Dental School Coach Success Story: How Navi got into 4 dental schools

– Hi, everyone. My name is Zia, and I’m
the Dental School Coach. Today, I have an amazing guest with me. Her name is Navi. She just got accepted
to four dental schools, and she will be attending
ASDOH this coming July. Now, in this interview,
she goes in details about her journey to dental school, taking the DAT, writing
the personal statement in the second days, and doing interviews. She goes in details about the schools that she interviewed at. So, I want you to pay attention to the schools that she talked about. She also discusses what
a woman should wear for the interview. She also runs a blog, it’s
called I want you to check out her blog because she plans to
blog about her journey to dental school and beyond. She is planning to write about her journey in dental school pretty soon. So, without further
ado, let’s jump right in and let me introduce you to Navi. Hi, this is Zia and I’m
the Dental School Coach. Today, I have one of my student with me. Her name is Navi. Did I pronounce that right? – Yes.
– Okay. She got into four dental schools, and she’s gonna talk about all the process that she followed to get into
those four dental schools. Currently, she’s going to ASDOH, which is an instate dental school, and she’s gonna tell us a bit about all the schools that she interviewed at and what her personal
statement writing was like, and also what are some of the things that you can do right now to become a successful pre-dental at the end of this application season. She also runs a blog,
and we’re gonna talk more about that in detail in this
interview, so stay tuned. So, go ahead and tell
us a bit about yourself. – Okay, I’m Navi and I am going to be a D1 at the Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health in Phoenix. I graduated from the
University of Pittsburgh in 2016 with a degree in neuroscience. And I am in my gap year right now, so I took a year off to
apply to dental school. And worked throughout my whole year and applied to a couple of dental schools, and chose Arizona, that
was one of my top choices. And I’m looking forward to
going to dental school in July. – Great, great, it’s only like
what, two months from now? – Yeah, it’s coming up quick. – Yep, coming up quick. So, tell us what made you
interested in dentistry? What was that moment that you thought, okay, dentistry is the right thing for me? – I actually, when I started undergrad, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, but I did wanna go into
some sort of medical field. I started doing research,
and the only position I got in a research lab happened to be at the Pitt Dental Lab. And it was working in the
clinics getting DNA samples from patients so we could
match their genotypic profiles to a phenotypic profile for
genetic diseases in dentistry. So, that was my first exposure to the dental field, and
I really liked working in the clinics with other dental schools and seeing their
interaction with patients. And the moment it clicked was when I saw a dental student make a set of dentures or partials for a patient, and the patient really got emotional and said, “I’ve never felt so beautiful.” And that’s when I realized
dentistry is so much medicine but the patient leaves
feeling so much more confident about themselves, as well. It has a very holistic aspect to it. I started looking into
dentistry from there, and I realized it was the
career I wanted to follow. – And that happened right in
your first year at Pittsburgh? – Yes, my freshman year. – So after that, what have you done to become a successful pre-dental? Like what are some of the
volunteering activities have you done, what are some of the extracurricular
activities that you did? – So, I first started joining
the Pre-Dental Society, knowing what applying to dental school is, what we needed for volunteering and extracurriculars and stuff. So, that club really helped me out. I was part of an Indian dance team as an extracurricular. I also did a lot of volunteering at UPMC, which is a hospital in Pittsburg. I volunteered both in ICU and in the Children’s Dental Clinic. So, I both had medicine and
dental volunteering in there. And then I also did a lot
of research in undergrad. I actually worked in
two labs doing a bunch of different research projects. I just really liked
research at that point. And then I also did a couple
of clubs here and there, like Project Smile, just
things to kind of get away from the academic part of school. – Nice. So, what was the most defining
extracurricular activity that you think helped you out in terms of getting into dental school? – The most defining would
probably be my research. I really worked long hours at my research. I really wanted to get published. I was very into what projects I was doing, and I got to present my research at the International Association of Dental Research
Conference in 2015 in Boston. – Oh wow.
