If you are reading this during the month of January and planning to apply next cycle, please ask for Letters of Recommendations right NOW. This will allow the instructors extra time and more memory of you than asking them in May.
Hi, my name is Farzan and I am a transfer student from Orange Coast College, OCC. I am studying Biological Science with a concentration in Cell and this is my last semester before matriculation next fall. I have had the privilege of attending a few interviews and receiving some acceptance offers on December 1st (this is the first day dental students are informed of acceptances in accordance to American Dental Education Association). Before transferring from Orange Coast College (OCC), I was able to visit potential undergraduate campuses, yet none of them came close to how I felt about California State University, Fullerton (CSUF). I chose CSUF over any other universities in California due to several reasons including but not limited to the friendly and caring instructors, staffs, students, overall a very warm and helpful environment. In fact, the help and phenomenal guidance from staff and professors at CSUF certainly helped me gain acceptances to dental schools.
My love for dentistry started when I experienced the most astonishing visit and dental treatment, back in high school. I was diagnosed with a major cavity that required root canals, so I explored both my sense of curiosity and defeated the fear of the procedure by asking the dentist to explain the process to me. He walked me through it, step-by-step, and gave me a feeling of security. At the end, I felt relieved when I saw the dentist's satisfaction with the result. My interaction with the dentist and his work sparked my interest in dentistry and my journey in dentistry began. To explore the field of dentistry, for the past two years I have been involved with assisting three general practitioners, an Orthodontist, and a Periodontist. Being involved in all these offices has assured me that I will enjoy dentistry. I came to understand that dentists have the power to ease patient's worries immediately and I love this about dentistry.
Most of my involvement with pre-health clubs goes back to when I was the Vice president of Doctors of Tomorrow at OCC, and I furthered my interest in dentistry while being involved in the Student Health Professions Association (SHPA). Gratefully, I was able to make connections with fellow Iranians at CSUF through the Iranian Student Association. I also had the honor of being a part of Dr. Alison Miyamoto's Laboratory and worked to identify novel protein interactors for Notch I, a transmembrane receptor, from a human brain cell cDNA library. I also enjoy tutoring my fellow classmates at the Opportunity Center located on the 4rt floor of McCarthy Hall. Besides my excitement towards scholastic activities, I have been involved with introducing and organizing events at my religious center, California Zoroastrian Center.
With that said, it is important to keep in mind that the application process is very expensive, brutal, and stressful. You get to know a lot about yourself, get to travel, and meet some great applicants. I personally think that Grade Point Average (GPA) is much more important than Dental Admission Test (DAT) scores since it takes 4 years to build your GPA versus about 4 months to master the DAT. Don't get me wrong; both GPA and DAT scores are crucial to being noticed and receiving interviews. Even though the breadth and load of classes is important, 12 units of A's stand much higher than 16 units of B's and C's; so pick your classes wisely. Also, receiving an interview does not mean acceptance. It means you are qualified like 400 other applicants, out of 4000, and it's time to shine one last time. This should be taken as a time to show interviewers just how you stand out in comparison to the other 400 qualified applicants. Lastly, as I decide which program I will attend, I realize that the journey never ends. So, it is especially important to remember that this is all a journey and along the way, remember to enjoy life.
Here are some additional tips:
1. Apply EARLY (before the end of June).
2. Apply to a lot of schools 15+ (after all your hard work, you would rather get in the 1st time).
3. Be consistent with your GPA and keep it up.
4. Take your science classes seriously as they will help you in the DAT and dental school.
5. DO NOT wait until May to start studying for the DAT. Study during the winter break and take it in March so, just in case, you have a chance to re-take it again three months later.
6. Get involved with some dental offices. You will LEARN A LOT and this will give you the opportunity to make sure that dentistry is for you.
7. Of course, extracurricular activities are VERY important. Do a variety of them.
8. Meet Dr. Christine Goode immediately.
9. Use and Abuse Studentdoctor.net
10. Enjoy the process!
CSUF C/O 2011