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Successful Applicants—Dental

Successful Applicants to Dental Programs

2022 Matriculants


Headshot: Sarah Greenberg

Name: Sarah Greenberg
Major: Biology and Behavioral
Biology and Studio Art
Overall GPA: 3.76
Graduation Year: 2022
Matriculation Year: 2022

Q: Which school will you be attending?
A: The University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine.

Q: What drew you to this particular health field?
A: In my opinion, dentistry acts as a perfect intersection for my interests in art and science. This profession is an opportunity to apply my interest to service communities through quality and personalized care.

Q: What extracurricular activities did you participate in?
A: During my time at Hunter College, I was fortunate to serve as a pre-health ambassador and mentor. Since freshman year, I was able to connect with students, participate in various panels, and mentor fellow peers. Additionally, I worked closely with Hunter Hillel to establish a former-Soviet Union charter within this organization. Outside of campus, I had the opportunity to shadow and assist four different dentists of varying specialties. I was a research intern at Tel Aviv University while abroad and focused on genetic research with bats. I still do ceramics and paint often; I especially enjoy acrylic painting and surrealism.

Q: How many hours on average did you spend studying for your courses per week?
A: On average, I would dedicate 15-20 hours a week for my courses. While preparing for my DAT, I allocated an additional 20 hours per week.

Q: Did you use a test prep course?
A: I used DAT Boot Camp and self-studied.

Q: Did you take a gap year? If so, why?
A: No.

Q: What do you consider to be your strengths in your application?
A: Other than my academic performance, my biggest strengths in my application were my balanced extracurriculars. They reflected my ability to demonstrate leadership and my passion for the work I do. My extensive hours in shadowing and assisting (~500 hours) affirm that this is the perfect profession for me. Additionally, my artistic background allowed me to practice dexterity often and provide a creative approach to problem-solving, qualities I think are very relevant in dentistry.

Q: Did you apply nationally?
A: I applied mainly to East Coast institutions.

Q: How did the Pre-Health Advising Office help you achieve your goals?
A: The Pre-Health Advising Office is like my family! As a first-generation student, I had a very independent education and sought them out when I began college. They guided me every step of the way through my academic journey and helped me become the organized and confident individual I am now. My advisors constructed my four-year plan, provided unconditional support, and promoted development in my skills as a student and professional. When it came time for my application and interviews, I was beyond prepared because of the dedication and insight Kemile, Veronica, and Nina gave me. I wouldn't be where I am without their encouragement and honesty.

Q: What advice do you have to others?
A: The biggest advice I can give you is to utilize your resources. Although this journey may feel overwhelming and impossible at times, just remember that your fellow peers understand and are one of your biggest allies. Do not be afraid to reach out and ask for help, especially in your courses and your professional experiences. New York City and Hunter College have endless opportunities to develop yourself academically and professionally, so don't hesitate to complete that application or send our that email.

In this process remember to do what you love because that makes you a well-rounded applicant! Every small step you take will push you closer to becoming the professional you dream to be. With organization and time management, you can accomplish everything on time. Lastly, don't forget to believe in yourself! You made it this far, so your capabilities truly are limitless.

DAT-Specific Advice:
I understand how daunting this exam feels and how challenging it is to study all the material, especially simultaneously with other courses. Given that I did not apply with a gap year, I had to study and take the DAT while taking three different science courses. So, I can assure you, it can be done. It takes a lot of self-accountability, determination, and consistency. You will not be able to study at the last minute for this exam. Just like how you must plan your courses strategically, you will need to do the same with your free time. Your time investment is an investment for your future.


Headshot: Anisha Shah

Name: Anisha Shah
Major: Human Biology
Major: Sociology
Overall GPA: 3.75
Graduation Year: 2022
Matriculation Year: 2022

Q: Which school are you attending?
A: University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine.

Q: What drew you to this particular health field?
A: Dentistry is a field that combines my interests in patient care, art, science, and service, and is a profession that will empower me to deliver an essential service so people can live healthy lives with beautiful smiles. As I spent time shadowing and assisting dentists of various backgrounds and specialties, my desire to pursue dentistry was reinforced as I was able to see the operative nature of the field, the development of interpersonal relationships between the provider and patients, and the connections between my passions and dental medicine.

