Viktoriia Senych grew up hating dental visits. In this Dental Student Spotlight she discusses how she decided on a career in dentistry to change the dental patient experience. This past year, Dr. Senych earned her degree from the Marquette University School of Dentistry and since has begun work in private practice to gain experience in the profession. Find out how she made her career aspirations a reality.

“I wanted to make a difference and an impact,” said the Milwaukee resident. “I decided back then to be a dentist.”

This recent dental school graduate reflects on the early steps of her path to dentistry: Applying to dental school.

“The whole dental school application process wasn’t hard,” Dr. Senych said. “It was just a lot to keep in mind.”

Between dental student blogs and shadowing dentists, there are many resources available to prospective students.

Preparation should begin well before applying to dental schools, though.

Dr. Senych suggests that if earning a dental degree is the goal, then the application process should be ongoing throughout the undergraduate years.

“Keep track of things you do and places you volunteer on campus,” said Dr. Viktoriia Senych, regarding undergraduate years.

Dr. Senych shares her No. 1 Tip for the dental school application process: Enlist someone to read the personal essay portion of the application. A parent or a teacher can help catch mistakes the applicant may have missed.

Though some might suggest jumping right into dental school following undergrad studies, Dr. Senych advises taking time off between the two to improve the dental student experience.

“Take the summer off and travel,” she said. “Do fun things before, so you can enjoy the dental school experience and make lifelong friends.”

Dental school can present a huge learning curve. To help with the process and academic load, Dr. Senych says it’s important to prioritize mental health.

“Take a run or go for a walk,” she said. “Don’t be too hard on yourself.”

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Learn details about a program that grants members instant free access to a Commission on Dental Competency Assessments (CDCA) study guide, free job placement services for personal assistance in connecting with the right post-graduation employment or associateship opportunities and a free subscription to Incisal Edge magazine here.