"The support and encouragement you get from each other is amazing."
Growing up in a family of dentists, Jennifer Low had to figure out if the career of dentistry was something she wanted for herself. She always thought it was something she liked, but she had to make sure it really was the right choice for her personally.
So while studying biology at Santa Clara University, she shadowed not only at a dental office, but at the offices of other health professions as well. And soon, she knew the answer.
"People always ask me if I was pressured into dentistry because of my family and I wasn't," said Jennifer. "Sitting and observing at the dental office made me realize that I loved dentistry."
The Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry was a logical choice for her to receive her dental education. Jennifer will be the ninth person — and the first girl — in her family to graduate from the dental school. However, one of the main reasons she chose to attend the school was the familial atmosphere.
"When I came here, the faculty and students were so warm and welcoming," she recalled. "The support and encouragement you get from each other is amazing. It's an intense program and I would not have gotten this far without the support of everyone around me."
For Jennifer, beginning to work in the clinic has been the best part of her training so far. Starting out in school, she still wasn't completely sure she was going to love dentistry. After all, treating patients is different from merely observing patients being treated. As it turns out, her initial hands-on clinical experience has only confirmed that she chose the right career path. She's finally starting to feel like a dentist.
Even with her heavy course load, Jennifer finds time to volunteer. She's helped out with numerous class events as well as fundraisers such as Vino de Mayo and Kids in the Klinic Golf Tournament. She is also involved in student government, serving as historian for her class. It's taken her a while, but Jennifer has figured out how to balance volunteering, student leadership, schoolwork and the clinic.
As for her future career plans, Jennifer plans to join her dad's practice and is eager to start working with patients. Her dad is just as thrilled that she will be joining him, and their plans have created an even closer bond between the two.
"My dad and I look forward to working together and learning from each other, and I really respect him for the experience he has and the things he's done," said Jennifer. "It's a mutual respect and I think that is what will make the practice even more successful."