Attending ASDA’s National Leadership Conference? Plan ahead

NLC promo

When I attended ASDA’s first-ever National Leadership Conference in 2012, I was a third-year dental student. The quality of programming, the engaging speakers, the dedication of the alumni and close interaction with national leaders were something I had not yet experienced in the ASDA universe. There are benefits available at this conference that are not available in our other meetings. It focuses exclusively on leadership and makes our chapters better by making our individual members better. It is about empowering YOU with the skills you will need as you move forward in ASDA, education, organized dentistry and life.

As summer gives way to fall, planning for National Leadership Conference (NLC) is well underway. Over the course of November 4-6, approximately 600 dental students and more than 80 predentals are expected to descend upon Chicago. The agenda is action-packed, the speakers inspiring and the breakout sessions better than ever. Are you attending? Has your chapter set a plan for the weekend yet?

Here are five ways to plan for this inspiring weekend:

  1. Plan to be inspired. We will hear from two impressive keynote speakers at NLC this year. Adam Kreek, Olympic rowing gold medalist and adventurer, will speak to us about overcoming failure to drive empowerment and growth in our lives. Adam reached dizzying levels of success in his rowing career, but was not able to complete the very first unsupported rowing attempt across the Atlantic. We will also hear from Doc Hendley, who decided he could make a difference in the world by bringing fresh drinking water to its far corners. His agency name, Wine to Water, pays homage to his former job as a bartender.
  2. Plan your breakout sessions. In addition to the general sessions, we will hear from a star-studded group of ASDA alumni and industry experts. Topics range from creating a killer CV, managing student debt, chapter development, application to residency and much, much more. ASDA will continue to focus on wellness with an entire track for personal development and wellness. Look at the schedule online and plan out which breakout sessions you’ll attend before you get there.
  3. Coordinate as a chapter. Speak with the other students attending from your chapter and coordinate which sessions you’ll attend. This way you can maximize your time by attending a variety of sessions as a chapter. Be sure to reconvene when you return to school and swap notes.
  4. Plan your path in ASDA. NLC is all about personal and professional growth. One of the best ways to foster future growth is to get more involved with ASDA. Applications for national leadership positions are open and ready for you to take the leap. If you have questions about a specific position or an aspect of ASDA leadership, NLC is the perfect place to ask. There will be a national leader meet and greet on Saturday night where you can get answers to all your questions and explore what each leadership position has to offer.
  5. Pass on your takeaways. ASDA will post session presentations online after the conclusion of the conference. Use these tools as well as your personal notes to share what you learned with classmates who couldn’t attend NLC.

What are you most looking forward to at #NLC16? Tell us about it in the comments below!

If you’re not attending NLC this year, make sure you keep in contact with those fellow members who do attend, so that you can learn from them and pick their brains when they get back.

~Dr. Gabe Holdwick, Detroit Mercy ’14, chair, National Leadership Conference Planning Committee

Gabe Holdwick

Dr. Holdwick served as the 2013-14 Speaker of the House, and currently is the Chair of the NLC Planning Committee. Upon graduation from the University of Detroit-Mercy School of Dentistry in 2014, he completed a General Practice Residency at Palmetto Health-Richland in Columbia, South Carolina. Dr. Holdwick purchased a general dental practice in his hometown of Harbor Beach, Michigan in 2015.

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