muahaha

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Aug 23, 2007
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I'm about to begin my undergraduate studies with hopes of attending pharmacy school after these four years. With that in mind, what tips and advice do you have for me for these next four years? Any general advice is appreciated..such as when is the best time to start looking for jobs/intern opportunities and what kinds? Also, when is the best time to start applying to pharmacy schools and the such.

Don't limit your advice to those two questions as they are merely examples. I've browse this forum for quite a bit so I've gathered a lot of information, but I'd just like to see a few of the important advices straight to the point.
 

binghamkid

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I'm about to begin my undergraduate studies with hopes of attending pharmacy school after these four years. With that in mind, what tips and advice do you have for me for these next four years? Any general advice is appreciated..such as when is the best time to start looking for jobs/intern opportunities and what kinds? Also, when is the best time to start applying to pharmacy schools and the such.

Don't limit your advice to those two questions as they are merely examples. I've browse this forum for quite a bit so I've gathered a lot of information, but I'd just like to see a few of the important advices straight to the point.
Focus on your studies above all =) A solid GPA will make the first part of the admissions process easier, because it is much more likely that you will make the cut for the interview. I would also focus on gaining lots of experience (doesn't have to be all pharmacy experience) so that you can gain the skills, the professionalism, and the experience you need to be able to portray yourself as a qualified individual during the application and interview process. You can look for jobs and internships whenever you feel like it, but make sure you put your academics first. You don't want to be on the borderline and praying that you just be given a chance. You're just starting out, so don't be afraid to ask for help. That's the best way for you to keep up with what you need to do to succeed. Good luck =)
 

Farmercyst

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Sep 21, 2006
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Get out your university catalog. See when classes are offered, verify what classes you'll need for prereqs, and which classes you'll need for any declared major. Plan out those classes in advance. Yes, all four years. This schedule is guaranteed to change, but you'll be able to roll with the changes a lot more if you know where you're going and how you plan to get there. Any duplication in class offerings presents a way you can skirt scheduling conflicts. Nothing will delay your application more than having to wait an extra semester, an extra year, or (and this happens) two years to take a course that is required. There were at least two of my undergrad classes that were only offered every other year. Both required for my major. Some classes were only offered Spring and Winter, but not Fall. Plan on not getting into at least one class because it filled before your registration date. (I had to get into class off of waitlists at least three times.) Don't trust academic advisors. Always double check what they say against the university catalog. You don't want to have a last minute class they didn't tell you about keep you from getting a diploma if you're counting on the BS that you put on your application.
 
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fenixtnlfan

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Jul 21, 2007
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I agree what other people wrote so far. For the acadmic advisor, some can be really awesome (like mine) but some can be the biggest idiots. Just feel it out or ask around about what people think. I've never had problems with class availability or required classes being offered only at certain times. Don't freak out about these things happening to you; they might or they might not-just be proactive and aware! For your first semester, you should concentrate on classes and maybe joining some clubs (like pre-pharm or volunteer). I wouldn't suggest a job the first semester. Some people go into college and do fine making the transition; other people have a hard time. Just be nice on yourself! After that go get a job as a pharm tech. My biggest regret is not having enough pharm experience. Keep up with your course work; cramming is not very conducive in college but it can work...lol. Go to office hours as soon as you need help! Take the PCAT no later than the October you are applying and get your apps out early (depends on school deadline). Keep your notes and books for the classes that are on the PCAT.
 
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sle3pyguii

1. Go to class. Don't skip out on lectures just because you think you'll do fine studying by yourself. Take it from a guy starting his sophomore year with a 2.6 Science GPA.

