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Advice Please!

Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by sleazye, Mar 28, 2007.

  1. sleazye

    10+ Year Member

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    Sorry to start another "what should I do?" thread but I would appreciate everyone's input.
    I think I may be reapplying for next year so I'm trying to come up with a game plan to make my application stronger.
    I could:
    1. Take summer classes full time and volunteer at a local hospital part time. This would allow my to graduate with my BS after the fall semester in december.
    OR
    2. I could work in a pharmacy part time, get more experience and work in one of my professor's labs doing microbio research along with a couple volunteer jobs I like to do and take full loads in the fall and spring. If I did this I wouldn't be able to graduate until april.

    I would kind of like to take the summer off since I've been going to school year round the last two years but I'd also just like to be done with it. I would appreciate an outside view.
     
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  3. helster

    helster Pharmacist
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    hello,

    I think you should do whatever schedule will allow you to do well in your classes and then it will help your gpa. Also, try to do things pharmacy related like getting a pharmacy tech job or volunteer opportunity. They like people with experience...maybe u can get certified? These are just some ideas...maybe if u graduate early u can work full time in a pharmacy...but make sure u include all pharmacy experience on pharmcas this is waht helped me get in. good luck
     
  4. sleazye

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    My grades are good: 3.95 and 91 PCAT and I have experience already, both paid and volunteer. I applied too late to schools this year. Which option do you think sounds better to you? I'm kind of leaning toward taking the summer off as it will space out my classes a little more.
     
  5. Glowwyrm

    Glowwyrm Member
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    This is completely just my opinion and only what I'd do. But, I'd take the summer classes so I could graduate in Dec. That way when it comes time to interview for pharmacy school, you won't have to worry about missing classes. You'll also have several months between earning your BS and starting pharmacy school to do whatever you want for a while.
     
  6. sleazye

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    Good idea, that would work too. Thanks guys! Any more?
     
  7. sleazye

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  8. Farmercyst

    Farmercyst From the shadows
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    I know a lot of schools score your application by assigning points for various aspects of your application, the Bachelor's degree on the transcript is scored by a few of the schools I've applied to. I believe that you only get the points if it's actually on the transcript. That means if the BS/BA is noted in December then it would be included in your app score by Jan/Feb when a lot of decisions about acceptance are being made. I don't believe it counts if it's "prospective." You could contact the schools to verify this, but it would make a strong argument for getting the BS in December rather than waiting til next spring.
     
  9. sleazye

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    Thanks for the reply. I would really like to get my apps in early this year, maybe july/august so at the time I turn my app in, my degree will still be in progress at that point too. Offhand do you know if you can update your degree status after turning your application in?
    I guess it comes down to either having my degree in Dec. or having more experience and research exposure.
     
  10. Farmercyst

    Farmercyst From the shadows
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    Most definitely. If you apply through PharmCAS the update would take place during the academic update window. This year that was from ~12/15 to 2/1. If you put in a transcript request before then end of your final qtr/sem and check the box that says wait until degree posts, it should go out as soon as the degree posts (meaning you don't have to wait the 1 week delay if you put in the request the same day the degree posts or pay for rush mailing). I'd check with your school's records department to make sure that's how it really happens, but that's my understanding of the process. If you go non-pharmcas, you would notify them by phone/mail/email and send in the updated transcript. My understanding is until they receive the updated transcript, as far as their concerned, you don't have the degree yet.
     
  11. sleazye

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    awesome, thanks so much. that really helps.
     
  12. janeno

    janeno Senior Member
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    I think that you should do the second option. You will have your bachelor's degree either way, and getting it a semester earlier will not make much difference. Just make sure that you put on your Pharmcas application that your are planning to get bachelor's degree before Fall 2008.
    Moreover, the second option will provide your more diversity of experiences. Many schools especially the schools that are ranked higher and focus on research might be impressed that you have research experience .
     
  13. lily83

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    having gone through the application process and being successful in getting into the schools of my choice, I would like to share my experience with you. Take it for what it's worth but it's really up to you to figure out what works best for your schedule.

    I would suggest taking summer off to focus on gaining more experience in pharmacy, research, and volunteering activities. I was in a similar situation last summer and decided to take summer school (2 science classes) to boost up my GPA because it was only average so I wanted to retake the science courses over. Although it did help my GPA, taking 2 science at the same time is alot of work and it left me with no time to work on my application. by the time i was finished with class, august rolled around and it was time to start my fall semester. So the result: I turned in most of my application near the deadline/on the deadline AND some of them were not my best writing because I was pressed for time.

    You on the other hand have an excellent GPA so you dont have the same problem as I did. Note that the number of prereq that you completed is taken into consideration so if you barely completed any prereq it would be helpful to work on that during the summer. Otherwise GPA and mcat scores are used to weed people out, once you pass a certain GPA theshold, which i'm certain your GPA qualifies, they look to other aspects that differentiate you from other candidates ie your pharmacy experience, motivation, support of your commitment, leadership skills, etc. So that's where your outside activities comes in. At all of the schools that I interviewed at, there was no mention of grades or test scores during the interview(they know you already have the necessary grades and test scores to be invited to the interview in the first place). What helps in interviews is to have things to talk about such as your various experiences and what you have gained from them because it will show that you are an "active" student. Honestly my interviews and my activities were what got me accepted.

    Finally, about getting a bachelors degree. You can get it now( dec) or later (in april ) but i dont think it makes much of a difference. I dont know if this is universal for all schools but one of the schools that i applied to told me that people who will earn a Bachelor's or have already earned one are given the same extra point...as long as you get it before you start the pharmD program. So why not spend your summer beefing up your resume, apply with your excellent GPA (without the possibility of lowering it with your accelerated summer courses), and have an adequate amount of time to work on your secondary essays.

    You'll have an entire summer after you've been accepted to do whatever you want so you dont need a semester on top of it.


    hope that helps. if you have questions, ask away!
     
  14. rx22

    rx22 Junior Member
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    I thought you got into Ferris State already... so why thinking of reapplying?
     
  15. sleazye

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    I declined it. I really don't want to be in Big Rapids for 4 years. No offense to anyone who is going there, it's just not for me.
     

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