– Yes I felt that I really kind of started and carried through with
a project that was my own. And other projects here and there, but that was an accomplishment for me. – Great, research
projects are very special. I also had one research published before I finished undergraduate, so I definitely think
research is a great way to get into dental school. – I started blogging
just a month or two ago. So, a little after I
applied to dental school and had gotten in already. – So, what is the blog called? – It is – Okay, so I’m gonna
have the links below us so that people can go to your website and follow your blog, ’cause you have had some great blog materials
that you’re writing. So, tell us a bit about why
you’re writing the blog, and what is the purpose of the blog, who is it for, and what are you trying to accomplish with the blog? – Okay, so I started writing
the blog because I felt that throughout my journey
as a pre-dental student, I really wanted to off balance all my academic stuff with other things I was passionate about, and that really helped me
get through the stress. Sometimes it’s not easy
being a pre-dental student, the studying for the DAT
and everything like that. So, I made time for stuff like travel and things I’m passionate about like food, and writing, and I like
action photography. So, I felt that really helped
me get through my journey. And I want other pre-dental students to know that they can
also manage their time and get through this
journey a little easier. You can be creative with
what you want to do. The blog is for pre-dental students, but also dental students as I go through my journey through dental school. I don’t wanna keep it just
for pre-dental students. It is a personal blog, so
I wanna write my journey as it’s happening, and the blog to grow just as I’m growing. And it’s just a place for anyone who is in the dental field wants to read and get inspired about anything I’m writing about at the moment. – Great, so what are some of
the top or popular blog posts that you have written,
and what are they about? – I do get a lot of comments
about my wellness posts. A post I just wrote about
was about neuroscience and yoga, and how yoga
can really help manage mental health issues,
and stress and anxiety. And it’s a way for really
managing those symptoms that come along, which
can really help anyone that’s in college or
with any any life issues. A lot of pre-dental
students have reached out to me that I personally
know that are a year or two behind on their
journey, who are taking the DAT and have liked my post
that I’ve written about how to survive the DAT and stuff like that. It is fairly new right
now, so I don’t have too much content up there, but I hope to. – Yeah, definitely, as you go, you’ll have more and more content. I think that’s why we’re
doing this interview so that pre-dentals from both end can see and experience what
you’ve been going through during the application process and beyond. And they can follow you
through your journey to dental school. So, let’s kinda go back
to where we’re talking about application process and that’s why I wanted to introduce your blog here. What did you study, or how
did you study for the DAT? What are some of the
strategies you have followed? Because DAT’s essentially
the most challenging part of doing the application process. – Yes. – And how did you go about it? – I knew that I wanted to set aside about two months to study for the DAT, so I took a summer between my junior and senior year in order
to study for the DAT. From June to middle July,
I took the Kaplan course. It was around a six week course. It was half in-class, half online. There’s different versions of
it, but I did that version. And about halfway through I realized it wasn’t exactly for me. I know Kaplan can help a lot of students, or it doesn’t help a lot of students, so I used extra aids to help me study. Chad’s Videos was big source in my organic chemistry and chemistry. Those are some of my
weaker areas in undergrad, so I wanted to really
strengthen up on those. And those videos really helped me get a good score on both those sections. And then I also used DAT
Bootcamp and DAT Destroyer. So, what I did after
the six weeks of Kaplan, I started strengthening my chem and o-chem with Chad’s Videos, and
then did extra studying with other resources until
around the end of July. I also used YouTube videos to help me with my PAT and DAT Bootcamp with my PAT. And from August, all throughout the month of August, I did practice tests. I did all of Kaplan’s practice tests, DAT Bootcamp, I believe has around 10. And then sometimes, I would buy other practice tests from other resources. I forget what other resources
I used for the practice tests. – DAT Achiever or TopScore? – Actually, I had a Barron’s book and I used the practice test at the end of the Barron’s book. I think that was the other one. Which practice is the most important part. You can only study for so long. You’re not gonna be able to know absolutely
everything you need to know. And the DAT, a big part of
the DAT, is beating the clock. The timing is the worst. It’s the hardest part
to overcome, I think. – Yeah. – So, practice was a big help for that. And then what I would do in August was I would do a practice test, a timed practice test throughout the whole day. And then anything I got wrong, I would take that specific section. Say it was in chemistry,
if it was stoichiometry, and I got a question wrong there, I would take DAT Destroyer and do only stoichiometry questions in Destroyer to make sure that what I was getting wrong
in my practice test, I would strengthen up on and that issue would be resolved. Then I would do a practice
test every other day, and I’d practice questions I
was weak on every other day for the whole month of August. And then I took my DAT on September 1st. – Okay, and you didn’t apply in that year because you knew that it’d be too late to apply in September. – Yes, yes. – Okay, I’m interviewing
someone who didn’t listen to me, and she applied in I think October, and she’s still going to dental school. So, I was surprised and I was thinking, okay, so you definitely
challenged me on this, and you got accepted. My hats to you. I’m definitely gonna interview you to see what have you done differently
than other students. Because it’s really tough to get into dental school if you apply late. What are you doing between the time you took the DAT and you applied? – I finished up my senior year. I did all of my senior year classes, graduated, just focused on that. They really helped boost my GPA. And then once I graduated, I took a full-time job
as a dental assistant. So, I did that throughout my gap year. And while I was working, I was also applying to dental school. I applied as soon as
the application opened. I think it was June 1st or 2nd. I did the ASAD application
in a day or two. I got my transcripts sent on their way, and I made sure I could get everything in as early as possible. – Okay, so how did you
become a dental assistant? Did you have to go through some training, or did you just like apply
to some dental office? What was the process? – I was actually living
in Pittsburgh at the time, and I’m from Buffalo, so I
applied to positions both in Pittsburgh and Buffalo
