I am so thrilled to have our first feature of ” Beauty & Brains” on the intelligent, humble, and classy Ms. Opeyemi Elizabeth Fadoju. She is a perfect example of not only relying on your looks to get far in life, but also your brains. Not only is she fashionable, but she will also be graduating from Columbia University College of Dental Medicine next year. Check out her story below!
1.Hello! Please let everyone know who you are! What is your full name?
Opeyemi Elizabeth Fadoju. Elizabeth after my grandmother.
2. Where were you born & raised? Did your upbringing have an early influence on what you wanted to do as an adult?
I was born in Lagos, Nigeria. My upbringing definitely had an influence as I started school at 18 months. I remember attending Deborah Nursery School for Primary 1 before my father won the visa lottery and we moved to the United States. Education has always been a big motivating force.
3. Are you in currently in school? And if so, where and how long do you have left to finish the program?
I am currently a dual-degree student. This means I am enrolled in a doctorate and masters at the same time. Next year, I will graduate with my DDS from Columbia University College of Dental Medicine and my MA in Science and Dental Education from Columbia UniversityTeacher’s College.
4.Why did you choose this career? Are you happy with that decision thus far ?
I initially wanted to pursue Business. I was an Information Systems Management magnet in high school and my mom pushed me towards healthcare but I wasn’t interested at the time. I started going to my neighborhood dentist in Baltimore and that’s where I learned more about the profession. I went to the University of MD College Park on a full ride and declared Biology as my major and later picked up a Spanish minor. I had a group of older friends who all wanted to pursue medical and dental school and these young ladies were instrumental to my success. They are the ones who told me about the Summer Medical Dental Education program which I participated in at Columbia University the summer of my freshman year. This is where I decided I would become a dentist one day.
5. I know you have a Business called ” Floss & All- Pearls of Wisdom from a Future DDS”. Can you please tell me where did the inspiration come from to start this venture?
I started this blog after I got into dental school because I wanted to share my testimony. I wrote a piece “I’m Not Smart It’s Favor: How I Snuck into Columbia Dental” and from there I kept sharing my thoughts, advice and other bits of inspiration because honestly, sometimes, that is all it takes. To see someone who looks like you doing something you hope to do
6.What advice would you give someone trying to pursue a career in the Dental Field or any other Health related fields? Also what advice would you also give them when trying to pick a school to attend?
I would advise them to get a good grasp on the reason they want to pursue the career, they will need to remember this when it gets tough. Also, it is important to have mentors, people of value who encourage and guide you along the way. When picking schools, I would advise students to research all the schools they are interested in and narrow then what is important to them. It is also very helpful to reach out to students at those schools and attend pre-dent programs offered at the schools to begin establishing relationships with schools of particular interest.
7.How do you handle workload stress and still enjoy life at the same time?
I take my breaks and throw myself into things I love. Being organized is key to manage stress. If I don’t plan, I get overwhelmed but if at least I know that things are upcoming, I can manage my expectations. Enjoying life is the easy part. I know that balance is important so I try not to let myself miss out on the great opportunities around me, especially living in NYC.
8. Describe your day to day activities, priorities, & tasks.
A typical school week is a combination of dental lectures, seeing patients, and classes for my Masters. I try to make to-do lists and give myself a good overview of the day, week and month.
9.Tell me about a successful moment or accomplishment you’ve had thus far in your career?
Being commissioned as an officer into the U.S. Navy was such a proud moment for me. When I think about the fact that I wasn’t born here and that we came to the U.S. with very little, it is amazing to know that God’s favor was triumphant and sustaining. I look forward to serving in leadership in the U.S. Navy Dental Corp.
10. At the end of the day, what kind of legacy do you want to leave behind for people to remember you by?
I hope to be remembered for being a terrific learner and educator, in career and life. I hope to be a great friend, sister, doctor, wife and mother one day who is supportive and well-rounded. I hope to inspire people to desire to achieve and impact more for themselves than society tells them is necessary. And I hope to do so in great heels.
11. How can people get in contact with you via email or social media outlets?