Grace Benz ’22

Gustavus Adolphus College: Where Success Stories Begin

University of Minnesota

Major: Biology

Tell us more about your accomplishment.

In the fall of 2023, I began my first year at the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry. I am enrolled in the four-year Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) program located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Upon finishing dental school, I can begin my career as a general dentist or pursue a specialized program. Dentistry has always seemed like an exciting and rewarding career, and I am thoroughly enjoying my schooling so far.

Why did you choose Gustavus Adolphus College?

I chose Gustavus because it immediately felt like a home away from home, especially since I am from North Dakota, which is over 6 hours away. I knew I wanted to attend a smaller school that could support my journey as a pre-dental student and athlete while creating personal experiences and relationships. The community, faculty, and fellow students were always warm and welcoming, and I had nothing but positive experiences during my time at Gustavus. Gustavus exceeded my expectations, providing me with countless opportunities and the feeling of being encouraged and supported to strive for the best version of myself.

How did the Center for Career Development & Office of Health Professions assist you?

The Center for Career Development and Office of Health Professions were incredibly helpful to me as a pre-dental student. The advisors were exceptional in their responsiveness, addressed my questions, and provided valuable advice about dental school. During the dental school application process, they helped me edit my application and provided mock interviews to set me up for success. The offices are a substantial asset to Gustavus, assisting and guiding students into being accepted into their desired program or schooling after Gustavus. I highly recommend contacting them as they will provide valuable resources in your application and career journey.

Which student organization has influenced you most, and in what way?

The women’s basketball team and coaching staff at Gustavus had a significant impact on me during my time there. Each member of the team and coaching staff is unique, and I feel privileged to have been a part of the team. Together, we achieved a lot, and I credit much of who I am today to their unwavering support on and off the court. Being a collegiate student athlete provided me with valuable life lessons and skills I continue applying as a dental student. Gustavus is an excellent school for pursuing a top-notch education while also being supported in achieving your athletic or extracurricular goals.

What advice would you give to other students or prospective students?

My advice to students is to stay organized and work hard, but also allow yourself to have fun! You might only have four years of college in your lifetime, so it is crucial to make the most of it and maintain a healthy balance. College is over in the blink of an eye, and many of us look back, wishing we could relive those moments. Enjoy your friends, pursue and explore opportunities, build a strong work ethic, and fill your time with positive experiences.

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By Hector Aguilar
Hector Aguilar Assistant Director for Outcomes and Strategic Initiatives