because I didn’t know where I was going to end up living. It was easier to get a job in Buffalo because you don’t need a
certification in New York state. If an office is willing to train you, and overlook that you
don’t have experience. You can tell them you’ve shadowing. And you’ve been exposed
to dental offices already, so that’s a plus in helping you apply. And there are a few
offices that were looking for dental assistants and
willing to train them, so I did find a position in Buffalo. – That’s great, because I
think being a dental assistant definitely boosts your chances of getting into a good dental school. – Yes. – And the reason is that
you’re doing the work. You’re basically in the process of seeing the dentist every day, kind of doing that grind work before you go to dental school. So, you have some background to relate to the coursework and the material that you’re gonna be learning. So, it’s a great way to become successful in your application process. So, anyone listening in,
definitely follow Navi’s advice in how you can get a job
as a dental assistant, even if you have no experience at all. Did you have any experience before? – No, I didn’t. I did a lot of shadowing,
which I’m sure anyone applying to dental school definitely has some shadowing, so you can use that. And tell the dental office. Pay attention in your shadowing. If you’re watching a
composite restoration, tell them you’ve seen this
procedure done before. You know what it looks like. I used to take notes
while I was shadowing. And know that the dentist
is now gonna etch and bond, and light-cure now in this
procedure, and that really helps. They knew that I knew what was coming, but the details, the
instruments, I didn’t know that. They were willing to train me. I already half of their training already under my belt. – Nice. So, you’ve, of course, done really well in your undergraduate. So, what are some of
the challenging courses that you have taken? Also, what are some of
the dental related courses that you’ve taken in your undergraduate? – Sure, so the most challenging
courses actually were towards the beginning of
my undergraduate education. I had a hard major. I did neuroscience and then
I had a minor in chemistry. – Oh wow. – And a certificate in something Pitt calls the Conceptual
Foundations of Medicine, which is basically like medical ethics. So, what I found hardest
were actually my intro bios and intro chems, just
because in the beginning of my undergraduate education, I didn’t really understand
how to study properly, and how to study quality-wise, and not like quantity-wise. So, once I really figured
out good study habits, I saw my grades start to rise a lot more, and I really could tackle any course that really came my way. So, what I found the hardest was really getting over that hump. When you come into
college, I thought I needed to take the intro biochem,
calc, everything at once. You know, follow this linear line. And that was really challenging for me. But once I got over
that, everything really just became that much easier knowing how you can learn material
that really suits you. – And I wanna ask you more about this because I have a lot of students who come to me telling me that they
don’t have good study habit, or they don’t do very
well in science courses, but they still wanna be a dentist. And it’s a very lofty goal when
you don’t know how to study. So, what have you done to
improve your study habits and the ways that you study
for undergraduate courses? – Sure. I was kind of in that same position, too. I really didn’t know what was going on. I was always a good
achiever in high school. And then coming to college, things just weren’t clicking for me. And then I went to a study
resource center at Pitt, and they kind of said
these are different things you can do to help you
learn things better. Some people learn like this,
some people learn like that. So, I tried different things. I used to just sit and
go through my notes, go through slides, just keep
reading the textbook over and over and try to memorize everything. And then I stopped doing that, and I started trying
to understand material in a way that I first wouldn’t forget it. So, making like mnemonics
and stuff like that. But then I started doing a lot of practice questions,
thinking more analytically. In science I find there’s always a reason for what is happening, it’s not arbitrary. So, I tried to more so figure out why, for example, if we’re learning
about cell reproduction, why is this happening in
this stage of the cell cycle? And then you kind of realize, oh, it can’t be any other way. So then it kind of helps you learn things and remember them, rather than straight from memorizing it out of a book, which then actually leaves your memory after you’re done with the test. – Right, in some of the
coursework you’re gonna have to take again in dental
school, intro bio stuff or maybe biochemistry stuff. One thing that I learn in undergraduate and I’m not gonna forget it, is that every professor, when
they’re teaching something, they’re always giving
you hints in the class. They always try to give
you some kind of pointers as to what they’re gonna put on the exam. And that’s a really good way to know that study xyz instead
of studying something that’s not gonna be in the exam, or studying something
that’s more effective. Because what the
professors are gonna cover in the classroom, are more
likely to be in the exam. – Yes. – If you’re struggling with your undergraduate science courses, definitely take the time to understand your professor better. See when they emphasize xyz versus abc, and take good notes on those points before you try to study the whole thing. The worst case scenario
is that you’re gonna try to boil the ocean and
read the whole textbook. They’re not gonna put the
whole textbook in the exam. They’re gonna probably
put some specific detail that they care about and
they want you to know. – Yeah, about that. I actually found the same thing towards the end of my
undergraduate career. I even stopped reading my chapters in my textbook ’cause I
realized what is gonna be on the test is really what
the professor emphasizes in class and in the class notes. A textbook is a great resource to go to help further understand
something you don’t really understand that was said in class. But another thing that I
started doing was going right to the professor if I
didn’t understand something. It’s a great way to build a relationship between you and the professor. And you can even potentially at the end, ask for a recommendation,
which is what I did. I used to go to one of my professors all the time and get help from them. And because of that, I
did well in the course and they also wrote me a recommendation. And the stuff that we
would talk about in class, I started making my own outlines. Even though I had my notes, I started, ’cause writing things
helps me memorize it more. So, I started making my own outlines, and I would even take a classroom, an empty classroom when I was studying and white board all of the material. And pretend like I was
teaching a class or something. Because if you can teach
someone else the material that you’re gonna be tested on, that means that you
really know it yourself. – Navi, if you cannot
teach it to someone else, you don’t really know it. – Right.