Q: What extracurriculars did you participate in?
A: At Hunter, I was part of the Pre-Dental Society where I was President for 2 years and CMMBxHunter where I was a Social Media Ambassador for 3 years. For the Macaulay Honors Program, I was a Peer Mentor and conducted student interviews. Outside of Hunter, I was a dental assistant in general dentistry, periodontics and pediatrics throughout college. I spent some time shadowing a general dentist and orthodontist as well. I also volunteered at a soup kitchen on Long Island and volunteered as a general chemistry tutor.

Q: How many hours on average did you spend studying for your courses per week?
A: I spent an average of 10-15 hours a week studying, not including regular coursework.

Q: Did you use a test prep course?
A:I depended on both DAT Bootcamp and DAT Booster to prep for the DAT. I also supplemented my studying with DAT Destroyer questions.

Q: Did you take a GAP year? If so, why?
A: I did not take a gap year.

Q: What do you consider to be your strengths in your application?
A: I believe the strengths in my application were my DAT score (24AA), my extensive clinical experiences (I shadowed/assisted dentists of numerous backgrounds and specialties), my non-clinical volunteer work, and my letters of recommendation. While I never had access to my letters of recommendation, most of my interviewers mentioned how strong my recommendation letters and committee letter was.

Q: Did you apply nationally?
A: I did apply nationally.

Q: How did Pre-Health Advising Office help you achieve your goals?
A: Both Nina and Kemile were critical to my success in applying to dental school. Nina was extremely patient when helping me revise my personal statement as I struggled to curate a statement that aligned with an application committee's standards, while also creating something that I was comfortable submitting. We worked together to create a piece that seamlessly reflected my experiences and aspirations to pursue dentistry. Additionally, Nina assisted me in properly structuring my experience descriptions by helping me decide what details to incorporate. It was because of mock interviews with the Pre-Health office that I was comfortable during the interview process. Kemile also revised my personal statement and helped me decide where to apply to dental school. The Pre-Health advisors helped me calm my nerves multiple times throughout the process. I am extremely thankful to them both as I received numerous acceptances to dental school, and now can attend my dream school!

Q: What advice do you have for others?
A: My advice to prospective dental students is to be proactive from when you decide that dentistry is the right field for you. It is always beneficial to get your foot in door early with both volunteering and shadowing. Seeking opportunities early on is the best way to ensure success. It is also important to not compare yourself to other students because people with vastly different profiles are admitted into dental school. Everyone has their own journey to dentistry, and you will get there if you put in the effort. While it is important to stay on top of your coursework, DAT preparation, clinical experience, extracurriculars, and volunteer work, it is just as important to take care of your own mental health. Take breaks when needed and always put your wellbeing first.


2021 Matriculants


Headshot: Madina Malik

Name: Madina Malik
Major: Human Biology
Minor: English, Chemistry
Overall GPA: 3.59
Graduation Year: 2020
Matriculation Year: 2021

Q: Which school are you attending?
A: Columbia University College of Dental Medicine.

Q: What drew you to this particular health field?
A: So many factors! Most prominently it's the creative nature of the work, the ability to make people more confident, and the extremely wide scope of practice.

Q: What extracurriculars did you participate in?
A: Association for Women in Science, Macaulay Peer Mentors, Research, Dental Assistant, Dental Shadowing.

Q: How many hours on average did you spend studying for your courses per week?
A: Approximately 10 hours per week.

Q: Did you use a test prep course?
A: DAT Bootcamp

Q: Did you take a GAP year? If so, why?
A: Yes, to give myself time to have the best possible application, work in the dental field, and gain more experience.

Q: What do you consider to be your strengths in your application?
A: My extensive shadowing experience both in the US and internationally, my work as a dental assistant, and my research for a dental pulp stem cell bank.

Q: Did you apply nationally?
A: No, I only applied to dental schools in the Northeast.

Q: How did Pre-Health Advising Office help you achieve your goals?
A: They assisted me with application planning, personal statement guidance, getting ahead on gathering required materials and documents, overall guidance, and application tips.

Q: What advice do you have for others?
A: It's a difficult journey, but if you stay on top of your requirements and make sure to plan ahead, the process becomes much less painful. Also, GPA really matters but you can always compensate for a few Bs with a high standardized test score.


2020 Matriculants


Headshot: Noemy Espinal

Name: Noemy Espinal
Major: Human Biology
Overall GPA: 3.74
Graduation Year: 2019
Matriculation Year: 2020

Q: Which school will you be attending?
A: Stony Brook School of Dental Medicine.

