Katherine Loi, DDS (FEMBA ’25)

Katherine Loi, DDS (FEMBA ’25)

Associate Dentist, Venice Family Clinic

Owner and CEO, GetYourDentistOn.com

What is your background and what did the journey to your current affiliation entail?

I was born and raised in the U.S., a first-generation citizen. My parents were Viet-Chinese refugees who fled Vietnam in 1975, and I grew up in the Bay Area. I earned my B.S. in psychobiology at UCLA, so I’ll be a double Bruin, but I’m also a proud graduate of USC’s Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry, where I studied on a military medical scholarship. I joined the U.S. Army Reserves in 2009 and, starting in 2013, served nearly five years on active duty as a Captain O-3.

In 2015, I founded the open-source platform GetYourDentistOn.com to help people interested in pursuing a dental degree get through the daunting tasks of studying for exams and applying to programs. I answer questions about military dentistry from a female perspective, too. It’s not always easy to find mentors.

Most recently, in 2022, I joined Venice Family Clinic as an associate dentist. As a fully employed MBA student, I’m serving as the VP of FEMBA for the Association of Veterans at Anderson.

What was your job in the military?

I was stationed in Fort Sill, Oklahoma, where I worked as a general dentist. I had a wonderful experience changing lives.

My favorite cases were when a soldier was getting out of the military and wanted a smile makeover. I’d be working under pressure, trying to complete their treatment in a short amount of time, while also working with the laboratory to ensure an aesthetically beautiful final product. My patients left happy, and I was satisfied knowing I helped improve their lives. First appearances impress, and I was part of helping soldiers transition into the civilian world.

Serving in another part of the country gave me a new perspective on the landscape of the U.S., and I brought my native California personality to Oklahoma.

Loi competes in the AVA golf scramble for charity

What do MBA students with military experience bring to business school?

Veterans are dynamic individuals, each with unique stories. We are highly motivated, curious and open to new experiences. I’m always impressed by the ingenuity and grit of the veterans I meet.

The hardest part about being a soldier is the mental aspect of it. When you’re on active duty, you are separated from your friends, family and everything you know and love, and are put in a new place to live and work. You learn to adapt and cope, all while doing a stellar job to serve your country.

At Anderson, I’ve met so many veterans interested in a variety of fields — investing, search funds, entrepreneurship. I loved participating in the AVA golf scramble and raising money for military families last May. The vets at Anderson know how to work hard and enjoy life, as we have all had to endure a lot to get where we are. There’s something about the mentality of a soldier that helps us to strive for better, and for more. I am applying this toward my own entrepreneurial interests.

What is your relationship to your military service now that you’ve reentered civilian life?

I love telling people I’m a veteran and seeing their reaction. They never expect it, just like they don’t expect a dentist to get an MBA. I enjoy disproving stereotypes. I’m a small Asian female dentist. When I participated in AVA’s clay shooting event, I qualified in the final round. It may have been beginner’s luck, but I love representing the outliers in the military. We are a unique bunch.

I love being a part of AVA. It has helped me to find the other veterans at Anderson and build relationships with my service peers. Los Angeles is a huge city and, between working full time and sitting in traffic, it can be difficult connecting. We have a strong network in AVA, and, as the club’s VP of FEMBA, I will continue supporting the incoming Anderson students, as well as invite questions from vets interested in the FEMBA program. I always look forward to our annual golf tournament, and my goal in 2024 is to top what we raised last spring to fund scholarships for children of fallen soldiers.

Where are you hoping to take your career?

While at Anderson I’ve attended many medtech and artificial intelligence conferences. I’m interested in opportunities at the intersection of AI and dentistry, and in sports dentistry. I’m working on a business that uses AI to help with dental diagnosis. My goal is to improve access to oral health care in the U.S. and in remote areas around the world. I hope this technology can be used in the future to help soldiers in a combat situation.