– It’s the truth. So next, I wanna ask you about writing the personal statement. It’s a huge part of the
application process. And I wanna ask you,
what did you do to kind of write the thoughts down and getting to the last draft that you submitted? – Sure. I started writing a bunch of drafts. I Googled just how to write
a dental personal statement. I read some examples. I kinda got a feel for
what I should be doing. And I started writing a bunch of drafts and brainstorming ideas of what I’ve done, what’s been most meaningful to me while I’ve been on this
journey to dentistry. And why I really wanna
do this and pursue this. And after a bunch of drafts, I wrote full on personal statements, a couple of different ideas. But then I actually did a mission trip to Nicaragua, a dental mission trip in March of my senior year.
– Okay. – And then after that mission
trip, it kind of hit me, and so I wrote a whole
complete different one. So, sometimes, you can
start brainstorming ideas and stuff that’s really meaningful to you, but when that writer’s block hits, that’s a good time to start
writing a personal statement, ’cause that’s really coming from– – Okay, so what do you mean by that? Like when the writer’s block hit, you should start writing. I think when the writer’s block hits you, you’re gonna be like stuck. – When it lifts. – Oh, when it lifts, okay. – Yeah, ’cause sometimes
a lot of people start to try to force it, and
that’s what I tried to do. I tried to just write a personal statement to write a personal statement. But as soon as I did my mission trip, and that writer’s block did lift, it kind of came naturally. And I knew that was a
personal statement I wanted to show an Admissions Committee. And that it was really coming
from the bottom of my heart. – Okay, so that’s a good way to put it. But let’s say I don’t have the resources to go to Nicaragua or Honduras. – Right. – What can I’d do as a pre-dental student as far as writing the personal statement? – If you’re on this journey then something in dentistry is meaningful to you. And you’re going out
and you’re volunteering, and you’re doing extracurriculars. There’s some part of
yourself that’s pushing you to do this career, and some drive. It’s coming from somewhere. So, I do think that you should sit down and just write down
everything that is meaningful to you, everything that you’ve done to get to where you want to be. And kind of brainstorm, don’t
be afraid to be creative. It doesn’t have to be a cut
and dried personal statement, just be yourself through it. – Did you take any help for
your personal statement, or were you just like
writing many drafts over and just rewriting it? – Once I wrote a couple of drafts and had something that I
felt pretty good about, I went to the Pitt, my
undergrad writing center, and had them give me feedback, not only on grammar and stuff like that, but on content, as well. And then I would take those suggestions and kind of fix things here and there. I started writing it in March, but didn’t really have a draft that I was completely satisfied with until around the end of May. So, it took a lot of revisions. – And I think that’s
good because you wanna give yourself enough time to kinda like know what you wanna write about. Some people try to rush it. I knew a lot of pre-dentals
this year and last year, they have started writing
their personal statement after the ASAD application opened up, so June or maybe like after June. So, it’s a bad idea. If you’re studying for the DAT and you’re trying to
apply in the same year, make sure you start writing
the personal statement early so that you have some time to think about what are you gonna write. Sometimes, it’s not too easy. So, talk it through with a friend, with someone who knows about the dental school application process. Reach out to me or Navi, so we’ll be able to help you guys out in terms of crafting that personal statement
from a personal perspective. All right, so let’s
talk about the 2nd step, which is getting all those references, getting the recommendation letter, and finishing up that
professional summary, and then submitting the application. What was the biggest challenge
that you faced in doing that? – I think the biggest challenge
was in the application. I applied to around 18 or 19 schools. And since I applied very
early and all at once, all of the secondaries came at once. So, I really had to manage
getting those in on time, really spending a lot of time on those. So, there was a lot of work to be put in that application to
really get it through. But if you apply to a lot of
schools, that does happen. You will get all of those
secondaries at once. – Nice, so how did you make the decision of applying to 18 to 19 schools? ‘Cause I think it’s very normal to apply to that many schools,
because people just wanna get into one dental school,
or two dental schools, and they wanna have some options. So, what are some of
the thoughts that went into your head before you decided to apply to those schools? – I kind of was coming
from the same perspective, I just really wanted to
get into dental school. So, I actually bought the
AADSAS book where it lists all the dental schools and
all the stats and everything. I made an Excel sheet and I wrote down the school’s average GPA, science GPA, DAT score, and kind of picked schools where I felt like I had a good chance. And read the mission
statements about the schools, and looked into tuition
and all those factors. Then I made a list around 18 or 19 where I thought if I got into this school, I would be pretty happy going here, and I would have a good
chance of possibly getting in. – Were you manually doing this or were you like following the ADEA book? – I had the online
version of the ADEA book, so I was looking through there, and then I would just kind of write down, or bookmark the page of
