Graduation season is here, and I can’t help but think of our many student members who have put in the hard work and dedication over the years to reach this very most important milestone. This is an exciting time they are entering—a new profession, putting learned skills to use.
I also remember the time, many years ago, when I graduated. I went to a BOCES program during my final two years of high school. I was young, inexperienced, and so very excited. However, I lacked one thing in the beginning and that was mentorship. At the time, I did not know about the ADAA. Our teacher never spoke of professionalism, we did a course in charm school. I did not know of a group within my community where dental assistants met and actually exchanged ideas. This profession has come a long way and has truly evolved. I was introduced to ADAA at a local dental meeting, joined because I knew I would learn and grow in the profession. I never expected to become so involved or passionate, and that is what I want for graduates.
Our student members are our future. To remain fresh, innovative, and a leading source for those entering the profession, our focus needs to be on our students. I spend a lot of time thinking and envisioning for the future. Part of that is working closely with leadership on building the value for our student members. I want student members to not just want to belong to ADAA, but I want them to know what we do for them and take advantage of the resources available to them through membership. We know our strength is continuing education and career development. It is because of this Association, I can honestly say I have never been without employment—unless I wanted to be. Yes, that is a pretty bold statement, but it is true for me.
Many of our members have been “headhunted,” where an employer sees your value and what you can bring to the dental team. They take notice of our student members. There is no stopping how far you can go with the help, guidance, and mentorship received from involvement in a professional association such as ADAA. To advance in your career, you must remain current and knowledgeable of what is going on in the industry. There is a lot of misinformation circulating regarding the profession, but ADAA is your source for the truth and getting your questions answered.
We are everchanging and open to new ideas from our members. We are building and expanding so we can remain viable for the next 100 years.
Thank you for your continued support and dedication. We are in this together.
Mary Beth Sojka, CDA-Emeritus, RDA