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Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Fall 2022 Pharmacy School Virtual Fair - Sign up today (free!)


UCSF School of Pharmacy representatives will be available to answer ALL your questions.

Event:
 Pharmacy School Virtual Fair
Date: Thursday, September 22, 2022
Time: 7:00am - 4:00pm (PST)
Sign-up today (registration is free!)



In Their Own Words: Julia

(Note: Julia is so sharp. When she applied to be a member of the Admissions Committee, I was excited. I didn't know her well, but other colleagues had worked with her and had nothing but great things to say.  During her interview to be on the committee, she stated "as a team member, I always like to come prepared so I can contribute" -- and that's exactly what she did as a committee member. She was ALWAYS thoroughly prepared and ready to contribute to the conversation. The advice she offers below is spot-on. I couldn't have said it better myself!)

Name: Julia
Hometown: Oak Park, CA
Previous Institution: UC Davis
Undergraduate Major: Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior

Why did you apply to be a member of the Admissions Committee and what have you enjoyed the most?
I applied to be a member of the Admissions Committee because of my passion and pride for the career of pharmacy and for UCSF. As a student, I feel that this is one of the most important ways that I can contribute to the future growth and success of our field. While being on the Admissions Committee, I enjoyed reading applications from such a wide variety of individuals with unique backgrounds.

What surprised you most about UCSF’s admissions process?
I was most surprised by the number of people who read a single application. For example, there are at least ten individuals involved in the initial screening, reading of the entire packet, interview portion, and final decisions on that application. It is incredible to see how holistic and multifaceted the UCSF admissions process is!

In your opinion, what are the most common mistakes applicants make?
The most common mistakes that applicants make is not painting a clear picture of “why pharmacy”. Without this information, it becomes more challenging to fully understand the applicant and their goals. We want to know why this field is your passion, and how your story has led you here!

What stands out to you on an application?
A unique personal statement always stands out to me on an application. With so many applications received, an interesting and well written personal statement is such a joy to read! This also helps us to better remember you and your story. Remember: a personal statement should never be a repeat of your resume.

What impresses you about an application/applicant?
I am always impressed when an applicant has direct pharmacy experience. This can come in many different forms, including pharmacy technician, pharmacy clerk, pharmacist shadowing, hospital volunteer, and more. This shows me that you have explored the career and have a good understanding of the importance of our role in healthcare.

What are your pet peeve(s) when interviewing an applicant or reviewing a file? (What drives you crazy?)
My pet peeve when reviewing an applicant file is reading letters of recommendation that are clearly disingenuous. When a letter writer does not actually know you or your personal characteristics, the letter often comes off as being “cookie cutter.” Unfortunately, it is surprisingly obvious when this is the case. Please, pick your letter writers wisely as this is a key time to shine in your application file!

What characteristics are necessary in order to succeed in UCSF’s PharmD program?
  1. Internal motivation: Pharmacy school is a big commitment of your time and energy. Especially in our lightening-speed curriculum, you have to take charge of your own learning. The students who are committed, motivated, and prepared often are the most successful!
  2. Life-long learner: By pursuing a career in healthcare, you are signing up to be a life-long learner. Medicine is constantly evolving, and the needs of our patients are always changing. To be successful in the PharmD program and in your career, a drive to continue learning far beyond the classroom is a must.
  3. Accepting of feedback: Being open to feedback is one thing but having a willingness to incorporate it is another. In UCSF’s PharmD program, we are surrounded by peers, professors, and preceptors who want to see us become the best version of ourselves. Part of this growing process is utilizing the great feedback received from others!

What type of student makes the best fit?
Students who make the best fit at UCSF are those who are leaders. UCSF is building individuals who will be the game-changers of our field! As we learn alongside trailblazers in healthcare, students who are prepared and excited to promote positive change fit seamlessly into our institution.

What tools or resources would you recommend to prospective applicants?
As a prospective applicant, reaching out to current pharmacy students can offer great insight into what your life may be like as a future pharmacy student. In addition, shadowing or talking with pharmacists can help you to explore the field and all that it has to offer. When it comes to your application, undergraduate support offices such as pre-health advising or a writing center can help you stay on track, complete all requirements, and work your personal statement into its final, perfect form.