the school in the book. And then manually write it down if I wanted to come back
later to look at it. – Right. ‘Cause I would not
recommend doing it manually. It’s so much– – Yeah, there’s a lot of information. – It’s a lot of time-consuming work. I definitely recommend
you getting that book, I’m gonna link it down below
so they can go and buy it. It’s on the ADEA website. It’s maybe about 40 bucks, 50 bucks. But it’s an investment worth taking. In terms of applying to the schools, what are some of the schools
that you had applied to? It’s gonna be a large number, but tell us a few of the schools that you have applied
to and interviewed at. – I applied to a lot
of east coast schools. I’m from Buffalo, so I applied to Buffalo, Pitt, Boston, schools like NYU. I also applied to a couple
of west coast schools like Western University
and ASDOH, where I’m going, and the University of Minnesota. Temple was also a big one. I also actually looked
for a clinical experience. I would go to the school’s websites and make sure they had a
strong clinical program. And so, that was one of the biggest things when choosing to apply to a school. – Okay. How did you find out if this school had good clinical program? Because every school
try to claim that they had a great clinical program, but not every school does. What kind of key words did you look for? – I looked for things
if they did rotations. A lot of the schools I applied to, three of the schools I actually got into, which is the University of Minnesota, Western University of Health
Sciences in Los Angeles, and ASDOH, they actually do
offsite clinical rotations in community health
centers, where they can see more patients than just
one or two patients a day. So, I looked for that,
which is not common, but a really good thing that
schools are starting to do. I looked to see if they did a lot of community service
events, how many patients they did see when they
do the D3 or D4 clinics. When you start doing
simulation, stuff like that, how early in your dental
school’s curriculum you start doing that, so those are some of the things I would look for. – Yeah, definitely. If you are confused
about what the websites are talking about in the school website, make sure you follow Navi’s advice on how to know what schools have
good clinical program. Because at the end of the day, you’re going to be a
clinician and you need to go to a school that facilitates that. So, let’s talk about your
interviewing process. You interviewed with a few schools. What are the schools again, and let’s talk about the schools that you’re comfortable sharing specifics with. – I interviewed at NYU, the
University of Minnesota, Western University of Health
Sciences in LA, and ASDOH. Once I had gotten into dental
school on December 1st, I had a couple more interviews, but I decided not to go to them. Which were from Midwestern University, the Illinois campus, and Touro. – Okay. So, in terms of the
interview, what did you wear? ‘Cause I have a lot of female pre-dentals who always ask me what are
some of the acceptable dress that female candidates can wear? – So, I wore a black business coat with a matching skirt,
which was a pencil skirt which was just above the
knee, so a modest length. And then under my business coat I wore a long-sleeve white button-down, and I had a pair of black heels, which the heel length was about an inch, maybe an inch and a half,
but very short heels. And then I also wore skin-color
tights under my skirt. And then I had a watch,
and that was my attire. – So, let’s jump right in to talk about some specific questions that you faced in the interview. I know that you can’t talk about ASDOH because of a nondisclosure agreement, but let’s talk about some other schools where you interviewed at. How was the experience like? – Sure. All of them were actually very different. I’ll start with NYU. I had a personal one-on-one interview. It was around 20 or 30 minutes. We talked a lot about the school itself, and a little less about my application, and a lot about why I
wanted to be in this field. All of the school
interviews usually do a tour of the school, and they
have a presentation for financial aid and
what their program offers, and everything like that. So, that’s pretty standard
throughout all the interviews. With University of Minnesota,
I had a panel interview. And I was interviewed with two people, and they actually interviewed me for about an hour and 15 minutes, and asked me questions
that were very situational. Actually, only situational
questions, which were like, tell us about a time
where you had to struggle with a deadline that you
couldn’t make in time, and how did you deal with that situation, and give us an example
that you overcome that. So, it was a lot of situational questions and you had to back it up with examples of your extracurriculars and activities that you have done the
last couple of years to really show through example of how you overcome things like that. So, that was a pretty tough
one because it was very long. But by the end, you kind of really get to know your interviewers. And it was nice. And the last one I can talk
about is the one at Western. And I also had a panel interview. So, with two people I had
about a half an hour interview, and that was a little bit more relaxedd. And they had us do a lot more activities with seeing the school,
meeting other dental students. They had a longer day planned and a lot more students at that interview as compared to my others. I usually would be in a
group of around 10 students, but Western had a group of 50 students, which was pretty large. – Oh wow. So, 50 students interviewing
at the same time? – Yes. – In one room or is it like– – 50 students on that day. But all of our interviews were one-on-one. – That’s interesting, because
I had about 45 students at Pittsburgh when I
was interviewing there. – Really?
