Hometown: Sacramento, CA
Career Plans: To eventually own a private practice.
“I always strive to be great at what I do and Pacific's reputation for clinical excellence made the decision easy."
Born and raised in Sacramento, Navid Torabian had a lifelong dream to play soccer. His mom had different ideas, and asked him to promise he would have a backup career plan. So when Navid went off to college at UC Irvine, he chose to major in biology. However, as graduation approached, he still wasn't quite sure what career path to take. "Just like most recent graduates, I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with my life," recalls Navid. "The only thing I was sure about was soccer."
It was right around this time that Navid heard about One Shot One Dream, a soccer recruiting event in Southern California whose primary goal is to showcase talented U.S. soccer players to European coaches, scouts and managers. So after graduation Navid headed down there for the tryouts. He made the team, and off he went to Germany for some intense training.
Navid played strong during the team's second game, and was approached by an agent who wanted to represent him. After he completed his obligation to the program, he called the agent, who took him to some tryouts. He really liked the first team he tried out for - and they wanted a player like him - so he signed a one-year deal with them. It seemed that his dream of soccer success had come true.
However, halfway through that year, Navid was injured during a game. This made him question if soccer was really something he wanted to do for the long term. During the off season, he decided to explore other avenues.
He started shadowing a friend who he played soccer with who also happened to be a dentist. "I was a fan of the way he ran his practice and how he dealt with his patients. It was the first time I was excited about a profession outside of soccer," he explains. It was decision time for Navid and he had to decide if he wanted to sign another soccer contract or if he wanted to pursue dentistry.
"I was contemplating what to do," says Navid. "A lot of people I know have injuries and are still trying to make it work. I didn't want to put my career in the hands of a coach that could cut me without a moment's notice. I decided to put my future in my own hands, and chose to pursue dentistry."
Now in his second year at Pacific Dugoni, Navid couldn't be happier with his decision. He feels that his time at Pacific Dugoni will lead him to a truly stable career. Certainly, he finds dental school challenging at times. But then he sees the good things, such as seeing patients, which he finds very rewarding. It makes him feel like he made the right decision for himself.
Navid's favorite part about being at the dental school is the happy and supportive environment, where everyone is smiling and willing to help out. One thing he's learned about Pacific Dugoni is that he can give feedback to anything and people are receptive to it. Faculty are willing to listen and make changes. This environment also makes him want to be involved in extracurricular activities. He's served as vice president for his class and he is currently the social chair for the American Student Dental Association (ASDA).
"Because of the heavy workload and everything going on in the clinic, you need outlets to allow you to do things that are not required," says Navid. "These activities and clubs keep me sane."
For now, Navid is making the most out of his time at Pacific Dugoni. He has no immediate plans after graduation. Down the road, he'd like to own a private practice. But right now, he's focused on the here and now and taking advantage of the opportunities available to him.
The program here is intense but Navid feels like soccer has prepared him for anything. "Soccer has given me my motivation, my discipline and my competitive nature," says Navid. "It's given me the qualities I've needed to succeed in life and now during my time here at Pacific Dugoni in pursuing my dental degree. That's why I love the game so much - for what it's taught me."