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That’s How I Got Here – Meaghan Fadden’s View from Outside

MK_Headshot_smallSix months ago, if you had asked me who Lucy Hobbs was, I wouldn’t have had an answer for you.  Not even an educated guess.  I would have Googled her name, briefly read her Wikipedia biography and stored that little nugget of knowledge for a potential Final Jeopardy question.

However, that was six months ago; before I started preparing for my first interview at Benco Dental.  I applied for a Project Coordinator position in the Business Innovation department.  I wasn’t 100% sure what that meant or what The Lucy Hobbs Project was, but I read the job description and was interested in learning more about the role and its function.  So, I started prepping.  I read everything I could get my hands on.  First stop: Benco.com.  I researched the company, their hiring process and their culture.  Next stop: The Lucy Hobbs Project website and Facebook page.  I studied her life, the mission of the Project and its timeline like it was my freshman year history midterm.  (Thankfully, the interview went far better than my midterm.)

What surprised me most in conducting my research was that I didn’t have to force myself to learn the material.  Let me explain what I mean.  Did you ever have to study or memorize something that just wasn’t that interesting?  A history midterm, chemistry equations, even doing your taxes.  Learning that material can be difficult, even impossible, because your mind is flooded with “I don’t care” and “When am I ever actually going to need this?” making comprehension and “light bulb moments” few and far between.  But, learning the lyrics to a new song, memorizing your satellite radio commands or navigating the newest version of Facebook comes more naturally, right?  Because you want to learn.  Because you are open to, and even excited about mastering that concept.  Well, learning about The Lucy Hobbs Project was like listening to my Mumford and Sons album on repeat.  The more I listened, the more I wanted to sing along; the more I learned, the more I wanted to participate.  By the time my interview came around, not only was I ready to discuss the Project, I was passionate about it.

Perhaps needless to say, my interview went well.  In fact, it led to another interview which ultimately led to an offer.  Beyond thrilled at the prospect of starting a new adventure, I accepted on the spot.  The hard work finally paid off.  This was it: my chance to get in on the ground level of a powerful movement, meet new people all over the country, and be a part of something that leaves a positive impact.

Coming from the casino industry, dental products and practices are as foreign to me as auto mechanics.   What is CAD/CAM technology?  What does DDR stand for?  And, who is this Henry Schein guy?  All of that will come in time.  But, even without that background, The Lucy Hobbs Project means something to me.  It isn’t just about the items you see in a catalog.  It’s about connecting, exploring, creating, relating, giving, growing.  It’s about establishing a safe, open community of people that share common interests and goals.  The Lucy Hobbs Project stands on the three pillars of innovation, networking and give back.  You don’t have to be a dentist to support that mission; you don’t even have to be a woman.  You just have to be passionate and committed to helping this Project evolve.

It’s important for me to reiterate that I am new to this industry.  I am taking what some would call an outsider’s perspective.  But, just because I don’t have DDS after my name doesn’t mean I don’t fully support this movement.  Because I do.  I believe in preparing for a new future, adjusting our practices to accommodate trends, and that two perspectives are better than one.  And, of course, girl power!  (Forgive me. I’m a child of the 90’s.)  My point is, tell your friends about The Lucy Hobbs Project.  Interact with us on social media.  Bring a colleague to the next event.   Share your experience.  Because someone that you may view as an “outsider” might just become an advocate for women in dentistry.  That’s how I got here.

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