– Yeah. But maybe like 20 students at NYU. It really varies. It depends on how the school– – It does, yes.
– Schedules interviews. – Yeah, at Minnesota, it was
me and three other people. – That’s it? – Yes. – All right, so what
are some of the things that you liked about each school when you were interviewing there? – I really liked the clinics,
seeing all the clinics. ASDOH and Western had
really updated technology, which was really cool. Actually, all the schools
went very in depth about their programs,
so I left very informed. Specifically, for ASDOH and Western, I really, really like their clinics. For Minnesota, I liked
that the school was very into community service,
and that was a big thing about providing dental
care for the rural areas of Minnesota, and how there isn’t much dental care out there. So, they incorporated that
into their curriculum. – Right. – And let students go to
community health sites and kind of broaden their
clinical experience that way. NYU, the school had a lot
of students talk to us, which was really nice,
and we got to really know the personal feeling
about how dental school is through the eyes of a dental student a little bit more than the other schools. – Yeah, I think ASDOH
and some of the schools, they heavily emphasize on having a lot of clinical volunteering experience. I think that’s what drives them. That’s what drives those schools. So, if you are applying
to those kind of schools, make sure that you have a lot of community service under your belt. Or express interest to
do community service work and volunteering work after you graduate from those dental schools. I had a student two years ago
who also on to Pittsburgh, and he got into ASDOH,
he had about a 2.9 GPA, so I’m really surprised that he got in. And at the same time, very happy for him. But he had a ton of
extracurricular activities under his belt, and that’s
what helped him get into ASDOH. What was the reason for
going to ASDOH as opposed to going to an urban
school like Western or NYU? – So, I really was very shocked by how much the program
was really tailored to how I saw myself in my career. When I was interviewing, and even applying to dental schools, I kind of
didn’t realize the difference between all the dental programs, and thought that I would
get the opportunity to pick somewhere where I would thrive. And then once I got to interview at ASDOH and even get into ASDOH,
I was really happy because it was really tailored to how I see myself in my career, and giving me the opportunities
to be that person. One of the things that they
do is a modular curriculum. So, we take our boards after
the D1, the first year, and we do every single
class in kind of a mod. So, we would do like
one week on this class, and kind of do it that way
throughout the whole year. And it suits my learning style a lot, so I thought that I would do well in that type of program. Their clinical experience
was also phenomenal. I really liked how they
do offsite rotation, so in your D4 year, you get to go to different community health
centers around the country. And a lot of students say they see about five to six patients a day, instead of just the one or two, which is really, really amazing in building clinical experience, and important when you
graduate from dental school. Their technology was pretty up-to-date. And even tuition and cost of living-wise, the Phoenix-Mesa area was something that I really looked into as a factor. And it was a lot more affordable for me than some of my other choices. – So, how much is it gonna cost you every year to go to ASDOH? – ASDOH’s tuition is
around $75,000 a year. – Okay, is that including room and board? – No, it’s not. – So, maybe add on 80,000 together. Yeah, compared to like 120,000 for NYU, it makes more financial sense. Because after the four
years, you’re gonna have about $80,000 more loans
if you went to NYU. One thing that’s really important for you as a pre-dental is to go to a place where you’re gonna thrive. So, I had a student right before you and who’s going to Penn Dental. And the reason she’s
choosing Penn Dental is because of, number one, the name brand. Also number two is the fact
they have heavy emphasis on specialization, and
she wants to specialize in something like ortho or
oral and maxillofacial surgery. So, if you are like that, and that’s a completely different game. You have to choose a school
that’s doing a specialization versus if your goal is to do
community dental clinic work, and if your goal is to go
into general dentistry, go to a school that’s gonna
make you a great clinician. – Yes, and even a lot of
schools that I went to and I interviewed, and a lot of things that all their dental students say is you don’t really,
sometimes you shouldn’t go into dental school knowing this is gonna be the specialty that I wanna go into. And if you do, that’s great. I personally don’t know what I want to do, but ASDOH had a factor
that all of their students who wanted to specialize, got into their top one or two residency choices. So, they did have a great
residency match rate, if that’s what you wanted to do. So, I liked that I had
