Pharmacy


Nashel Patel

Nashel Patel

Major: Biological Sciences emph. in NPB
Overall GPA: 
3.2
Graduation Year:
2016

Which school are you attending?

Deciding between The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy and The University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy (I will update you by next week). I received admission into all schools that I interviewed at which is 5 total.

What UC Davis extracurriculars did you participate in?

Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority, Event Coordinator of the Pre-Pharmacy Club, Sutter General Pharmacy Intern, Rite Aid Pharmacy Intern, Reading Partners Volunteer in Sacramento, West Village Community Assistant, MEDLIFE mobile clinic volunteer in Peru 2015

How many hours on average did you spend studying for your courses per week?

I can not even begin to think about counting the endless hours spent studying for my courses, but definitely over 40 hours a week outside of class.

Did you use a test prep course?

I studied for the PCAT independently with the Kaplan Review book.

What do you consider to be your strengths in your application?

I think one of my strengths was my dedication to the extracurriculars I became involved with at UC Davis. Throughout the application and interview process, there was so much for me to talk about and it was a great way to showcase that I have other interests outside of pharmacy. In addition, I am proud of my personal statement and really believe that it conveys my deep passion for pharmacy and my desire to make an impact in the healthcare field.

Did you apply nationally?

Yes.

What advice do you have for others?

The road to any health professional school is not an easy one. I had some major doubts going through my undergraduate courses at UC Davis and did not think I was capable of pursuing my future goal of becoming a pharmacist. It took me a long time to transition into college-level courses, and took me an even longer time to learn how to balance school, social, extracurriculars, etc. My biggest piece of advice would be to not give up! My GPA was not a strong one, and I did not think I would be in the position I am today deciding among top pharmacy schools as to where I will go for the next four years. Another piece of advice is to get involved on campus and do things that excite you, even if they do not relate to pharmacy. This will help you stand out to the admissions committee and give you a wealth of things to talk about during your interview. Overall, follow your dreams and do not let anyone tell you that you are not capable. 


Shannon Chang Pharm

Shannan Takhar

Major: Pharmaceutical Chemistry 
Overall GPA: 3.91
Graduation Year: 2014

Which school are you attending?
I am currently attending UCSF School of Pharmacy and will graduate in 2018. I also was accepted to UOP and UCSD for pharmacy school.
What UC Davis extracurriculars did you participate in?
Department of Chemistry Peer Adviser, BPSHI volunteer/board member (this is a club that puts on mobile free health clinics), Rite Aid Pharmacy Volunteer, UCDMC Pediatric Emergency Room Volunteer, SASC Chemistry Tutor 
How many hours on average did you spend studying for your courses per week?
About 20-30 depending on the quarter and if it was exam time.
Did you use a test prep course?
Because I was planning on staying in California, I did not take the PCAT. California schools do not require the exam and many will not even look at your score, so I didn't have to worry about test preparation! 
What do you consider to be your strengths in your application?
My major strength was my academic performance. Also, I was able to focus on my classes and schedule them out really well so that I ended up graduating in three years, however, I'm not sure if that helped or hurt my application. Overall, I think my strong academic performance, combined with the handful of extracurricular experiences that I had at UCD which involved leadership,working with others and serving the underserved made me a well rounded candidate which I think helped me get through the admissions process. 
Did you apply nationally?

No, I decided to stick to California schools only.

What advice do you have for others?

My biggest piece of advice is for each of you to find your individual strength and then use your application to showcase it. Not everyone is going to be excellent in every category, for example, I have much less experience than a lot of my classmates. However, I made up for that in other areas, while still making sure that I had enough experience to show that I had sufficient knowledge about health care and the field of pharmacy. Also, try to get involved in a few extra curricular activities that are important to you and that you can make meaningful contributions to. This will help your application make sense and allow you to paint a larger picture of who you really are, instead of just having a ton of activities that fill up a list, but don't really make sense together. Finally, find trusted friends and family members that understand your goals and know you well enough to give you critical feed back on your essays! That was extremely helpful to me because after writing enough essays, its hard to edit them on your own. 


Success Story Shannon Chang

Shannon Chang

Major: Pharmaceutical Chemistry
Overall GPA: 
3.40
Graduation Year:
2014

Which school are you attending?
Washington State University College of Pharmacy
What UC Davis extracurriculars did you participate in?
I usually played badminton after classes every other day in the ARC with friends. During the weekends, I volunteered in Rite Aid pharmacy. I wanted to do some activities that could help me de-stress from school, so I did not join any academic student organizations, mainly just sport related activities.
How many hours on average did you spend studying for your courses per week?
Around 15 hours per week, a week before midterm was about 25 hours per week
Did you use a test prep course?
California pharmacy schools do not require PCAT for admission. However, out of state schools do. I studied PCAT for out of state schools and I did not use any test prep course since they are really expensive for me. I bought two PCAT books on Amazon and used one summer to study all the sections (but I definitely suggest starting early if you want to have perfect score). PCAT was not hard at all as long as you pay attention when you were in general biology, calculus and chemistry classes, then you do not need to spend a lot of time to study.
What do you consider to be your strengths in your application?
My strengths in my application were my personal statement. I thought my personal statement was really good because I showed the reason why I decided to pursue pharmacy as my future career and how passionate I am for pharmacy. Since I was involved in different activities such as being a undergraduate researcher, working as peer adviser and also volunteering in pharmacies, I could write those experiences into my personal statement, then my personal statement was not just about my academic performance. For personal statement, you always want to start early and keep editing until you think your essay is perfect. Besides GPA, personal statement is another big factor that pharmacy schools are looking at, so you want to make sure you have perfect personal statement.
Did you apply nationally?
Yes, I also applied to some of schools in east coast and northwest regions, so I am really familiar with out of state applications process.
What advice do you have for others?
GPA is always the biggest factor to get into pharmacy school. Each school has minimum GPA to accept student; thus, a good GPA is always good for the application. However, most of pharmacy schools do not just look at your GPA. They also look at what other activities you have involved at school and also leadership experiences. I believe my GPA was not really high compared to other pharmacy applicants, but I was involved in different leadership positions when I was at UC Davis and community college. Therefore, I could talk a lot of my leadership experiences in my personal statement and also talk about how I dealt with different situations during my pharmacy school interviews. Additionally, letters of recommendation are important factors in the application process. I got some good letters of recommendation because I tried to get involved in different activities and knew a lot of different professors and pharmacists. Because the people who wrote my letters of recommendation knew me really well, they could write me good recommendations and help me to get into pharmacy schools.