Q: What drew you to this particular health field?
A: I am drawn to dentistry because of the transformative impact it can have on patients' lives. My experience with braces sparked my interest in dentistry. I had big gaps in between my teeth and an overbite which made me feel insecure, and having braces to align my teeth allowed me to build self-confidence. So I knew I wanted to have this same impact on others. Additionally, I love the one-on-one relationship dentists have with their patients. Dentistry is really detail-oriented and I can't picture a better way to live my life than by creating healthy smiles and helping others feel comfortable and confident in the way they present themselves.

Q: What extracurriculars did you participate in?
A: I was a member of the Pre-Dental Society throughout my four years of college. In my senior year, I became the vice-president of the club. I also was the secretary and publicity chair of the Chi Alpha Epsilon National Honor Society. In addition to leadership roles, I volunteered for different organizations and events such as Give Kids a Smile, P.S. Alumni, SEEK's mentoring program, and the SHPEP Ambassador program.

Q: How many hours on average did you spend studying for your courses per week?
A: On average I would spend about 25-30 hours studying per week.

Q: Did you use a test prep course?
A: I used DAT Bootcamp to study for the DAT.

Q: Did you take a GAP year? If so, why?
A: I did take a gap year. Originally, I wanted to apply to dental school at the end of my junior year. However, at the time, I had not met the requirements to apply for a Committee Letter. I was advised to take a gap year in order to have more time to prepare a competitive application that included a Committee Letter. Not only did the Committee Letter strengthen my application, it was also a requirement for my dream school, Stony Brook.

Q: What do you consider to be your strengths in your application?
A: I think my personal statement, extracurriculars, and letters of recommendation were the strengths of my application. My personal statement was very honest and highlighted my passion for dentistry. I also revised it many times (thank you Ms. Ledis). The majority of my extracurriculars were related to dentistry, so I think that showed my interest in the field. Lastly, although I did not see my letters of recommendation, my strong letters impressed my interviewers and were mentioned in almost all of my interviews.

Q: Did you apply nationally?
A: I did apply nationally.

Q: How did the Pre-Health Advising Office help you achieve your goals?
A: The Pre-Health Advising Office is amazing! I met with Ms. Jackson beginning in my freshman year and she always advised me on what classes to take, which programs to apply to, shadowing opportunities, and help with my entire application. Similarly, Ms. Ledis and Ms. Mitchell helped me with revising my essays and providing mock interviews. The Pre-Health Advising Office guided me throughout my entire pre-dental journey and the application process, and they helped me put together a competitive application.

Q: What advice do you have for others?
A: Believe in yourself at all times. Sometimes it's hard not to compare yourself to others or to beat yourself up when something doesn't go as planned, but never stop believing in yourself, and remind yourself why you are going into this field. Continue to work hard. It will be worth it. Also, try not to rush your application or leave it for the last minute. You will need to make revisions and edits along the way. Lastly, listen to your pre-health advisors. They know best!


Headshot: Arthur Zakaryan

Name: Arthur Zakaryan
Major: Human Biology
Overall GPA: 3.71
Graduation Year: 2020
Matriculation Year: 2020

Q: Which school will you be attending?
A: University of Buffalo School of Dental Medicine.

Q: What drew you to this particular health field?
A: I have a long-standing interest in detailed hands-on work through model building and drawing and wanted to choose an expanding and interpersonal profession that challenges and fascinates me. I believe dentistry encompasses all of that and more.

Q: What extracurriculars did you participate in?
A:

  • Dental Assistant at private general dentist office for 1.5 years
  • Dental Shadowing at NYPBM Hospital for 1 year
  • Dental Shadowing at private general dentist office for 1 year
  • Patient Care Volunteer for NYPBM Hospital for three months
  • Volunteer for AHA Heart Walk for 2 days
  • Co-President of Hunter's Pre-Dental Association for 0.5 years

(All of the above were completed throughout Undergrad. In my application, I also included other experience from high school including an architecture mentorship program, certifications and camp counselor job.)

Q: How many hours on average did you spend studying for your courses per week?
A: When taking science courses, about 15 hours (including office hours). Assigned homework was an additional seven.

Q: Did you use a test prep course?
A: Yes. I relied almost entirely on DAT Bootcamp. I used DAT Destroyer problems only for the Qualitative Reasoning section. For the chemistry sections, I additionally did problems from the ACS review books (online).

