Finding her Path to Dentistry: Stephanie Nguyen

Stephanie Nguyen, a graduate from Class of 2010, is someone who never expected to see where she has ended up today. It all started off as she grew up visiting her aunt at her office, but never really considered her field until her aunt had told her about it. From the start, she knew her future career always had to involve with helping others/serving the community. Stephanie says, “ I always knew I wanted to help people as a living. I came to learn how impactful dentistry can have on a person’s life and I never looked back. I thank my aunt all the time for steering me to dentistry, and I can’t imagine myself doing something else.” Initially, she desired to start going to pharmacy school following undergraduate school, however during the course of applying, her aunt, who is a dentist, told her to take dentistry into consideration.

It was not all sunshine and rainbows for Stephanie. In fact, she struggled a lot during her second year of undergraduate school. Throughout first semester, she found out was it was like getting a “C” on her report card. “It wasn’t fun.” From there, she continued to improve her study habits in order to get her grades up. Following her second year grade slump, Stephanie was out of her accelerated program contract, so when she applied during the fall semester, the GP boosts she would get for her third year courses couldn’t factor in. As a result, she ended up not getting into dental school on her first application cycle try. She graduated with a bachelors and came home. She spent the following year taking courses in order to secure a backup plan just in case she didn’t get in on her second try, working hard to stabilize her application, and recharging. Gladfully, Stephanie was accepted to University of the Pacific’s dental school where she will be graduating in two months! Despite the obstacles that came across her way, the motivation put forth in order to perform her greatest effort was her desire to reach her end goal. Which was to become a dentist, and the way to get into dental school. Stephanie claims to dislike failing and disappointing herself, so it definitely drove her to get back up and keep trying.

Besides dentistry, Stephanie also has future goals set aside for her. She aspires to eventually do multiple mission trips. So far, she has never been to Vietnam yet, therefore she’d love to do a mission trip there and then stay longer for vacation. For those who seek to follow her path into dentistry, she encourages others to “look at it as a marathon, not a sprint.” There are going to be times where you have setbacks, but it’s how you respond that matters, the fact that you try again and try harder. Stephanie expresses, “ It’s important to be honest. I didn’t hide the fact about my “bad” grades, because schools want to see you’re capable of growth too, that you learned from your mistakes, and that you’re a genuine person. Also, be proactive. If you have a goal in mind, help yourself to get there by involving yourself in the field as soons as possible. If you shut yourself from opportunities, you are limiting yourself to all those possible doors. You never know what you might find.”