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Thursday, August 1, 2013

Admitted Students Offer Advice

We host many outreach and informational programs throughout the year. We always try to include current students in the program as it provides prospective students/applicants an opportunity to hear directly from them -- their advice, experiences, and challenges.

Students who will enter the program this fall are not too far removed from the application process. It's still fresh in their minds. I asked them, "If you could offer a single piece of advice to an applicant who is applying to UCSF School of Pharmacy, what would it be? What would you say?" Below are some of their responses!

“Be yourself. Be honest.” -Vicki

“Spend lots of time on the essays. Talk about as many experiences as you can. Don't keep talking about the same experience in all the essays. Make sure your responses to essay questions are backed by examples and experiences.” -Ami

“Keep a pharmacy journal. Every time you learn something new in pharmacy, attend a conference, shadow a pharmacist, write it down. It will be extremely helpful when preparing your application essays.” -Leanne

“Two words: time management. Make sure you have everything in order: what classes you need to take, when to ask for letters of recommendation, and all your deadlines laid out. I suggest creating a timeline.” -Helen

“Do as much research about the Doctor of Pharmacy program as you can. You're about to spend the next four years of your life here! Just as UCSF will see if you're a good fit, make sure that this program is a good fit for you.” -Allison

“Disregard all thoughts of where you "stand" as an applicant. Be yourself, tell the truth and apply. I almost didn't submit my application because I didn't think I would get in, yet here I am.” -Jennifer

"Have the conviction to turn down an offer of admission if it means sacrificing doing what you love. In other words, make sure you do not compromise your identity in order to get into UCSF. Represent your true self, and let the Admissions Committee make the hard decisions."-Keil
“Analyze all of your life experiences in order to trace how they have shaped you as a person and led you to the decision of pursuing a career in pharmacy. It will help you understand yourself better, define your goals, and set your priorities.” -Yuliya

“Developing a successful application is no trivial task. The more time and effort you put into the application, the better it will be. You can't do it all in one sitting. It took me months of daily editing to finish and I'm glad I took the time.” - Leo

“UCSF’s application is the most difficult but yet the most rewarding. If you put your heart into it (and try to enjoy it),  you will find that you not only present the school a complete YOU -- but also gain a new understanding of yourself.  DIG DEEPLY!” -Louis

“Get a head start on writing your essays! Take time to really reflect and answer each essay question thoroughly and genuinely. The essays are YOUR chance to sum up who you are, what your goals are, and why you want to attend UCSF.” -Dalga

“Really focus on writing good essays! Your writing style and content can give a sense of who you are and how you stand out. Know your attributes and what you want to convey, and edit edit edit!” –Christina

“Don't underestimate yourself. There were so many times I thought I wasn't competitive enough because of my stats. However, UCSF is definitely a school that looks at more than numbers. As long as you're passionate about pharmacy, you can shine!” -Riti

“My advice would be to keep a journal of all your experiences and activities. When it comes time to respond to essay questions, you will have pages of snapshots to pull from. This helped me express my thoughts, both genuinely and with details.” -Nola

“Have fun with it. The essays are designed to get a deeper understanding of the applicant. It really is a time to open up and discover who you really are. The essay process can be therapeutic, if you let it.” -Timothy

“Take time to really think about who you are as an individual, not who you think UCSF is looking for.  Knowing this will help you respond with  genuine and meaningful answers (on the application and in the interview) which is very important.” -Sierra

“Don’t be afraid to be yourself -- on paper and off.  If you draw from your experiences and answer honestly from the heart, everything will be alright.” -Richard

“Be yourself during the process. Make sure the admissions committee knows your journey and show them your passion for pharmacy. Don’t be nervous, have confidence. Remember both you and the committee are trying to determine if you are a good fit.” -Katelyn

“Be confident that you are deserving of one of the 122 spots in the class, and apply whole-heartedly and fearlessly. Know yourself and your passions. Convey your unique characteristics that set you apart from the rest.” -Jenny

“TAKE TIME to evaluate strengths and weaknesses. Acknowledge your weaknesses and think about how to improve. For example, if you haven't worked in a pharmacy, think about healthcare-related experiences (e.g, traveling abroad, personal hospitalization, etc.).” -Jade

“Avoid online forums after your application is submitted. Reading that other applicants have been invited to an interview or offered admission can cause you to unnecessarily read into your own status.” -Robert

“Don't wait until the day before the deadline to submit your supplemental application.” -Aaron

“Take advantage of the essay portions when applying. Fully express yourself through writing so you can deliver your own spin to the application. Besides your academic background, the school takes note of the individuality of each applicant.” -Stephanie

“My best advice is to be 100% comfortable with yourself and entirely genuine. Don't waste time trying to become an applicant that you think UCSF will want. Be exactly who you are and if you are a good-hearted person, they'll see it easily!” -Iris

“Dedicate lots of time to the application process. Edit your application with others' suggestions, make thoughtful changes, even complete re-writes. Prepare for your interview by practicing with a helpful audience.” -Kari

“In the words of Robert Kennedy, ‘Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.’ Have the courage to apply. Be confident. That way you can eliminate nervousness and really express yourself in your essays and interview.” -Niki

“I believe what really makes an individual suited for UCSF is that they are 'outliers' - they have demonstrated uniqueness in their actions and achievements. They can articulate how doing so has developed them into a leader.” -Christopher

1 comment:

Fiona said...

Thank you for all the thoughtful comments! It is great to hear advice from students who were previously in my position now.

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