Our very own, Novin Pishevar, reports on his experience at the ASDA National Leadership Conference!
While visiting my hometown of Chicago after a huge Cubs win was a treat in itself, my experience at ASDA’s National Leadership Conference (NLC) this year rose to a a league of its own. In hindsight, although this was my first time attending a national event for ASDA, I am now proud to say I see the hype! Seriously, I have ASDA fever! After landing, I had little idea of how much I would really take away from just one weekend. Still, I planned my next few days and woke up the next morning with that childish Christmas-day spirit.
The conference started with these high-caliber speakers that took by surprise. Every single speaker that took stage was so enthusiastic and ready to teach. Our first speaker was Adam Kreek, an Olympic champion. He addressed how fearing failure can paralyze our decision making. I can count too many times in dental school when I have felt inadequate and afraid to step out of my comfort zone, but Adam put me at ease. After his powerful message, I chose subjects that interested me. Even enthusiasm can’t save boring subjects like dental anatomy, so I was glad that the subjects from which I could choose were anything but bland and could relate to me as a dental student.
I was even more astonished to see how every single session at the ASDA NLC was taught specifically for dental students. I was not at a conference that was trying to sell me dental materials, but at a conference with all of my future colleagues, learning ways that I could improve my career, home-life, social life, and much much more! I remember a session that dealt with the transition from preclinical to clinical lifestyles. I imagine that the transition into a professional environment might scare me, but I learned about the importance of chairside confidence and now know that preparedness for every appointment will ease my stress.
However, the biggest part of the conference for me was the ability to meet students from all over the country. When my classmates and I stress out in school, we always think that we are the only ones in the world going through the rigors and stresses of school. The ASDA NLC taught me that such is far from the truth. I met many other students that were right in the same boat as us. I was so excited to hear their stories and successes, and be reminded me that at the end of this school, we are all going to be dentists and change the world, one smile at a time.
About the writer – Novin Pishevar is a 2nd-year dental student at Penn. He is also the Social Media Chair for the chapter.