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Dental Assistant gives advice to future students

Graduate Isabella Engstrom

Brooklyn Park, June 5, 2023 – Even before Isabella Engstrom graduated from Hennepin Tech, she began working in her field of study. While she was a student studying in the Dental Assistant program, she also worked in a dental office. She was pleased that her classroom and learning lab at Hennepin Tech were recently remodeled because she was learning in an environment that replicated the modern dentist office where she was working.

On graduation day, we asked Isabella about launching her career.

Hennepin Tech: Congratulations on your commencement. As you stand here in your cap and gown, how are you feeling today?

Engstrom: I’m nervous. I guess it’s because it’s an exciting time. But I’m good.

Hennepin Tech: What obstacles did you face as a student?

Engstrom: I just always wanted to make sure that I was on top of my studies. Assignments and due dates can sneak up on you really fast. I would recommend to anyone who enters this program that you should not slip into a strategy of slacking off and trying to catch up later. Keep on top of everything and use good time management.

Hennepin Tech: What is a typical misperception of a Dental Assistant career?

Engstrom: People don't realize like there's a lot more to dental assisting than just handing dental instruments to a dentist. As a Dental Assistant, you have to have extensive knowledge of how your teeth work and how each procedure has an impact on the patients. The program is challenging because we need to know our stuff and be prepared.

Dental Assistant student in lab

Hennepin Tech: When we see pictures of you on campus, it looks like you are working at your new job. The learning lab looks just like a dental office. Did you enjoy the new space?

Engstrom: It was really nice to have a bigger space and bigger place to work in a quite large group. It does look like a real work environment. The dental office where I worked also had modern equipment so my workplace and my classroom were similar.

I enjoyed Hennepin Tech because I'm more of a hand- on learner and the program gave me a better expectation of what my life will look like after I'm done with classes.

Hennepin Tech: Why would you recommend selecting dental assistant as a career to someone who isn’t sure what field to enter?

Engstrom: At Hennepin Tech, it is a one-year program. It doesn't take you two years like some other colleges offer. I think that the pay is really good. That's a bonus.

I think in this career, you have lots of options. There are jobs that allow you to have work-life balance. In some dental offices, you can have weekends off and very regular hours, for example. If you were to have a family with kids and you want to be with them after school, this is a very good field for that kind of schedule. So you can still work 40 hours a week but also still have the opportunity to have a family life.

About Hennepin Technical College
Founded in 1972, Hennepin Technical College is the largest stand-alone technical college in Minnesota. With campuses in Brooklyn Park and Eden Prairie, the college offers degree and non-degree courses in over 40 programs in the skilled trades and high-demand career fields. Achieving a high job placement rate, Hennepin Tech prepares students for high-paying employment opportunities.

Last updated by mdibba : 2023-06-08 11:10:35