Q: Did you take a GAP year? If so, why?
A: No. I was on track (with schoolwork, extracurriculars, etc.) and mentally prepared to start dental school after college. I also took summer courses, which allowed me to graduate Hunter a semester early, leaving me with a gap semester to work as a dental assistant and focus on my hobbies.

Q: What do you consider to be your strengths in your application?
A: I had an upwards trend in my GPA (~3 to ~3.7) and extensive clinical experience (~500 hours dental assisting + ~500 hours volunteering/shadowing).

Q: Did you apply nationally?
A: Yes.

Q: How did the Pre-Health Advising Office help you achieve your goals?
A: The Pre-Health Office advisers were great in assisting me with preparation to apply and most of all in completing my applications and interviews. They significantly improved my personal statement and helped me properly organize the experiences I did and should incorporate. Mock interviews made me significantly more confident and prepared when going into interviews. They taught me to get past my nerves and structure my thoughts.

Q: What advice do you have for others?
A: DAT:

Based on my experience, this schedule would've worked best for me if I had to take the exam again. When referring to chapters or sections, I am referencing Bootcamp. The most important part of studying is staying focused. I would start reviewing RC and PAT to months before exam day by doing free PAT generators daily (at least 5 questions of each type, look at it as a game) and reading at least one scientific article a day (free sites like sciencedirect.com). Start stduying for everything else 4 months in advance (better if you can do longer than 4 months without losing focus). Concentrate on your weak chemistry (GC or OC) section first. Since biology has a large breadth of information, review it every day, focusing on a chapter of notes every 2 days throughout the whole time (including practice questions). I forgot general chemistry almost entirely and had to relearn it so I focused on 1 section per day for about the first month (of the 4-month period) then returned to it in the pre-last month before the exam to solidify my knowledge. I focused on QR the least but it's best to do a couple of problems a day and focus on timing closer to exam day.

UNDERGRAD: I don't think my advice differs too much from that of the Pre-Health Office.

I believe you should take your undergraduate experience at your own pace (take into consideration that you should still experience some level of stress). If that means taking a gap year, then so be it. Juggling multiple sciences is extremely difficult, let alone when adding shadowing, volunteering and/or research into the mix. It is possible, but you have to be truthful with yourself and know your capabilities. You don't want to come out of the process with many regrets and you most definitely don't want to be disappointed in your career choice. You're in it for the long haul.

When it comes to the sciences, I heard many people say they're impossible. They're not. You do have to prioritize your time and be flexible in your approach to the subject and examx (notably in introductory biology). If you are planning to major in biology or chem, be ready for time-consuming classes, but don't gauge the difficulty solely based on introductory biology (it was significantly more difficult because most people, including myself, haven't experienced the multi-faceted questions).

Also keep in mind that the path that lies past your undergraduate years will not be easier. During Fall of my sophomore year, I researched when all classes were available and which were required of me and made an outline of what my future semesters would look like. It really helped me visualize and organize my future goals and how I would balance my school, volunteer and even social life.


Headshot: Sandy Wu

Name: Sandy Wu
Major: Biochemistry and Studio Arts
Overall GPA: 3.64
Graduation Year: 2019
Matriculation Year: 2020

Q: Which school are you attending?
A: NYU College of Dentistry.

Q: What drew you to this particular health field?
A: I always had an interest in working in the health care field because of my love for science. After working in a dental office, I realized how it suits my passions for both science and art.

Q: What extracurriculars did you participate in?
A: During my first and second years of college, I was an intern at a private dental office for a year and then worked as a dental assistant at another office. I also was a mentor to a 4th grader who attended school in Harlem and I volunteered for Meals on Wheels during my junior year. During my senior year, I volunteered at Maimonides Pediatric Dental Clinic and was also a member of USG. During my gap year, I was a 5th and 6th grade math teacher, 7th grade math tutor, part-time calligrapher, and supervisor at a gelato shop.

Q: How many hours on average did you spend studying for your courses per week?
A: It varied but it ranged from 10-20 hours a week. When I was studying for the DAT, I studied about 40-50 hours a week.

Q: Did you use a test prep course?
A: Yes. I highly recommend DAT Bootcamp. If you want more practice on quantitative reasoning, DAT Math Destroyer is great. I also used Chad's videos for general chemistry. I highly recommend relying on multiple resources for the biology section if it is not your strongest subject.

