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FAQ: Tell Me About Yourself, And Does Volunteering or Greek Life Look Good?

"Spotlight FAQ" questions may be edited for privacy, length, and clarity.

Question: Anonymous on October 19, 2011 asked...
Which undergraduate degree did you graduate with? I understand that it honestly doesn't even matter. A lot of it prepares you for the DAT and dental schools, so I was wondering what your degree was. Also, does Greek Life look good? I know there are many stereotypes about it, but that's not why I joined. It is quite different than most people imagine.

Response: Top Ten Nation Writers replied...
Re: Impact of volunteering, Greek Life, or extra-curricular activity on dental admissions

I graduated with a BA in Sociology and a BS in Biological Sciences before going into dental school. It was a dual-degree program. With all honesty, I would say that the Sociology degree is just as relevant to my dental practice as my Biology degree. Remember, dentistry one day will mean dealing with people face-to-face everyday. That includes patients (kids, adults, and elders), your clinical and administrative staff (kids, adults, and elders), the specialists you refer to (kids... just kidding), and the labs that you deal with. People skills are certainly just as crucial as clinical skills. Looking back, I think any kind of administrative, business, accounting, or even engineering skills are a good fit with an astute dentist's skill set. Dental schools recognize this fact. They even recognize a Fine Art degree as being relevant, and why not? As long as the candidate has fulfilled the pre-requisite courses, they certainly know enough Biology and Chemistry and Sciences to be successful in dental school.

Back to your original question - Would volunteering or any sort of Greek Life look good? In general it can vary from school-to-school. First and foremost you have to get yourself an interview based on your grades and DAT score. Once the interview is obtained, if the interviewer(s) have personally experienced Greek Life or if he or she understands the values involved, I would imagine it would leave a positive impression. It certainly wouldn't have a negative impact. Regardless, for most dental schools, Greek Life or any sort of volunteering does not get you the interview; it is typically the grades and the DAT score, or more rarely, some exceptional circumstance which can make a candidate stand out. It is usually volunteering that connects with most interviewers, since most interviewers know what it involves. Research is typically the best extra-curricular to have on your resume. It has a top-tier 'return-on-investment' when it comes to being able to attract interviews and actually obtaining admission.
I hope this answer helps not only you, but every Top Ten Nation reader.

Spotlight FAQ's is an attempt to highlight interesting and relevant admissions questions for pre-dental students.

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