having a LOW KEY gap year job

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littleteeth

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hi everyone,

suddenly i feel a lot of pressure to do something AMAZING during my gap year. but honestly my undergrad was v stressful and I would like to have some time off while i'm applying!!

How will admissions committees view this? I honestly just want to find a job working at a bar, restaurant, babysitting, or tutoring high school students instead of research (ofc i would still continue shadowing+volunteering).

what jobs did you have over your gap year?

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Cheshireshrike

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Have you already been accepted into a program and paid your deposit?
 

littleteeth

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sorry should have clarified-- i'm applying in the 2018-2019 cycle
 
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Cheshireshrike

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Ahh, not sure which programs you are applying to, but there are some schools (particularly the Texas programs) who absolutely HATE gaps years or any time off. In particular, A&M hates not having potential students constantly enrolled in courses. I know a current applicant with a 3.75 GPA 21 AA 23 PAT who has yet to hear back from A&M because he couldn't enroll in courses this semester (he's taking courses next semester). So before you end up picking a hobby, make sure you know where your potential programs stand on gap years!
 
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murra651

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If I were you, I would try and do something productive for your application during your gap year. It doesn't have to be crazy, try volunteering a little, maybe shadow a bit more, spend a ton of time studying for the DAT (assuming you haven't taken it yet), get a job in the dental field if you'd like. Otherwise, for work, do what you can to pay the bills, I've worked in the restaurant business for 7 years now and I can say that it has done a ton to help my skills in dealing with people, you will also meet a wide variety of individuals. Best of Luck!
 

murra651

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I don't believe the admissions committee will care too much about your job as long as you show dedication to the field and helping individuals in other ways
 
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DenTalFluoride

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I highly recommend dental assisting. I graduated May and took my DAT on June 26th. Right after, I went on Craigslist, and I was fortunate enough to find a dentist willing to train me with no experience. I made a deal with him to work full-time for free until August 1st. I used that 140 hours from that month as shadowing hours in my application since it was technically unpaid.

I’ve learned a lot working as an assistant. An interviewer was even impressed that I was able to explain the procedure for a root canal therapy with a crown buildup. You’ll also learn how to interact with patients and maybe even pick up Spanish. If it weren’t for this job during my gap year, I probably wouldn’t have had any pre-December interviews because of my below average gpa.
 
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DenTalFluoride

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Also, before you graduate and depending on your state, try to get a RDA license. In TX at least, it’s just a 6 hour online course and makes you slightly more marketable.
 

yaya97

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I’m in a gap year! All I’ve done is work full time and that has come up at all my interviews but they all understand that it’s hard to work full time and do 20,000 things still. I got into 5 schools & waitlisted at 1 so I don’t think it hurt me at all. Just do whatever you want to do during your one year of freedom!


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Ahh, not sure which programs you are applying to, but there are some schools (particularly the Texas programs) who absolutely HATE gaps years or any time off. In particular, A&M hates not having potential students constantly enrolled in courses. I know a current applicant with a 3.75 GPA 21 AA 23 PAT who has yet to hear back from A&M because he couldn't enroll in courses this semester (he's taking courses next semester). So before you end up picking a hobby, make sure you know where your potential programs stand on gap years!
I ended up taking a gap year and I worked at a bar. A&M didn’t have a problem with it. I wasn’t enrolled in courses either. I think it’s just a case by case basis.
 
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hdkyu10

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Like many above I'd also like to recommend working as a dental assistant! I'm doing that during my gap year right now, and I got accepted into all the dental schools I interviewed at. It's a very big talking point that interviewers always brought up. Interacting with patients every day/building up chairside manners definitely made me more confident going into interviews and I think the interviewers could tell! PM me if you have any questions
 
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doc toothache

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Also, before you graduate and depending on your state, try to get a RDA license. In TX at least, it’s just a 6 hour online course and makes you slightly more marketable.
Every practitioners dream to hire an RDA whose training amounted to "6 hour online course" and who has difficulty deciding which end of a mirror to pass to the doctor.
 
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ssdent18

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I recommend an AmeriCorps program focused on health. You can find some that are a year or less. You'll get to do service, work with people, and promote health all at once.
 
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travelandteeth

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Teach English or other subject abroad
I took 2 years off doing that and lived in a foreign country, learned a new language, etc. Most schools like it when you have something interesting and out of the norm.
I definitely agree with ssdent18 on Americorps too
*I got accepted this cycle so I believe it was acceptable lol
 
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15moel

I am in a VERY similar situation. It would be so nice to have a laid-back year, but I have found that a lot of people expect you to do something amazing during this time. After asking a few dentists for ideas, I have heard that working in a dental lab would be a good opportunity and use of time. However, most dental lab tech jobs require experience. You could also ask some of the dentists you have shadowed; they might have ideas or job openings. I know someone who sterilized instruments and helped around an orthodontic office during his gap year.
 

Its_Me_G

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I recommend being a dental assistant as well! I found a dentist close to my house that was willing to train someone with no experience and it’s been so great to learn the ins and outs of a dental office. I had to take a course to get my x-ray certification and that’s been a really good talking point in my interviews. I decided to work for 10 months (May to March) and then take 4 months off (April-July) before school to travel, read, work out, and spend time with friends and family!
 
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ssdent18

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Teach English or other subject abroad
I took 2 years off doing that and lived in a foreign country, learned a new language, etc. Most schools like it when you have something interesting and out of the norm.
I definitely agree with ssdent18 on Americorps too
*I got accepted this cycle so I believe it was acceptable lol

I am doing an AmeriCorps service term right now and I've gotten acceptances. Obviously, they will look at your academics first but a job where you apply skills you would use in dentistry certainly helps

You can totally work at a bar and volunteer at a hospital side by side or something like that too. Just make sure your dedication to your reason for wanting to be a dentist is shown through your actions, not just your application answers.
 
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littleteeth

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wow thanks for all the responses! i always figured that no dentist will want to take me on as a dental assistant w/ no training but i'd never thought about the doing it upaid+using it as shadowing part before. maybe i can work part-time as an unpaid assistant and then get some other job at night. or maybe i'll do a half year americorps program. so many possibilities...!!
 
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