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 California State University, Fullerton

Emmanuel Gluckman: Future Dentist

sdfBefore I start, I’d like to thank Dr. Walker, Dr. Chen, Dr. Goode, and the Health Professions Office for being nothing but helpful, accommodating, and encouraging towards me throughout my entire journey to dental school here at CSUF – I would not be nearly as successful as I have been without your help and guidance.


            My name is Manny Gluckman and I recently graduated from CSUF Summa Cum Laude in the fall of 2013. I was extremely fortunate to receive interviews from such prestigious universities like UCLA, UCSF, USC, The University of Pennsylvania, and The University of Michigan (among many others), and I’m thrilled to be attending the UCLA School of Dentistry next fall as a part of the class of 2018.

            Knowing what I know now, I wouldn’t choose any other institution for my undergraduate education other than Cal State Fullerton.  My professors have all been excellent, I received invaluable advising advice from both the Health Professions Office and my biology faculty, and I was afforded the opportunity to become very involved in things that I was passionate about while on campus.

            During my time here, I was the Dental Chair of the Student Health Professions Association for three years, a member of Dr. Chen’s Microbiology Research Lab for a little over a year, and a Supplemental Instruction leader for the Biology Department for three years as well. Outside of CSUF, I regularly volunteered at an elementary school and helped coach a youth basketball team throughout my time in college.  In addition, I spent close to 200 hours shadowing a variety of dentists and dental specialists to get a real-life feel for what the profession is like. Collectively, these experiences honed my critical thinking skills, taught me how to work as a part of a team, and most importantly they taught me how to interact with all different types of people – all traits essential for success in any of the health professions.


            The application process is a long and tedious one, but there are definitely things you can do to help maximize your chances. First and foremost – APPLY EARLY. I can’t stress how important this is – do not underestimate it. Next, buy the ADEA book and find out which schools to apply to based on your stats and which schools accept a good percentage of CA residents. Lastly, apply broadly – at least 10 schools, and in my opinion somewhere north of 15, NO MATTER WHAT YOUR NUMBERS ARE. You want to maximize your chances, and the whole process really can be a bit random and you never know why a school will like or not like you as an applicant.

In terms of being a successful applicant, I have three main pieces of advice:

1) Don’t sacrifice your grades/test scores at the expense of extra curricular activities You need both, but your GPA/DAT are what get you in the door (Your people skills and extra curricular experience are what will make your interview successful)

2) Be True to Yourself

 In other words, don’t do something because you think it will improve your application, do it because you genuinely enjoy it.  Being fake on your application will be evident in your interviews and it will absolutely hurt your chances.

3) People skills are equally as important (if not more so) than your numbers

We have to realize that for the most part, our patients won’t know a thing about science. Of course it’s vital that we are competent in all of the courses we take both in undergrad and professional school, but in order to build strong relationships with our future patients we must find a way to make difficult scientific material relatable to the average person. In your interviews, demonstrate that you are personable and that can relate to any type of person in an everyday setting – be able to talk about current events, movies, sports, etc. This may seem strange now, but when you’re in the real world these skills will go hand in hand with what you learn in the classroom in terms of fostering good relationships with your patients and making them feel comfortable with you.

In closing, I know that the road to professional school is an arduous one that seems to drag on and on and on. At times it may seem easy to give up, but always remember your passion for what you are pursuing to keep you focused. All of the studying and sacrifices you make will be more than worth it when you receive those admissions calls.

Best of luck!