Why do you want to be a dentist?
I think that, as future dentists, we have the opportunity to have a big impact on the lives of our patients and on our communities. I love that we are able to put smiles on other peoples’ faces and make their lives even a little bit better.
What do you think is the most vital quality in a leader?
A leader is only as strong as the support system they have behind them, and I think it’s really important that leaders recognize that and have a mutual respect for those they are leading and working with. No one can be successful without a team!
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned in dental school so far?
I think the biggest lesson I’ve learned is that we have to have patience with ourselves. We all at some point or another feel this intense pressure to succeed at all times and to be the best at everything. I think we forget sometimes to be kind to ourselves and to focus on learning from the mistakes we make, rather than beating ourselves up about them. I’m still not great at it, but it’s a work in progress!
What’s the bravest thing you’ve ever done?
I grew up in a town of 900 people, so going to a university with over 30,000 students was a pretty scary thing to do. Looking back now, I’m so glad I did it. Even though leaving home was scary, it pushed me out of my comfort zone and it got me to where I am now.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
One of my college professors said on the last day of class, “As you get out of here, surround yourself with people who are smarter and kinder and better at your job than you - we learn best that way.” I think it’s a hard thing to do because we all want to be the best at what we’re doing, but it’s a good reminder that we learn more surrounding ourselves with successful people.