|Pinkesh from Marquette & Erin from Lousville
with the Aspen Dental car
The most recent Aspen Dental VIBE event held February 27th and 28th in Atlanta, GA, allowed dental students to learn more about the DSO-supported practice model, employment opportunities and career planning, and useful tips for those looking towards their own path to ownership. Through informative workshops, seminars, and not to mention a little networking time at the Atlanta Motor Speedway, attendees gained a better understanding of these avenues into the profession. The students were provided with a weekend of fellowship and an opportunity to obtain and to convey accurate information regarding the DSO practice environment to their colleagues and classmates.
THE NEXTDDS Student Ambassadors Pinkesh Shah (Marquette University School of Dentistry ‘17), Guy Njewel (Columbia University College of Dental Medicine ‘18), Queenate Ibeto (Howard University College of Dentistry ’16), and Giuliana Di Piazza (Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC ‘17) were four of six student ambassadors (along with Jessica Li, New York University College of Dentistry ’17, and Erin Fraundorf, University of Louisville School of Dentistry, ‘16) to attend the event, and have shared their experiences here with the THE NEXTDDS user community.
The dental students came to this session to network with professionals and to better understand this practice model. “I have heard many things about Aspen Dental, but I really wanted to experience the organization alongside the individuals that have allowed it to get so far: the dentists and support staff,” Shah said. “I wanted to talk to them about their journeys and what led them to choose Aspen Dental.”
Di Piazza had a similar perspective prior to her attendance. “We all have this stigma of what we think a DSO company is, and we’ve heard various stories. But after asking questions, I was able to get an honest perspective on how people feel in the company, so that was a great experience.”
Njewel added to this notion, saying, “I wanted to get a different point of view.”
During the event, the students had the opportunity to attend workshops, participate in Q&A sessions, and talk to dentists in practices supported by Aspen head-on. “I met many amazing dentists! They were so open about their experiences with Aspen Dental and really gave me things to think about,” Shah stated.
One panel is particular discussed Emotional Intelligence Appraisal, which was a major takeaway for several students who hadn’t previously considered the emotional side of dentistry. “The moderator made us all tap into ourselves and recognize where we may fall short,” Queenate said, “and provided us with tips on how to improve in those areas.”
|Erin from Louisville with NASCAR Driver, Danica Patrick|
The weekend’s activities also included a trip to the Atlanta Motor Speedway and the opportunity to meet one of NASCAR’s most-recognized drivers as well. “Well, we got to meet Danica Patrick. That was kind of cool,” joked Njewel. “My most memorable experience was attending the NASCAR race,” he added, “I never thought I would ever go to a NASCAR race and see what happens in the background.”
Shah mentioned his enjoyment attending the NASCAR event with his peers as well. “Being at the Atlanta Motor Speedway with the rest of the attendees; everyone was just so outgoing and kind. It made for an amazing environment.”
Di Piazza noted the importance of networking, both at the NASCAR and VIBE events, being her key moments. “Getting to know these people as individuals as well as dentists and getting the time to make that connection was the most memorable thing for me,” she said.
Needless to say, after all was said and done, THE NEXTDDS Student Ambassadors came out of the weekend with a lot of new knowledge. “I am taking away information about what I might possibly be wanting to do in the near future,” Shah said. “I learned so many things about Aspen Dental and their philosophy.” Njewel added, “People should not base their decisions about their careers without exploring all options. I'm glad I got to see the Aspen Dental point of view. I love the company and what it stands for. They seem to be a family.”
“I have a corporate background and one thing I do appreciate is investments in leadership development,” Queenate said, noting the day’s events with the students. “This is an arena where I honestly think that Aspen Dental is getting it right!”
And would they advise others to go? “Most definitely, yes!” exclaimed Njewel. With future VIBE Events scheduled in Talladega, Detroit, and at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, this may be a viable option for lucky invited guests.
“By attending, I have learned many things about Aspen Dental,” Shah adds. “It really allowed me to look into what I could do better on. It was a wonderful experience.”
“Attending a session such as this gives you better insight,” Di Piazza said, “and you really need to seek out these events to see what fits your style of dentistry.”