The primary goal of just about every dental student is to land a great job or residency after graduation. But for many, the busy and stressful schedule of completing school requirements and passing board exams leaves little time for much else. However, just like completing dental school, landing a great job as a dentist doesn’t just happen with luck.
Networking is a strategy used to cultivate relationships that you can leverage as you develop your career. By being genuine and proactive, you can gain connections who provide you with information, support and job leads as you embark upon your profession.
By now, you know the importance of networking when it comes to landing the perfect residency or associateship. However, when it comes to advocacy, is it really all about who you know? The short answer is yes.
Dentistry is a relational profession. The next 40 years of your career will be spent building relationships with your patients, team and fellow dentists. There is no time like the present to start flexing those interpersonal skills to make lifelong connections and build a quality network.
As part of such a diverse class of dental students, I find myself in awe of how many different languages we can collectively speak. The diversity in my class alone is reflective of the diversity that we have in the U.S. According to the US Census Bureau, about a quarter of Americans speak a language other than English at home. In 2010, Spanish was the widest-spoken language other than English. Other common languages include French, Chinese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Korean and German. Clearly, in today’s globalized world, multilingualism is increasingly important. Here are some reasons speaking another language can benefit both you and the people around you…
I am a first generation American. Both my mother and father grew up in communist Poland. After overcoming many obstacles, they were fortunate to obtain their U.S. citizenship and establish themselves in my hometown of Chicago, Illinois. My parent’s immigration to the United States is heroic in my eyes. They made sure their future family would have lives filled with opportunity. Neither of my parents had the chance to go to college or get advanced degrees, but they understood the meaning of education in the U.S. They instilled in me the importance of achieving. My parents did not specifically push me into a professional degree. However, due to their constant encouragement to excel, I grew to love academia and dreamed of becoming a dentist. The next question was: how on earth was I going to achieve this?
Annual Session 2016 in Dallas, Texas was an incredible success. Nearly 600 dental students from every dental school in the U.S. attended. Meetings like this can be a great opportunity to meet new people and practice your networking skills. Social media outlets are can be used to connect you with other dental student attendees.