2. Have fun doing whatever you want to do. Wanna dress up like a pirate/ninja and run around the school? Go for it.

3. Learn how to study FAST. I still haven't figured it out completely, so I'm dying right now.
 

Bhavesh

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1.) get the highest GPA possible (major is irrelevant, this includes learning to study)

2.) get a pharmacy tech job ASAP & know the pharmacist to learn about the profession and get a recommendation (rec #1)

3.) know all your pharm school's pre-req's (and get A's)

4.) in two SCIENCE classes (you got A's) get recommendations in april-may BEFORE you apply (recs #2, #3)

5.) PCAT is a crapshoot...the harder school you go to for your pre-req's, the better you'll do, but you don't want to sacrifice low pre-req grades for high PCAT...find your balance, and plan to take the PCAT after you've taken bio, gen chem, orgo, and physics

to answer your questions:
-the best time to look for job internships are between january and may before summer: make sure you get something pharmacy related; although a pharmacy tech job is a sure shot
-the best time to apply is EARLY. pharmcas begins accepting applications on June 1st; so plan to get your recs in for June, all your transcripts mailed to Pharmcas for June, and your personal statement done BEFORE June...submit it all between June-July

do all then, then do whatever the heck you want to do in college
 

Idesiretosling

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Oct 20, 2006
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Pharmacy Student
Just to clarify but you can NOT work as a Pharmacy intern until you have been accepted to pharmacy school, are in pharmacy school or have finished your first year of pharmacy school, depending on the state you are in. You can work as a pharmacy clerk or tech though, just wanted to clarify so you are not confused.
 

lee0539

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Jun 8, 2005
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Take GPA booster classes and don't be too lazy in them. First year I took a GPA booster class and showed up to like 1/5th of the class and I ended up with a C and I regret that mistake since I only had space to take one more GPA booster class (but that was due to heavy coursework major and switching between majors so I took a lot of classes that were difficult, but didnt do anything for getting a degree or for pharmacy and if I took it more seriously I would have easily gotten an A. I say that since you are staying 4 years and prereqs and majors should only take you 3 at most, so you'll have some quarters with nothing else to do, don't do what I did and take hard classes and take those so called "easy" classes.
 

Utterdevotion

Hopeful future pharmacist
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1.) get the highest GPA possible (major is irrelevant, this includes learning to study)

2.) get a pharmacy tech job ASAP & know the pharmacist to learn about the profession and get a recommendation (rec #1)

3.) know all your pharm school's pre-req's (and get A's)

4.) in two SCIENCE classes (you got A's) get recommendations in april-may BEFORE you apply (recs #2, #3)

5.) PCAT is a crapshoot...the harder school you go to for your pre-req's, the better you'll do, but you don't want to sacrifice low pre-req grades for high PCAT...find your balance, and plan to take the PCAT after you've taken bio, gen chem, orgo, and physics

to answer your questions:
-the best time to look for job internships are between january and may before summer: make sure you get something pharmacy related; although a pharmacy tech job is a sure shot
-the best time to apply is EARLY. pharmcas begins accepting applications on June 1st; so plan to get your recs in for June, all your transcripts mailed to Pharmcas for June, and your personal statement done BEFORE June...submit it all between June-July

do all then, then do whatever the heck you want to do in college
In response - grades are NOT everything. Striving for the highest GPA possible is important, but don't spend all your time studying. You have to be a well balanced individual. Join clubs, stay active, get experience. :)

You also don't have to have an A in the classes to feel comfortable enough to ask for a recommendation. If there's a class you've struggled a lot in, met up w/ your professor a lot, and throughout the semester really showed improvement - I think that is a much better class to ask a recommendation for. Recommendations can also come from professors that you did research with, work for, or just know you very well (advisors).
 

no-see-um

Bindaas
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You also don't have to have an A in the classes to feel comfortable enough to ask for a recommendation. If there's a class you've struggled a lot in, met up w/ your professor a lot, and throughout the semester really showed improvement - I think that is a much better class to ask a recommendation for.
I agree. My best recommendation of all time (for medical school, incidentally, but this applies to anything) actually came from a course I got a B in, after meeting with the professor just about every week. It was a grad level genetics course. The exams were more like IQ tests than anything else, and unluckily, I was at one of the top places in the country and on a curve with some of the biggest nerds out there!

Point is, every grade has a story behind it. Professors respect you more when you try your best and do better in a course. It even makes them feel better about themselves- that they are true teachers.
 
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