Alumni Interview Series: Kiarash Karimi, DMD

Continuing our Alumni Interview Series, this week a special interview with Kiarash Karimi, who graduated in Szeged from the English Dental Program in 2010 and pursued his dreams far beyond!

Please, tell us a bit about yourself.

PIC-e1427057242277I was born and raised in Iran and moved to the UAE at the age of 17. After learning English I started school at Gulf Medical University to be a medical doctor. I had a couple of classmates who had lived in Hungary for a few years and had nothing to say about it but nice things. So I got interested in it, and one day I just hopped on a plane and came to Hungary and started with the dental program in Szeged. It was the best decision of my life!

While I was in the 3rd year of my program I applied for an Externship/Observership program at UCLA and to my surprise I got accepted. It’s a good experience and its free. I recommend it.

Once I went to UCLA, I became familiar with their postgraduate programs and once I graduated I applied for one of them (AEGD Preceptorship in my case), which is a great way to get an F1 (Student Visa) for the United States.

After 6 months in that program, I started another program at UCLA in Restorative Dentistry, which is also a great program and would allow one licensure in five states. Meanwhile, I’ve taken many continuing education courses and attended as many seminars as possible to learn more about specific fields of dentistry and of course to obtain a better resume. Then, I moved to Colorado and started a 2-year DDS program at University of Colorado. I’ll graduate in about a week, and I’m in the process of getting my Dental License in California and in Colorado. I already have a couple of job offers that I’m really excited about. One is a as a part-time faculty member at the Restorative department at UCLA and the other one is at a private practice in Oxnard, just North of Malibu, CA. I’ll still have to finalize the contract, so you guys wish me luck!

How well did your university studies prepare you?

At first glance, most dental procedures are done more or less the same way. The materials and techniques here might be a little different but the principles are the same. The type of skills you need might be different based on where you might practice in the US. But, all in all, there is a big interest in esthetic and implant dentistry.

Do you wish you had done something different during you university years?

I think, I would have worked more on my resume. I’d have tried to do some research and do more volunteer work at the school.

What skills were most critical in your success?

Well, there were many things. I was fortunate to have decent manual skills, but that alone is not enough. If I had to name two things that will bring you a step closer to success they would be hard work and interpersonal skills.

Any words of wisdom and advice to students trying to decide where and what to work with?

In the US, like most other places, it as about whom you know, as much as it’s about what you know. The good news is, it is easy to do so in the States. So if you come to the US one day, try to become affiliated with a school and try to get to know people, attend seminars and make friends. Those would be your greatest assets. People are more likely to offer you a position (to study, work, teach, etc.) if they know you personally. And one more thing, if you are planning to get your license here in the US, come here as soon as you can. There is only so much you can do from far away. Once you come here it’s only a matter of time until you get it.

Thanks for the interview!

Inteview by: Benedek Bozoky and George Kaposvari