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Career Change Help

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by islandergold, May 7, 2008.

  1. islandergold

    2+ Year Member

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    I've got a B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering (GPA 3.1), a M.Sc. in Elec Eng (GPA 3.5) and 3 years of strategy consulting experience and I'm now seriously considering a career change into dentistry. I was interested in dentistry before pursuing an engineering/business path, but chose a different route for a variety of reasons that I now regret. Anyhow, I'm now 27 yrs old and am considering quitting my job, taking a year of pre-req's and applying to dental school for 2010 matriculation. Assuming that I could do relatively well in my pre-req's (say a 3.7 GPA average) and score decently on the DAT, what kind of reception do ex-engineers/business folks get by the adcoms? With a profile such as mine, would I be competitive? Admission seems to be getting tougher and tougher each year. This is taking some serious reflection on my part, due to me potentially giving up a fantastic job that already pays what dentists seem to average. Any and all input is really appreciated. My first choice of school would be UW in Seattle.
     
  2. TempleDMDKrazd

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    so you are giving up a job that pays 120-160k a year?
     
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  3. TempleDMDKrazd

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    you will be a non traditional student that is for sure. adcom likes to have a well rounded class and since you will be unique that is a good thing. good luck to you!
     
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  4. PB2464

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    I wouldn't quit if your job is "fantastic". I'm a 30 yr old post-bac student and hating my previous career made my decision SO much easier.
     
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    islandergold

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    Thanks for your replies so far.

    Temple, that's correct. I would be giving up a salary in that range with the additional potential to double or triple that over the next 5-10 yrs. However, that requires working 80-100hr weeks and I would likely have to get a top mba along the way. What's the point though, if I don't fully enjoy what I'm doing?

    PB2464, I meant fantastic in a sense that the opportunity is a great one IF I wanted to be on this path. Apologize for the confusion, fantastic probably wasn't the best descriptor.

    I've read posts on this forum that describe engineers as having a tough time selling the adcoms on their motivation to be a dentist. Would this be a case by case scenario, or do you think my 'uniqueness' would add value to the classroom if adcoms are wanting a diverse setting.
     
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    islandergold

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    I should add that I'm not focused on the past. My efforts and time spent is essentially a sunk cost and what matters is what I do moving forward. I would love to be a dentist, but I just want to get a sense of the reality of my dream.
     
  7. astein46

    astein46 DentistWannabe
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    I would say that you have a pretty good chance of getting in as long as you do well in your pre-req's and also show your interest by being active in the field: shadowing, volunteering, ect. Show the adcoms that you are serious. My best friend just got excepted into dental school and he was an electrical engineer for 8 years. You just have to prove to them that you are going into dentistry for the right reasons.
     
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  8. jfitzpat

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    I walked away from being an attorney to go to dental school. As long as you get the grades and the DAT score, you will get in. The bigger question is how certain you are about your decision. For me, it was a no brainer. I couldn't stand being an attorney for another day. It sounds like you are at least a little more content, so here are a few things that pop into my head:

    1. You will be starting over. Walking away from a six figure job to become a student again is humbling. More humbling than you think it will be.

    2. You've no doubt become accustomed a certain lifestyle that won't be compatible with being a student at an expensive dental school.

    3. From a monetary standpoint, you will likely never make up the difference.

    4. Every career has its crappy points and the grass is always greener.

    If you are just mildly annoyed with your current job, it doesn't seem like a wise decision to make such a drastic change. However, all that being said, if you are called to dentistry and feel that you need to answer, I wish you luck. It is a great career and I've never regretted my own decision.
     
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    islandergold

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    Thanks again for your responses. It sounds like I've got a pretty solid shot, assuming I score well on the DAT, do well on my prereq's, and show my commitment/interest through shadowing, volunteering, etc. The hardest part is going to be convincing my wife;)
     

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