I bought my practice 4 months after graduating. However, I knew from my 2nd semester of 1st year I was not going to specialize and focused all my efforts on clinical courses and put just enough in to pass the board prep didactic classes. I saved every scrap of dental supply other people were tossing as they graduated, heck I’ve never bought Ortho wire, mixing bowls, etc, I’m still using slow speed motors thrown away by graduating 4th years 15 years ago. You’re going to make mistakes, but as the owner you’ll get paid for them. Associateships and corporate jobs are a death spiral for the profession. You don’t need then, especially if you do a GPR or AEGD, which I did not. I also used my practice management class project as the basis for my practice purchase bank proposal. No sense in wasting my time on pretend projects.