Q: Did you take a GAP year? If so, why?
A: I took a gap year because I wanted to give my full attention to my application process. I also wanted to take a break from school before heading to dental school.

Q: What do you consider to be your strengths in your application?
A: I would say I had many hours of experience in the dental field, and my art experience shows my strong dexterity skills. One of my interviewers also mentioned how my committee letter was impressive. Overall, I feel like my application showed a strong narrative.

Q: Did you apply nationally?
A: No

Q: How did Pre-Health Advising Office help you achieve your goals?
A: The Pre-Health advisors were extremely helpful in assisting me with my personal statement and experiences. They gave me great advice during advising sessions and mock interviews.

Q: What advice do you have for others?
A: Do not rush to apply. Make sure you have years of dental experience, such as volunteering or working as a dental assistant. Don't give up, even if you got a few bad grades here and there; prove to admissions committees that your grades alone do not define you and show them by doing well on the DAT. Make sure you get your letters of recommendations early and consistently meet with the pre-health advisors.


Headshot:  Zhong Wang

Name: Zhong Wang
Major: Biochemistry
Minor: Sociology
Overall GPA: 3.45
Graduation Year: 2019
Matriculation Year: 2020

Q: Which school will you be attending?
A: Stony Brook School of Dental Medicine.

Q: What drew you to this particular health field?
A: The ability to work closely with patients to developed personalized treatment plans to manage, diagnose or treat dental conditions is a superb perk to the profession. The need for excellent hand dexterity to work with various state-of-the-art dental equipment, technology, and biomaterials drives my passion for dentistry.

Q: What extracurriculars did you participate in?
A: Some of my extracurriculars include volunteering in the Mount Sinai C.A.R.E. program, shadowing dentists, assisting at various dental clinics, attending dental seminars, and working as a research associate at NYU Department of Biomaterials.

Q: How many hours on average did you spend studying for your courses per week?
A: For me, the average was 4-5 hours per week for each course I found to be more manageable. More demanding courses such as Biology, Organic Chemistry, Physiology and Biochemstry, I would say 20+ hours a week per course.

Q: Did you use a test prep course?
A: Yes, I used the well-known DAT Destroyer as well as DAT Bootcamp. To help with PAT, I installed phone apps with PAT questions.

Q: Did you take a GAP year? If so, why?
A: Yes, I took a gap year because I felt like I needed a stronger foundation in biological sciences (Chemistry major). The extra year allowed me to focus on building my application to be a more well-rounded applicant and improve on the GPA.

Q: What do you consider to be your strengths in your application?
A: The shining points in my application were the DAT Score (26), the strength of the letters of recommendation and the personal statement.

Q: Did you apply nationally?
A: No, I did not.

Q: How did the Pre-Health Advising Office help you achieve your goals?
A: By providing me with an abundance of resources such as: volunteering opportunities, research opportunities, job offers, pre-health seminars, tutoring and so much more. If you haven't, please sign up for the listserv to get emails relating to pre-health and see a pre-health advisor at least once each semester in addition to opening a pre-health file.

Q: What advice do you have for others?
A: It is okay to be unsure of what you want to do or if the health field is right for you. Attend seminars, volunteer and shadow to find out what's right for you. Once you have obtained your goal and have a good vision of what you want to be, motivation and persistence comes naturally. Just remember that the pre-health process examines your determination to press forward. If it is something you truly want, nothing should ever hold you back. Best of luck.


2019 Matriculants


Headshot: Betty Dalmasi

Name: Betty Dalmasi
Major: Biology
Minor: Psychology
Overall GPA: 3.829
Graduation Year: 2019
Matriculation Year: 2019

Q: Which school will you be attending?
A: New York University College of Dentistry.

Q: What drew you to this particular health field?
A: From an early age, I was exposed to the world of dentistry since my mother was a dentist. I fell in love with this field of medicine.

Q: What extracurriculars did you participate in?
A:

  • Shadow Dentist and worked as a dental assistant
  • Volunteer at Metropolitan Hospital
  • Volunteer with the New Life Community Health Center
  • Research Associate at NYU College of Dentistry
  • Volunteer with the Bringing Smiles program at NYU College of Dentistry

Q: How many hours on average did you spend studying for your courses per week?
A: About 30 hours per week.

