Grant Essink knew he wanted to be a dentist before he arrived at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Business Administration. The next question he needed to answer was what to choose as his major, so he consulted people already working in the medical profession.
“I found out one of the most important things about being in a medical practice is to know how to handle money and manage people,” Essink said. “Dentists have told me it’s a tremendous expense if you don’t know how to manage the finances and accounting side of your business.”
Essink’s mom spent her professional career as a chair-side dental assistant, and his dad was a certified public accountant. He chose to follow both paths and decided to major in finance prior to attending dental school.
“I knew a business degree would be good, because if I didn’t get into dental school, I could always fall back on my finance degree which I would have been happy to do,” he said. “If I did get into dental school, it would help tremendously with running my own practice.”
Essink, who is from Lincoln, Neb., graduated with his finance degree and a minor in economics this May. He will begin dental school at the University of Nebraska Medical Center this fall. He believes the extra time he took to get a business degree in addition to the required science courses on the pre-dental side will ultimately pay off.
“I think it’s a huge benefit for me to have a business education and I plan to use the background I’m gaining to my advantage when I eventually have my own dental practice.”
The business courses at CBA have also impressed Essink.
“I didn’t know exactly what I was getting into as a freshman but the way CBA tailors the classes to make them more than just doing a problem and getting a result is great. The classes are designed to get you ready for the business world.”
Essink has also been active as president of the pre-dental club on campus and participated in numerous outreach programs to provide dental care to the underprivileged.
“I talked to administrators at UNMC. They said they want their students to be outgoing leaders and that’s the reason I’ve gotten involved in so many activities in college,” he said.
Dr. Dennis Duchon, E.J. Faulkner Professor of Management, was one of Essink’s professors and believes scientifically inclined young men and women have a lot to gain by studying business as an undergraduate.
“Many people attracted to careers in medicine graduate and are then shocked to find out they are running a business,” Duchon said. “Grant has foreseen this reality. He has been preparing himself for both the science part and the business part.”
Essink, who grew up in Lincoln, Neb., graduated from Lincoln Southwest High School. He regularly mentors younger students at Lincoln Berean Church and has also worked part-time as a student worker at the UNL Canfield Administration Building.