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RDH career expansion series: Carly White, RDH

Sept. 24, 2020
In this new series, we speak with dental hygienists who have expanded their careers in exciting, impressive, innovative ways. First up: Carly White, RDH, who now owns a travel agency. Read more about her journey here.

Carly White, RDH, lives in Westport, Massachusetts, with her husband Rodney and 11-year-old son, Reed. Graduating from Bristol Community College in 1999, she started her clinical career in private practice, continuing for several years until starting a public health dental hygiene practice.  She was one of the first to receive a mobile permit to provide this care. She is now the owner of Soaring Holidays, a full-service travel agency, while still practicing clinically part-time.

Where did you go to hygiene school?

Bristol Community College

What year did you graduate?

1999

How long did you practice clinically?

21 years! I still practice part-time.

How did that prepare you for your current role in your career?

Working as a clinical dental hygienist requires attention to the detail, and the ability to multitask and manage your time. All these qualities are necessary when running your own business.

What do you miss about clinical hygiene?

Well, right now I’m still practicing part-time. Eventually, I know I will miss my patients the most. There is a tremendous amount of satisfaction in knowing you are contributing to their overall health and well-being.

When did you know you wanted to expand outside of the traditional dental hygiene role?

I first knew after four or five years working in clinical dental hygiene. I thought about working in sales with a dental supply company. I was discouraged from applying because I had an associate degree. I wanted to work on having a family and just didn’t want to go back to school at that time. Eventually I did go back and started an online marketing degree program at UMass Amherst.

Tell us what you do now.

Now, I own a travel agency called Soaring Holidays. My team of independent travel consultants books trips and plan itineraries for travel all over the world. We are all authorized Disney travel planners as well.

What is the best part about your job?

There are several great things about being a travel agent/planner. Working from home with a flexible schedule is awesome, but the best part is hearing from clients after their trips. It’s gratifying to know you played a part in making their holiday memorable.

How has it changed your life?

It has shown me that if you try and fail, you just need to try again. For years, I thought about owning my own business, even working as a public health dental hygienist in Massachusetts. I was discouraged when that didn’t work out for me, but just kept at it. Soaring Holidays has given me the opportunity to help my agents grow their businesses. I finally feel like I’m where I belong, continuing to learn, grow, and mentor others.

What would you recommend for someone who wants a career change or a side hustle?

First, do your research. Second, listen only to those who offer solutions and bring positivity to you and your business venture. Lastly, proceed wholeheartedly.

About the Author

Amber Auger, MPH, RDH

Amber Auger MPH, RDH, is an international lecturer, the 2019 Sunstar RDH Award of Distinction, editorial director for RDH Graduate, creator of Thrive in the Op, and the Functional RDH Certification. Amber has more than 18 years of experience in the dental field and has been practicing dental hygiene since 2010. An active mentor to fellow hygienists, she champions personal and professional growth through her innovative Thrive in the Op on-demand courses and live coaching sessions. She can be reached at [email protected]. 

Updated January 22, 2024