UCSF navigation

Saturday, July 28, 2018

In Their Own Words: Troy

(Note: It's funny that Troy mentions his experience teaching a Kanye West course while at Cal -- because that's one thing I always remember about his application. We asked "What makes you unique from all the other students that will be admitted in the class?" Troy didn't hold back.  He promised he'd bring his leadership skills to the PharmD program and he certainly didn't disappoint as he served as UCSF's Student Body President during his third year of pharmacy school. Having him on the Admissions Committee was kind of a no-brainer, knowing his rich experiences would serve us well when selecting a unique and authentic group of students to be a part of our entering class.)

Name: Troy
Hometown:  San Jose, CA
Previous institution attended: UC Berkeley
Undergraduate Major: Cellular Biology - Human Physiology

Why did you apply to be a member of the Admissions Committee and what have you enjoyed the most?
I applied to be on the Admissions Committee because, years ago, UCSF took a chance on a kid like me and I felt like it was only right that I give back to a place that has given me so much. In the past, I felt like I was too much of a free spirit to be in this field. However, some person must have looked at
my application and saw me as a diamond in the rough, and now I’m in the same position and I’m just so amazed at how things come full circle. When I look through applicants, I try to find people who show real potential and have core values that give them a chance to leave an incredible legacy during their three years here, despite their flaws. At the start of this new curriculum, I think we need to find these people to kick off this new era in the school. Everyone at UCSF are diamonds in the rough, so to speak – constantly refining ourselves but already inherently valuable.

In your opinion, what are the most common mistakes applicants make?
Remember that the entire application process gives us a chance to dive deeper into understanding who you are as a human being. I want to understand the motivations behind things that you’ve done and things that you want to do in the future. The “why” is what I’m trying to understand from applicants when I go through their file or when I interview people. Many applicants will forget this at some point in their application process.

Think about movies. If we don’t understand the history of a character or why they do the things they do throughout the film, then the experience becomes convoluted and cliché. If a character is interesting, honest, and compelling, then the viewer becomes invested in the character and wants to see them succeed. Make people interested in seeing how your story unfolds!

What stands out to you in an application?
The applications I really remember are ones that expand my perspective or applications that teach me something I didn’t know before.

What impresses you about an application/applicant?
Applicants that have a really strong sense of the pervading discourse that guides how they make decisions. Also, applicants that have an idea about how they can push humanity forward through their careers. Or at the very least, applicants that seem to be on the track to answering these questions.

What are your pet peeves when interviewing an applicant or reviewing a file?
Too many applicants try to be who they think we want them to be instead of who they truly are. The application process is just as much choosing a school that fits you as it is choosing an applicant that fits UCSF. It’s easy to tell when someone isn’t being genuine.

Have you or any of your friends exaggerated on Tinder? Your photos could have you courtside at a Warriors game with a puppy sitting on your lap and Lin-Manuel Miranda could write your “About Me” but eventually, you’re going to have to meet your date in person and they can smell the front from a mile away. Be yourself! Because unlike Tinder dates, you can’t just ghost the pharmacy school you choose to attend.

What characteristics are necessary in order to succeed in UCSF’s PharmD program?
One of the first things a mentor of mine told me when I was coming into the program is that UCSF is here to teach you how to think. Everything comes down to your mindset! You will forget side effects. You will forget first-line therapies. But if you understand how to think critically and solve problems, you’ll be valuable wherever you go.

The other thing I’d say is don’t be afraid to be great, today. A lot of people think, “Once I graduate school, once I finish residency, once I get this position....” The point of all of this is not to run a rat race better than other people. This profession is about lifting others up, asking deep questions, and solving problems within healthcare with what you’ve learned. That is possible on day one. Find mentors and a group of friends that inspire you and everything will fall into place.

What tools or resources would you recommend to prospective applicants?
People are your biggest resource! Put yourself out there and talk to people. Not just pharmacy people – anyone. Every person has something valuable and interesting to share with you when given the chance and put into the right context. In my experience, the best applicants (and the best clinicians) have an incredible perspective of the world we live in.

Why do you think you were admitted into UCSF’s PharmD program?
You know, sometimes I wonder why they admitted me to this program too! A lot of people tell me they remembered me as the applicant who taught a Kanye West class at Cal. But in general, I think the admissions committee could tell I was an applicant who was consistent.  The voice behind my essays, the work I wrote about in my CV, and the person you talk to when you meet me are all part of same person with the same core values. When a person has a strong sense of their core, they can succeed when they’re lightyears out of their comfort zone, which you’ll find is where you spend most of your time while you’re at this school.

What do you do for fun?
I love hanging out with the different people I’ve met around the Bay. Some of my friends like going to shows and that’s always a blast. I have a squad that likes to hoop and check out breweries, but we also recently started a book club because we’ve been reading so much lately. There a few art galleries around SF and Oakland that have been very moving which I’ve enjoyed. I’m really a huge nerd at heart so I really enjoy being around people who are really passionate about whatever they’re into.

(To read all previous "In Their Own Words" profiles, click the "committee profiles" label link below.)

No comments:

UCSF UCSF About UCSF Search UCSF UCSF Medical Center