Hometown: Indianapolis, IN
Name of Undergraduate Institution: Tuskegee University
Major(s)/Minor(s) in College: Biology Major
Name of Dental School: Howard University College of Dentistry
Favorite Quote: “Everything happens for a reason.”
Contact Info: Jdeions@gmail.com
Additional Links: Instagram: @justinbashbro
Where are you currently at in your career path and why did you decide to pursue this career path?
I am currently a 3rd year dental student at Howard University and I have been wanting to be a dentist since I was in 3rd grade. I shadowed my dentist for a school project, and I loved it. He made me enjoy going to the dentist at a young age and I want to be able to do that for others.
If you could go back and have a chat with your naïve college freshman self, what would you tell him?
GO HARD IN THE BOOKS!! My college career was great academically and socially. Actually, I went hard in the books but my lowest GPA was my freshman year and it’s harder raising your GPA than it is for it to drop. So if you start off strong, you won’t have to stress as much about trying to raise it and it will make you a stronger applicant for professional school with a higher GPA.
What advice would you give to someone looking to pursue a similar path as yours?
I would recommend them to find a mentor and shadow them. Ask them about their experience, about their struggles, and about their triumphs. I did a lot of community service, joined and led organizations, and also did a lot of research in the lab.
What is a major challenge you have had to overcome and how did you do so?
My major challenge would have been my first year of undergrad when I almost lost my scholarship because I did not keep the required GPA. I had to take summer school and that was a wake up call for me. I changed the way I studied and went to tutoring. I ended up keeping my scholarship after that summer and GPA went up every semester.
What is your favorite thing about your dental school?
My favorite thing is the connection I have with the community. We are in a clinic and we have our own patients and I just love all the different type of people and the special personalities they bring.
What advice would you give to someone getting ready to start their application process to dental schools?
Join a summer program to help assist with it. I had the opportunity of doing a summer program at the University of Michigan, who helped with the application process and I also found more mentors who recently went through the same process.
Did you take some time off before dental school? If so, what did you do during that time?
I matriculated straight to dental school from undergrad.
What do you like to do for fun?
I am a jokester so anything that deals with people and laughing. I am not high maintenance at all so I can chill and play cards with friends and that’s a good night for me.
What do you feel is the most challenging part of dental school? The easiest part?
Everyone has different experiences but for me the most challenging part was the transition and doubting myself by first thinking I did not belong, but I excelled. The easiest part for me is making connections with my colleagues.
What did you do during the summer before you started dental school?
The summer before dental school I was in a program called Profile for Success at University of Michigan and it was a great opportunity for me to help with that application and that transition into dental school.
What do you do to get through the stressful nature of dental school?
I try to find people to hang with that are not in dental school, so we don’t have the same stresses and just joke around. I like to also have my me days where I may go to the movies or take myself to get some good food or cook.
What extra-curricular activities are you involved in at your school?
I am a member of Delta Mu Chi Fraternity Inc., which is an interprofessional fraternity for minority students. I am on the E-Board for SNDA, ASDA, and Student Council.
What is it like attending school in your city?
It is a very busy city with all types of things to do. I enjoy it and its always nice to experience the museums.
We really appreciate all of this incredibly useful information you shared with us Justin! Thank you for taking the time to do so! You are setting such a great example for many people and those who read this will undoubtedly feel inspired by your words! Best of luck to you as you continue your journey in Dentistry!
Posted on April 9th, 2019