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Wednesday, June 22, 2022

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!

1 comment:

Jaehoo Lim said...

Hi, I'm Jaehoo who apply for the PharmD program this fall. I really want to say thank you! Your comments help me a lot of applying for UCSF PharmD program. Hopefully, I can meet you in-person if I can get into UCSF PharmD program.

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