USC University of Southern California

Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC

Five Things: Yaara Berdan MBA ’22

Yaara Berdan MBA ’22 (Photo by Hannah Benet)

Yaara Berdan MBA ’22, Assistant Professor of Clinical Dentistry

When asked to describe a typical day, Yaara Berdan humbly replies, “It is busy, but I enjoy every minute.” Keeping with the USC tradition of life-long learning, the full-time faculty member is a part-time MBA student at the USC Marshall School of Business. Here are five more things to know about Berdan:

1. She’s been teaching at Ostrow since 2008.

“I started working as a volunteer one day a week in 2008. I had no idea what to expect from being a dental educator, but I really enjoyed it right away. Now, more than 10 years later, I’m here daily serving as the director of preclinical endodontics.”

2. She was a pediatric dentist before starting her endodontics residency.

“Endodontics was my least favorite area of dentistry when I was a dental student. How ironic, but it just shows that you never know where your interests, or disinterests, will take you. Now with my pediatric dentistry background, I am usually more involved when there are children treated in the endodontics clinic. We have a great collaborative relationship with the pediatric dentistry clinic at Ostrow.”

3. She decided to pursue an MBA to expand beyond dentistry and be a better educator.

“My goal is to use my MBA to improve my current skills, view dentistry from a business perspective and be a better educator. Becoming a student again has really made me more understanding of what Ostrow students are going through.”

4. She has yet to bump into her son, a fellow USC student, on campus. 

“My son is a third-year undergraduate student at Viterbi. With all the time I spend here, it’s crazy I’ve never bumped into him on campus by chance!”

5. She held a few different jobs outside of dentistry before entering dental school. 

“I went to UCLA for undergrad and majored in kinesiology so, after graduating, I worked as a personal trainer at Sports Club LA. But my favorite job was as a California Pizza Kitchen server before dental school.”


This story originally appeared in the TroDent, the official publication for the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC. Read more stories like this in our Fall 2019 issue.

Posted December 2019