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Dental School Application Essay Sample

Dental School Application Essay Sample

Sample 1 – Graduate School Psychology Application
Sample 2 – Dental School Application
Sample 3 – MBA Application

Sample 2 – Dental School Application

"What's your name, little boy?" they would always ask.

"Ari," I would reply sullenly, knowing what the next question would be.

"So Ari," they would say, glancing at my mother. "Do you want to become a dentist like your mom?"

"No!" I would always answer.

The above exchange occurred time and time again when I was a child. Yet it was not until recently that I was reminded of it and, given the point I have arrived at in my life, the certainties of a six-year-old boy make me smile. Even then, I recall, public service was the determining factor in my dreams for the future. Watching reruns on television, I knew I wanted to defend the innocent like Perry Mason, or take care of the sick like Marcus Welby, M.D. In the years since, public service has defined my hopes and dreams, and has led to this application.

Although it would be nice to say that I spent my youth fascinated by my mother's dental practice - then in Israel - in fact, my early interests lay in working with the underprivileged and the sick. For example, as an adolescent I worked with the Camp Kourieu Foundation, raising money for underprivileged children.

This interest acquired a much sharper focus several years later when I was visiting Israel. While there, a tragic accident left a childhood friend of mine severely brain damaged. This event and its aftermath led me to an awareness of the challenges the physically handicapped must face in coping with life on a daily basis. Since then, I have participated in fund-raising efforts on behalf of disability organizations and have worked in many capacities with members of the disability.

I believe that my work with the disabled community also represented a way for me to fulfil the boyhood dreams that were not being realized in my work at the time. While it may sound out of character from someone with my background in business, I believe that the realization of dreams is what makes us truly human.

After graduating from New York University with a degree in political science, I worked with Citibank as a customer service representative. This was a fascinating experience in that it taught me how important teamwork is to the successful completion of a business plan. I acquired useful communication skills, and also learned a great deal about myself and my abilities, as I disseminated feedback from clients to various parts of the company. However, I eventually came to feel that my work - while informative and interesting - did not fulfill some fundamental need in my character.

In search of greater challenges, I entered the financial industry as a junior investment advisor with Morgan Stanley. In the course of daily presentations and consultations with prospective investors, my communications skills were considerably enhanced. In particular, I learned the importance of listening as the basis for any productive relationship with a client. Although I enjoyed the global nature and fast pace of the financial industry, and was rapidly advancing within the company, I again felt there was something missing. Perhaps in hopes of finding fulfillment, I pursued my lifelong interest in art, and explored the discipline and the creativity of the medium as a part-time student of art.

Given my above career trajectory, it is ironic that I came realize that the fulfillment of my dreams lay not in the global marketplace but much closer to home. Soon after my mother received her license to practice dentistry in the United States, I spent a great deal of time helping her set up and manage her office. In the process, I watched my mother at work for the first time and saw how dentistry required the same discipline and many of the same skills as painting. Moreover, I realized how closely the doctor-patient relationship resembled the advisor-client relationship that I knew so well in the financial industry. However, there was one significant difference: my mother was helping people!

Dental patients often arrive with not only dental problems and pain, but also a host of anxieties and misconceptions about dental work. I was struck by how professionally my mother dealt with their dental needs, while simultaneously easing their fears, and leaving them both healthier and happier. Incredibly, I saw my interest in dentistry begin to converge with my lifelong dreams of public service. In talking with dentists, as well as with members of the disabled community, I learned that a significant number of disabled people in our province experience difficulties in obtaining dental care. I saw in this the opportunity to convert my part-time work in public service and with the disabled into the full-time fulfillment of a dream.

In organizing my mother's office, I brought the skills I acquired in the financial industry to help expand the successful practice from three members to a team of seven. I realized that these logistical skills and the artistic discipline needed for professional dental practice would all be assets that I could bring to my practice as a dentist. The prospect of helping people - especially groups such as the disabled who are, contrary to popular myth, so rarely accommodated in our society - with my work also represents the fulfillment of that dream.

Given the trajectory of my life and work experiences, I believe that dentistry represents the ideal medium by which I can achieve both personal fulfillment while, at the same time, contributing to the betterment of my community.


  • The above sample is particularly interesting for its development of what screen writers refer to as a “story arc” in the presentation of the applicant’s personal history. The applicant faced the problem of a remarkably diverse academic and professional career that would raise concerns regarding commitment and perseverance in the minds admissions officers. Therefore, the designer of the above application essay integrated these disparate experiences and jobs into a life history with the dominant themes of idealism and community service. In this way, this successful applicant managed to transform a “weakness” into a “strength”.

  • The introduction of the above application sample is also of particular interest for its unconventional opening style. Given the fact that the likely reader of this application will also read dozens – and perhaps hundreds – of other applications, all saying what a “remarkable and unique candidate” each applicant is, it is of prime importance that applicants differentiate themselves from the crowd. A professionally designed application not only highlights the applicant’s strengths and addresses any weaknesses, but also demonstrates to the reader why the applicant stands “head and shoulders” above all the other applicants.

Sample 1 – Graduate School Psychology Application
Sample 2 – Dental School Application
Sample 3 – MBA Application