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2012 Alumni,format&rect=0,509,3024,3024&w=190&h=190

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Carmen's Story

Carmen had been working in the front office at a dental clinic when she decided she wanted to challenge herself and get a diploma in dental assisting so that she could work in the back doing patient care. “There are so many different aspects of the work that I like, that are so fun and so interesting. Dental procedures, helping the patients, but also how our team communicates during the procedure - we talk with the patient and are professional about the work.”

Carmen was able to meet all the prerequisites for enrollment to KDM, but as a recent immigrant to Canada she felt nervous on her first day at KDM about socializing with the students and teachers. “It was hard, to be honest, because I'm not a really outgoing person, but KDM organized everyone and it was easy to meet people when we did group projects.” She was able to build friendships during the program with students and appreciated the teachers’ dedication to helping her understand the content. “They make time for you if you feel like you need a little extra help. That's really, really helpful.”

After she graduated, Carmen felt unsure of what to do next and how to get more experience. “So, I joined the KDM Job Placement Agency temping program, and they helped me feel less lost. I still use the program! Whenever they have a job opportunity, they will call you.” She wanted to explore her options at different dental clinics and advises new graduates to do the same. “It's good to explore and try working at a few different places to find out how you like to work and who you like to work with. Think about the skills you already have, and those that you want to further develop. Make a plan for yourself to develop those skills, both while you're in school and after you're done, so that you are a more valuable employee and so that you don't get bored or stuck.”

Now that Carmen has a full-time job, she shares why opportunities for on-the-job learning are so important to her: “I love helping the patient, but also helping myself because everything is learning. I'm able to give the patient the information and details about a procedure that they need, and they lean on you. And I also learn from my dentist - how they talk to patients, and their knowledge about dentistry.”

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