Q: Did you use a test prep course?
A: I used the Orgoman Prep Course, and DAT Destroyer bootcamp.

Q: Did you take a GAP year? If so, why?
A: No

Q: What do you consider to be your strengths in your application?
A: The strengths in my application were the letters of recommendation that were compiled in my committee letter, and my personal statement.

Q: Did you apply nationally?
A: No, I only apply to schools in New York, and New Jersey.

Q: How did the Pre-Health Advising Office help you achieve your goals?
A: The Pre-Health Office supported me throughout my time in Hunter by advising on what steps I should take become a stronger applicant. The advisors were always willing to answer my questions and guided me on what I had to do to make my application for dental school stronger. The pre-health also provided me with resources through their workshops that helped me be successful during my time at Hunter and will continue to be essential for me through Dental School and beyond.

Q: What advice do you have for others?
A: My advice to prospective pre-dental students who are thinking of applying to dental school is to be proactive in regards to the application process and of the things you can do to strengthen your application. Even though it is important to submit your application as early as possible, it is better to submit a strong, well-prepared application a little later in the cycle, than a weak application at the beginning of it. In addition, it is important to keep a record and stay organized with the extracurricular activities that you are involved in, because once the application cycle starts having all of your extracurriculars in order helps with the application and also during the interview period. Overall, if dentistry is your passion, you just have to be persistent and continue to work hard to achieve your goals. Good Luck!


Headshot: Danielle Rays

Name: Danielle Rays
Major: Human Biology
Overall GPA: 3.7
Graduation Year: 2019
Matriculation Year: 2019

Q: Which school will you be attending?
A: University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine.

Q: What drew you to this particular health field?
A: I think dentistry is the perfect combination of art, science, and healthcare, so it really combines everything that I am passionate about.

Q: What extracurriculars did you participate in?
A:

  • I shadowed various dentists over the 4 years, as well as worked as a front desk secretary and volunteered as a dental assistant
  • I was Research Associate at the Brooklyn Hospital Center
  • I conducted my own research with Professor Christopher Gilbert and I presented the research at the 2018 Hunter College Undergraduate Fair
  • I was a Child Life Outpatient Volunteer at New York Presbyterian
  • I taught Ballroom and Latin American dance
  • Choreographed and organized the annual show

Q: How many hours on average did you spend studying for your courses per week?
A: I spent an average of 15-20 hours studying per week.

Q: Did you use a test prep course?
A: I went to MCAT King for extra help in chemistry. I mostly used DAT Bootcamp and DAT Destroyer for test prep.

Q: Did you take a GAP year? If so, why?
A: No, I did not take a GAP year.

Q: What do you consider to be your strengths in your application?
A: I've had many experiences in the dental field, and I am confident that this is the profession for me.

Q: Did you apply nationally?
A: I applied mostly in the tri-state area.

Q: How did the Pre-Health Advising Office help you achieve your goals?
A: The Pre-Health Advising Office helped me a lot by meticulously going over all my drafts of my Personal Statement, Works and Experiences, and doing mock interviews to make sure I had the best application I could have. In addition, I met with them every semester to make sure I was on the right track. They were always available to give advice on anything that was on my mind.

Q: What advice do you have for others?
A: Don't give up and work hard! Create an individual study plan that utilizes all your strengths as a student and stick with it. Go to the Pre-Health Advising Office at least once a semester to make sure you are on the right track, and see if there is anything you can add to your application to become a more competitive applicant.


2018 Matriculants


Headshot: Maria Tamay

Name: Maria Tamay
Major: Human Biology
Minor: Chemistry
Overall GPA: 3.8
Graduation Year: 2018
Matriculation Year: 2018

Q: Which school will you be attending?
A: Stony Brook School of Dental Medicine.

Q: What drew you to this particular health field?
A: Growing up I had a bunch of dental problems that required multiple visits to my dentist including an overbite, chipped tooth, and temporomandibular joint pain. My dentist was patient, explained every procedure, and restored my self-esteem, which led me to value teeth and smiling! Upon volunteering at a dental office and learning the true complexity of dentistry as a dental assistant and receptionist, I knew I wanted to become a Dentist!