What single piece of advice would you give to a prospective applicant?
My biggest piece of advice to prospective applicants is to think deeply about why you have chosen this career path and be able to articulate that honestly though your application. If you know your “why” and always keep that at the forefront of your efforts, you will succeed!

Why do you think you were admitted into UCSF’s PharmD program?
This is a great question and I’m not sure that I’ll ever know the answer! Perhaps, my strong academic background from UC Davis got me off on the right foot, and then my experiences in leadership and teamwork demonstrated my ability to work well alongside other UCSF students and faculty. I had some pharmacy experience and was, I think, able to clearly express why pharmacy is the career best fit for me and the big aspirations I have within the field!

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

UCSF 2022-23 Pharmacy Post-Bac Program Application Now Open!

Considering a post-bac program? The application portal to UCSF's 2022-23 Pharmacy Post-Bac Program is now open! (Deadline: May 15, 2022)

Our unique 10-month pharmacy-focused program provides:

  • Two semesters of coursework in advanced science
  • Course lists tailored to enhance each student's academic profile
  • Opportunities for professional and personal development in a supportive environment
  • Preparation for professional school and the application process
  • Inter-professional engagement with medical and dental post-bac students
  • Small cohorts with individualized attention

For more information, visit our website!



In Their Own Words: Sam

(Note: I went back and looked at my notes from Sam's interview -- when he applied to be on the Admissions Committee. I wrote "Confident, engaging, and motivated!" These are probably the same characteristics his interviewers saw when he applied to our PharmD program.  These characteristics were certainly evident during his service on the Admissions Committee. As he mentions below, Sam took several gap years before applying. I feel like this period of time allowed him to see candidates in a different light -- particularly those candidates that didn't follow a traditional path to pharmacy school.)




Name:
Sam
Hometown: Westminster, California
Previous institutions attended: UC San Diego
Undergraduate Major: General Biology

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 I felt, as a “non-traditional” student, I would be able to provide a different perspective for future candidates. Also, I wanted to give back to UCSF because they chose me -- even though I didn’t have pharmacy experience, so I always felt that they looked at candidates holistically which I’m glad turned out to be true.

What surprised you most about UCSF’s admissions process?
I was surprised by how many people were involved in the admissions process. There’s staff, faculty of different fields of pharmacy (not just pharmacists) as well as students! It was great to see the collaboration and respect we all share when discussing candidates.

What stands out to you on an application?
Passion. It’s clear when reading the personal essays and during their interview how much a candidate did their due diligence to answer the big “why pharmacy” question. Pharmacy school is a big commitment, so when push comes to shove, I want to make sure they have that answer to rely on.

What impresses you about an application/applicant?
Gap years! As someone who took 4 gap years myself, I love learning how other candidates found their passion for pharmacy. However, on the flip side, I’m always impressed by students who apply during undergrad because I could never have done that.

What are your pet peeve(s) when interviewing an applicant or reviewing a file? (What drives you crazy?
My biggest pet peeves during an interview would be no eye contact or when they ask questions that can be found on a website. I always like to think of an interview as a two-way mirror or even better a casual conversation. We’re trying to get to know you, but at the same time, you should be getting to know us. Remember that you will be staying at least 3 years here so use this opportunity to ask those necessary questions.

What characteristics are necessary in order to succeed in UCSF’s PharmD program?
UCSF’s PharmD program brings out the best in us.  To succeed, you must get out of your comfort zone. There are going to be a lot of new experiences that you have never participated in. At times, it’s going to be difficult and uncomfortable but that’s where the biggest growth occurs. Stay curious, driven, and rely on your cohort that’s also going through it with you.

What tools or resources would you recommend to prospective applicants?
The biggest resource is the people around you. Family, friends, mentors (including pharmacists!), counselors, literally anybody. Have them look at your personal statements or supplemental essays and give feedback. There is so much we can learn from others that we wouldn’t have ever thought about ourselves. Use their perspectives to help focus your own.

What single piece of advice would you give to a prospective applicant?
Take your time and don’t apply until you feel 100% ready. It’s understandable wanting to rush and complete everything as fast as possible but burnout is real. Take all the time you need to be the best applicant you can be.

What do you do for fun?
I love exploring! Whether it’s traveling to new countries, cities, or even new food places, I’m always looking for the next adventure. It’s also perfect because the Bay Area has so many options and new things popping up, there’s an endless number of things to do!  

 
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