that option in that school. – Definitely, again, it’s all about where you’re gonna fit in and where you’re gonna strive to be the best dentist you could be. Let’s talk about financial aid factors. Did ASDOH offer any kind of scholarship or any kind of sort of
loan reduction program that kinda attracted you? – They didn’t offer a scholarship, I didn’t get a scholarship. They have a lot of scholarship options that you can apply through
that’s not through the school. I know you can apply through the army, you can do the National
Community Service scholarship, where you kind of have to work in a community health center that helps you pay off your dental loans. – Right. – So, they gave us a list of a bunch of scholarships that we can apply to, and that they do participate with. So, that can help your tuition. And they have a lot of
financial aid services that helps you get loans, figure out and understand your loans, which I think all schools do. – Yeah, I think as a dental student, most of the time you’re
gonna have to take loans, and we have to be comfortable
with, I think living with a half million dollar loan sometimes. And it’s also that uncomfortable for a lot of students. I ask this question to many
of my successful students because a lot of them are making decisions about where to go and
what schools to choose. And sometimes, it comes down to the money. Some schools offer better
money than other schools. – I’m excited to get started. The first year’s gonna
be a lot of science work, school work, but I’m
really excited to kind of dive in to learning what I’m gonna be using for the rest of my career. A lot of undergrad classes is kind of just building your science knowledge, but this is the meat of the material that’s gonna really shape your career. And I’m excited to do
things with patients, and just get into the
field of dentistry finally. – Nice, and how are you
gonna integrate your learning that you are doing in dental school with your blog and with your website? – I think I am going to make it very, it’s gonna go as my journey
through dental school. I’m gonna talk about how
I survived these classes. How, you know, hopefully,
no, I’m just kidding. But how I kind of survive
the world of dental school. And sometimes it can be tough,
sometimes it can be great. And I’ll write about the great moments. And if I find at one point,
this is what I wanna do in my career, I wanna write about that and a few articles to inspire
other dental students maybe on their way to kind of figure
out the way through school. – What should pre-dental students do when they’re seeking
recommendation letter from their professors? – Something that I was
told to do was make sure you get a recommendation
letter from a professor that can very much write
personally about you, and that you know very well. Dentistry is such a
interpersonal profession that an admissions committee really wants to read something that’ll
tell them even more about you. They can look at your transcript and know that you did very well in this class, but someone who can write for you, this person came to my
office hours every week, and really persevered,
and really tried hard. They’re very motivated. That says so much more. It says that you go out of your box to really get what you want and achieve. And that’s very important for someone who’s recommending you to
be able to write about you. – Okay, let’s remember to clap. It’s just a way to know where the cut is. And also like the silence point. I don’t know if you know iMovie. iMovie has this pointer where it just becomes like
flatline if you’re silent, and it jumps up and
down if you have audio. It’s crazy, I’m just learning this stuff because I have no idea. You learn as you go. I’m sure like you’re
doing blogging right now, maybe later down the
line, you’re gonna start some kind of vlogging with your video showing how the dental schools are like. Showing what’s your day
like, stuff like that. It’s kinda a good way to become pretty popular within
that dental community, pre-dental community.
– Okay. – So, definitely.
– Yeah. – Do you have any question for me? – I don’t think so. So, it’s just gonna be
this entire video, right? And you’re just gonna cut it up. – Yeah. – Do you know when you’re
gonna be done with this series? – Are you asking when
am I gonna publish this? – Yes. – Within a week, hopefully. – Okay. – The process is usually
like I’m gonna cut it out, make sure that the cuts
are done, edits are done. I asked a website to do
the transcript for us. So, basically, because I do the transcript it’s a good way to get more views and more better search
engine optimization. When the transcripts comes back, it takes about two to three days. I don’t know why it goes,
but it’s pretty expensive. It’s like a dollar per minute. But when the transcript is done, it usually takes about a few days, and then I make sure that the audio is correctly done, the
lighting is properly placed. If the lighting isn’t
done, I try to enhance it before I put it on YouTube. So, I expect it to go within a week. So hopefully, by next
weekend, it should be up. – Okay, okay. And then do you practice
general dentistry? – I’m not a dentist. – No?
