It was her first morning of work-experience and Zoe Williams found a job she could sink her teeth into.
“I went to the Moruya community dental service and was thrown in the deep end,” Zoe said.
“I was suctioning out peoples’ mouths” Zoe said.
“There were people with four teeth missing and cavities everywhere. I saw it all that first week and knew I could do this for the rest of my life.”
That was at the end of Year 10 and, to be sure, Zoe did another stint with a private dental clinic at the end of Year 11.
Now, the St Peter’s Anglican College student is ready to pursue tertiary study as a dental hygienist.
Zoe said she finished her last Year 12 exam on Monday.
“People talk up exam time; they have a mental breakdown every second day and they cry a lot,” she said.
“I must have done okay – I didn’t cry once,” Zoe joked.
The 17-year-old has already been offered an ‘early-entry’ place at Sydney University.
“The interview there was like dentistry speed dating,” she said.
“You went into all these little rooms, and dealt with different scenarios in each – they would asses your response.”
Zoe thinks they were looking to separate out students with high ATARs but poor social skills from those who could actually talk to patients.
“I just answered truthfully and I got in, so I guess that was the right approach,” she said.
Although Zoe was thrilled to be one of only 40 students – early-entry, domestic and international – accepted into Sydney’s dental hygiene program, she may choose not to go.
“I am also interested in Charles Sturt at Wagga because they have a new dental facility there,” Zoe said.
“It has the higher standing: People go ‘ooh’ when you say you attended there.”
“Plus the accommodation is much cheaper.”
Zoe’s guide to a shining smile
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