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"One Piece of Advice" from Successful Applicants 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 Application Cycle

Updated: Jul 9

We asked recent successful applicants to the domestic and international dental school admissions process (you can find their success stories here): "What is one piece of advice you have for someone applying grad school in your profession?"

Below is the compilation of all the great advice they have to share (in no specific order):

“Definitely reach out to students or professionals that have already applied to that grad school. They are a great help in preparing and understanding how the school experience is like.” - Alexander Jun, UOP Class of 2025

"One piece of advice I have is this: I want to encourage everyone to be proactive in reaching out to schools. Although I had received acceptances in December, I had not heard back at all from my top choice school. With the encouragement from Jenny and Wilson, I sent a letter of interest to the admissions which landed me an interview the following month. I was initially waitlisted, but I continued to express my interest in their program by sending a letter of intent as well as update letters on my activities every few weeks. Ultimately, the school invited me to join the class at the end of May near the end of the cycle. It is not over if a school doesn't get back to you. Reach out and be proactive - it could change everything!" - Shinwoo Lee, UOP Dugoni School of Dentistry, Class of 2024

“For someone who is applying to the IDP program, I want to tell you that you have all the capabilities to achieve it. It is not an easy path but with effort and perseverance you will achieve it. The most important thing is to trust yourself and don't give up” - Erika Parra- UCSF IDP Class of 2025

“You must plan ahead. There are a lot of moving pieces and deadlines to keep track. Doing a thorough search into each program and plan accordingly are keys to reaching your goals. Most importantly, stay humble and thankful.” - Nick Chang, DDS, PhD OHSU Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Residency Class of 2028

“Be your true self & be in the profession for all the right reasons to help your patients.”- Pragati Nahar, UCSF IDP Class of 2025

“One piece of advice for someone applying to grad school in dentistry is to pursue extracurriculars that you are passionate about and that show who you are as an individual. Furthermore, start your application as early as possible and give yourself time to review your work with a clear mind. “ -Sabrina Chan, UOP Class of 2025

“One piece of advice that I have for someone applying right now would be to stay persistent and as hard as it gets, keep reminding yourself with your core motivators to get you through the challenging times!”- Savannah Thaw, Boston University Class of 2026

“My few pieces of advice is to: Be Organized, work on your application ahead of time and APPLY EARLY! Keep a spreadsheet of things you need to complete with their due dates. Being organized and working on your application early allows you to have time to perfect your application. This will allow you to submit your application early during the application cycle which increases your chance of an interview.” - William Poon, Temple University Kornberg School of Dentistry Class of 2025

“Dedication is the key, Do not loose the hope,Sometimes you have to wait for a while to achieve what are for aiming since long, especially as an IDP student. Additionally it is also beneficial to get professional help from people like Jenny instead of losing your whole year.” - Karan Solanki, UIC College of Dentistry DMDAS 2025

“Everything happens for a reason. There will be times you want to give up but when you are passionate about something you will keep working hard until you achieve your goals.”- Kristen Nguyen, ATSU - Missouri School of Dentistry and Oral Health Class of 2027

"My biggest piece of advice when applying to dental school is to stay positive, be realistic and intentional, and believe in yourself." - Jessica Allcock, UCSF School of Dentistry, Class of 2025 (Future USN Dental Corp, ENS)

"One piece of advice I have is you should really focus on making a strong narrative. Don't do random service projects and internships that make you look good. Get involved with a cause you care about, and pursue it in your extracurriculars and internship so that way you have a consistent theme. Then you can connect that theme to your impact in dentistry. Creating a cohesive app is really simple- just follow a cause you're passionate about, and it will shine through your in personal values and mission. Think about how your passion applies to dentistry (e.g. helping a special population)." - Sophia Hernandez, Columbia School of Dentistry Class of 2025

"During the interview process, I religiously referred back to this blog for guidance on how to feel confident and prepared for the interview and application process, and I can say for certain that if it had not been for Jenny and Wilson’s amazing blog. Be prepared for every step of this marathon called applying to dental school! Whether it's your personal statement, secondaries, or interviews- ask for support when needed and pay it forward." -Carlos Moya, ASDOH Class of 2026

Special thanks to all our amazing colleagues above who chose to share their wisdom!

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