With graduation fast approaching, many students are now faced with an even bigger dilemma to add to their growing list of things to worry about: What are we going to do after all of this is over? Whilst some already have all of the nitty-gritty details figured out, the rest of us could do with some guidance. So with the start of the new semester, third and fourth year dental students had their first Careers Night event, which show-cased the possible pathways available for students after their graduation.
The event was held on Wednesday the 13th of July, outside the auditorium at Westmead Hospital. Numerous speakers from public, private and specialist areas attended the event, illustrating insights into their chosen fields and providing valuable information for all of the students present. Following on from their presentations, the guest speakers then took the time to answer any questions from the students to help elucidate any uncertainty. All in all, the night itself was a great a success with over 100 students in attendance from both cohorts.
The night was kick-started with an introduction from our Pro-Dean, Professor Spalleck who imparted his words of wisdom to all the students present, explaining the need for a life of continued learning and development as a dental graduate. Professor Spalleck also briefly shared his experience as a student and thanked all guest speakers in attendance for their willingness to share their experiences as well. The first guest speaker for the event was our very own Dr Stuhmucke, who graduated in 2015 and is currently working as a dental officer at Westmead hospital. He conveyed his experience of working in the public sector and apprised students of the hours, awards, expectations and resources available working in this sector. Our next speaker, Dr K. Parthasarathi (a 2nd year OMS residency trainee), imparted his knowledge and experience in becoming a maxillofacial surgeon. Dr Parthasrathi, who graduated from the University of Sydney and then pursued medicine at the University of Newcastle, explained how his career choice allowed him to experience training and services from across the globe. His insightful and often comedic approach to his presentation provided both laughs and valuable guidance for all those who wished to pursue both medicine and dentistry in their path to become a maxillofacial surgeon.
From the ADA, we had Dr Ipstein who spoke about various opportunities to volunteer as dental officers. Dr Ipstein, a veteran in the field of dentistry informed the audience of the initiatives that are currently in place to help the less fortunate and those from low socioeconomic backgrounds who truly need the dental care that we can provide. From the defence force, we were fortunate enough to have Lieutenant Colonel Karen Such (Army) and Lieutenant Commander Dan Allan (Navy) inform us of the various opportunities present. Both officers gave us a brief history of their careers and how joining the defence force can shape a new graduate into a highly competent clinician. Dr Allen touched upon the army award system and support networks that it provides including CPD support, clinical mentorship and award packages.
Our sixth speaker, Dr M Kang who graduated from the University of Otowa in New Zealand, showcased the various opportunities present in rural Australia. Dr Kang worked in several locations around Australia and highlighted the expectations of a rural clinician and the lifestyle opportunities that are available. From the private sector we had Dr J. Oliver explain to us the structure and the current market for dentists. She explained both the innate freedom of the private sector in directing the dental treatment of your patient as well as the responsibly to ensure the needs of the patient are met. The particular structure of her practice and other practices out there were also outlined. Dr Oliver also gave helpful insights into job contracts and how to make most of every opportunity when working as a new graduate.
All of the speakers of the Careers Night gave varied and realistic insights into what to expect after we graduate. Whilst graduation may still be a while away for some of us, having these guest speakers share their experiences gave us students a very valuable insight into what to expect post-graduation, regardless of what career path we choose to take.