Career paths can be full of twists and turns. Sometimes they take us to unexpected places and sometimes they bring us right back to where we started. Such is the case with Nour Mustafa.
Mustafa, who started at Washtenaw Community College in 2011, knew her path: attend WCC, transfer to a local four-year university for dental hygiene, graduate then find a job. She never expected to hit a bump along the way.
“I felt so overwhelmed once I got to the university,” she said. “I immediately knew that I wanted to come back to WCC— it’s like my home.”
She also had a clearer vision of where she wanted to go with her career. “I decided to enroll into the dental assisting program. I want to help people with their smile and make them feel good about themselves.”
Mustafa, who worked as a manager at the mall while attending school, attributes part of her success not only to her instructors, but to the counseling department at WCC.
“The counselors helped me plan out my schedule and figure out what I needed to take next,” she said. “It was really great since I was working and going to school. I also couldn’t have done it without my amazing instructors. They really put their whole lives into the program.”
With the help of both, Mustafa graduated with her associates degree, a certificate in dental assisting and just recently passed her state boards. She is currently employed at Gentle Dental in Ann Arbor.
“I always tell people that they should go to a community college first,” she said. “No matter what you want to do or what your situation is, WCC can help you figure out how to make your goals happen.”
Median Pay: $34,500 per year
Job Outlook: Employment of
dental assistants is projected
to grow 25 percent from 2012
to 2022, much faster than the
average for all occupations.
Ongoing research linking oral
health and general health will
likely continue to increase the
demand for preventive dental
Information from bls.gov