Q: What extracurriculars did you participate in?
A: I participated in two mentor fellowship programs, America Needs You and the Association of Hispanic Healthcare Executives. I volunteered at NY Presbyterian Queens Hospital's post-op unit, Elmhurst Hospital as a dental outreach leader, and as a Sunday school teacher at my local church. I interned at UCLA's Summer Health Professionals Education Programs and at NYU's Bringing Smiles Dental Enrichment Program as well. Besides volunteering, working, and studying I enjoyed fitness, Zumba, and photography.

Q: How many hours on average did you spend studying for your courses per week?
A: 25-30 hours.

Q: Did you use a test prep course?
A: No just DAT Bootcamp and Destroyer books.

Q: Did you take a GAP year? If so, why?
A: No

Q: What do you consider to be your strengths in your application?
A: I am a first generation student, minority, female and have both clinical and non-clinical experience in Dentistry. I manage my time effectively, as I have been able to work, volunteer, intern, and study every semester in college and my grades never suffered.

Q: Did you apply nationally?
A: No, just the East coast.

Q: How did the Pre-Health Advising Office help you achieve your goals?
A: The pre-health office kept me focused on my path and made sure I was headed in the right direction. I received tremendous help during the application process with mock interviews, personal statement revisions, and overall confidence in myself. I will forever be grateful for their assistance.

Q: What advice do you have for others?
A:Know what your goal is and strive for it. Do not let a bad grade define you; instead push yourself to do better on the next test, class, semester, and year because there will be setbacks. The journey isn't easy but it is definitely doable and worth it. Make connections, manage your time, apply early, and smile often!


Headshot: Danielle Golder

Name: Danielle Golder
Major: Biology, Special Honors Curriculum
Minor: Political Science
Overall GPA: 3.67
Graduation Year: 2017
Matriculation Year: 2018

Q: Which school will you be attending?
A: NYU College of Dentistry.

Q: What extracurriculars did you participate in?
A: I participated in a few dental outreach programs such as Give Kids a Smile and HEALTH Now. In addition to shadowing and working in dental offices, I worked as an undergraduate research assistant in a neurobiology lab. In addition, I was one of the editors/writers for Hunter Health's Pre-Health Diaries and became a health educator for Peer Health Exchange.

Q: How many hours on average did you spend studying for your courses per week?
A: I studied about 15 hours per week. I would spend more hours studying during finals or while preparing for the DAT.

Q: Did you use a test prep course?
A: Yes, Orgoman/ DAT Destoryer.

Q: What do you consider to be your strengths in your application?
A: I consider my experiences to be a great strength in my application. I believe that writing about all the dental and non-dental experiences and achievements in the application helped me reflect on how valuable they were to me, and showed my passion and commitment as an applicant.

Q: Did you apply nationally?
A: Yes.

Q: What advice do you have for others?
A: If dentistry is the field you want to enter, then you must be prepared for what it entails. My biggest advice is to make sure you have significant hours of working, shadowing, and volunteering experiences in the field of dentistry to not only strengthen your application, but also to see if you want to invest your life into this field. These dental experiences must also be complemented by good academics and DAT scores. Sometimes believing in yourself is one thing, but to envision yourself in the place you want to be helps you keep moving forward and achieve your goals. There may be doubts, there may tears, and there may be failures. You must be resilient and keep working hard for what you want.


Headshot: Mark Nasr

Name: Mark Nasr
Major: Sociology
Minor: Chemistry
Overall GPA: 3.45
Graduation Year: 2018
Matriculation Year: 2018

Q: Which school will you be attending?
A: University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine.

Q: What extracurriculars did you participate in?
A:

  • Pre-Dental Society President
  • Pre-Dental Society Treasurer
  • Hunter College Yalow Scholar
  • Summer Medical Dental Education Program (SMDEP) Dental Scholar at University of Nebraska Medical Center
  • SMDEP Ambassador
  • Writer and Editor for Pre-Med Life Magazine

Q: How many hours on average did you spend studying for your courses per week?
A: 50-60 Hours

Q: Did you use a test prep course?
A: For the DAT, yes—ORGOMAN.

Q: What do you consider to be your strengths in your application?
A: I believed that I had a strong personal statement and a strong set of extracurricular activities.

Q: Did you apply nationally?
A: No.

Q: What advice do you have for others?
A: The most important thing is realizing whether or not you're a good fit for the career. Once you've figured that out and want to move forward, you need to accept the fact that you will consistently be knocked down. The easiest thing to do is give up. It's your job to pick yourself back up and remember how badly you want this. Manage your time properly and take a breather every once in a while. Good luck!



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