dental students receive in-depth training in general and specific areas of dentistry through school – including ethics, treatment options and patient care. But the skills needed to be a successful business owner, team leader and people manager are sometimes left out of the mix. The National Leadership Conference will help ensure that you’re a well-rounded leader in the profession of dentistry.
ASDA’s 2015 National Leadership Conference welcomed almost 600 dental students, as well 65 predentals. All predental and predoctoral ASDA members are invited to join us at this year’s event, to be held Nov. 4-6, 2016 at the Hilton Chicago in Chicago, Ill. You do not need to have experience as a chapter or national leader to attend.