– No. – You went to dental school? – I didn’t go to dental school. I don’t know if you knew my story. I got into Pittsburgh, Penn, UCSF, NYU. – I saw the list on the website. – Yeah, I got into all these schools. My mother became really sick right around the time when I
was going to dental school. So, I decided to become
a consultant instead. – Okay. – It’s like the Penn
thing, I think 70 to 80% of Penn students are either
consultants or bankers, so I just decided it was rather easier. – Yes, well, you’re doing a great job. – I like helping people
getting into dental school. It’s not something that I do for money. I’m doing this like
these interviews cost me a lot of time and energy, but I’m doing it because I wanna help out. – Right. – If you look around on YouTube, there aren’t many videos on
how to get into dental school, like the process of
getting into dental school. A lot of the students are saying a lot of things on, but they’re not very good suggestions. Sometimes there are like
multiple things different, coming from different
people’s perspective, and they’re not very consistent. – So, I’m trying to make that
gap filled with good advice from people like you, who
are going to dental school, who have already got accepted
into different schools, and making sure that you guys have a better input into that process. – Right, okay, yeah.
– Yeah. So, what’s the plan for your website? – I am just writing as I kind of go. I don’t know exactly
what it’s gonna turn into while I’m I dental
school, but I have an idea of kind of just writing
through my journey. A lot of things that I do in life kind of, you know, it’s all about balance. And I wanna be able to balance a lot of things that I like with dental school, and kind of show people
that they can do that, too. I take a lot of yoga
classes and fitness stuff. I did it throughout undergrad and I don’t wanna lose
that in dental school, and lose all the other things
that I’m passionate about. So, I think it’ll be a good
way to kind of motivate me to keep that balance between
the things I’m writing about and motivate other people that
they can do the same thing. Because really a healthy
lifestyle balance is really good. – There is this YouTube channel, I don’t know if you follow it, it’s called TheStriveToFit. It’s a medical school channel. You should check it out. She also does kinda similar stuff. I think she was doing weightlifting when she was undergraduate, and then she had a fitness channel. And then she started doing a medical school channel, as well. And that became like the number one, popular medical school channel on YouTube. So, it’s something you can strive to do. And it’s pretty simple. If you’re looking into that YouTube or vlogging type of work, it’s similar to what you’re telling me. Like basically, that’s
what you’re telling me. And I think if you do the vlogging stuff, it would be like, it would
put you at the top of the map. People will know you more. – Okay, yeah. Actually, I used to follow a lot of vlogs of people who were in medical school and not dental school, and kind of doing the same thing, balancing out their other
passions with med school, and I found that there
really wasn’t anyone in dentistry that was doing that, or that I could follow along. I used to take a lot of things from the medical school vlogs
and apply them to my life. So, I thought I would kind of take stuff, and I like writing, I like being creative. So, kind of took it from there. – Great, and also the quickest way to kill your blog is to not have a plan. So, make sure you have a plan, ’cause you’re not gonna have much time when you’re doing dental school, and also trying to blog at the same time. So, if you plan it out
months ahead of time, you know when to post your blogs. You don’t have to post every month. But if you know that,
okay, so in two months, I’m gonna post about xyz fitness stuff, it makes it much easier. ‘Cause I know that when I’m working for like 70-80 hours a week, it becomes super tough
for me to do the videos. And at once point, I got so disappointed that I was gonna cut Dental
School Coach and just leave, like I’m gonna shut this website down. But then I just stayed consistent. And a lot of the videos that
people see on YouTube now, I’ve done them maybe like out of a whim, wasn’t any strategy behind them. But they’re ranking pretty well. So, that’s why I started
this success series because I think this could
be really, really huge. And people wanna hear about stories of how people got into dental
school, so it’s really what people wanted to see and hear. And that’s why I’m doing it. – Right, okay, yeah, it’s great. Thank you. – I have to keep it up. As long as YouTube is up, I hope to have those videos up and running. All right, so let’s do the ending part. Ending part is basically like let me thanking you and stuff like that. All right, thank you, Navi,
for doing the interview with Dental School Coach today. It’s been a pleasure and
I think this interview will help a lot of pre-dental students who are struggling with how to study, struggling with how to balance their life while being a pre-dental, and also, struggling to think of how to
study for the DAT properly. So, thank you a lot. And I am sure that people are
gonna go visit your website. And I’m gonna link it below down here. Thanks so much again, and all the best on your journey to dental school. – Thank you. – Hi, thanks so much
for watching the video. If you like this video,
give it a big thumbs up. Share and subscribe so that
I can continue to grow this. And that way, I can help
more pre-dentals like you to get into their dream dental schools. All right, thanks for your support, and I hope to see you in the next video. (bouncy pop music)


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