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Feeling really bummed, need advice.

Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by iggles, Jul 28, 2011.

  1. iggles

    7+ Year Member

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    This is kind of a long read so please bare with me.
    I've completed 58/120 credits and have a 3.15 cum gpa, but since pharmcas does not do grade forgiveness my pharmcas gpa would be a ~2.8 (I got a D+ and a F my freshman year). I retook those classes and only raise my D+ to a C and my F to a C+. I really feel like my carelessness my freshman year really destroyed my chances of getting into pharmacy school. Even if I work my butt off for the next 2 years I could realistically only raise my gpa to ~3.2ish. And I dont even know how I am going to find time to study for the PCAT in between my busy workload. The only positives I see going for me is:
    -an upward trend (raised my gpa every semester for 5 semesters straight)
    -I am an emergency dept. volunteer (4 hours a week every week)
    -I am a walgreens pharmacy intern (currently doing 20 hrs a week but will cut down to 4-5 hours when school starts again)
    -Will be a licensed pharmacy technician
    -Solid LORs from my chem professor and pharmacist

    I am willing to go to any pharmacy school that accepts me. My question is do I still have a shot of getting into a school with my stats (assuming that I continue my upward trend)? Should I take a year off and really study to ace the pcat and try and apply for that upcoming app cycle? Re-do some classes? Any advice would be greatly appreciated, Thankyou!
     
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  3. rxgirl3

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    Just continue to do well, especially in science classes. I think you are being a little hard on yourself... your upward trend and pharmacy experience will help you a lot. write an awesome personal statement. Also, there are SO many schools (most CA schools) don't even require the PCAT...
     
  4. iggles

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    I haven't completed many science classes yet.
    Prep Chem: B
    Chem 1: D+ retook and got a C
    Chem 2: B
    Bio 1: B+
    I was just afraid it was too late for me looking at all the stats on the pharmcas website, especially cali schools.
     
  5. WhiteSnows

    WhiteSnows Think Right and Grow Rich
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    Low GPA is not the only thing they look at so you do have lot of chances. Pharmacy school is not about being so smart, it is about getting through difficulties despite failing initially. Therefore, if you can show them that you have been working hard to get your GPA up and you are doing it persistently I think they will like it that way.

    Besides that you should participate in any pre pharmacy activities. Get some leadership skills on your resume. Volunteer in hospital, work in school will also help. Pharmacy schools do not want you to study 24h 7 days a week. They want a tough guy who can do many things besides study.

    So I hope these short advice can encourage you to continue.
     
  6. iggles

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    My school's pre-pharm club is very inactive. I'm not sure how much good joining my schools club would do for me. Thanks for the encouragement though.
     
  7. rxlea

    rxlea Almost a unicorn
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    Why don't you take the initiative to make it active again? I have more advice for you but will post a bit later.
     
  8. iggles

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    I'll look into it next semester. I don't know the first thing about creating a club though o_O
     
  9. WhiteSnows

    WhiteSnows Think Right and Grow Rich
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    There you go, this is a great time for you to get in any officer position. It is difficult to work the club where everyone is already taking an officer position.

    Again, it is not about how the club is, it is about YOU who can change thing. Demonstrate this to the ad com and they will love it.
     
  10. rxlea

    rxlea Almost a unicorn
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    Don't bother retaking classes if you have a C. Most importantly, you need to show an upward trend, which means you really need to buckle down and focus. You will need to aim for a competitive PCAT so I suggest taking some practice tests to find out your weakes├× areas and devote your studying time to those areas. Spread out your study time and while in your pre req classes, pay extra attention to PCAT topics.

    You have the experience and some volunteer work. Since your LORs are strong, they will most likely make up for some of the academic deficiencies. Sounds like you just need some encouragement and some motivation to stick with it. When you apply, apply broadly. Don't cut yourself out of your dream schools. Make your personal statement and secondaries strong (have them proofread by a few different people including a prof or two) and you will make a good candidate.
     
  11. iggles

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    ill look into that next semester, thanks!
     
  12. iggles

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    Thankyou, I feel a lot better. Problem is I haven't taken many science classes yet so I dont know what I need to study yet. I guess after I complete my organic chem classes and upper division bio classes i know where to start. Btw what kind of bio classes do you need to study for the pcat?
     
  13. pharmacy28

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    Yes! Get it up and running again. That's what I did with a club from my school too. I knew nothing about running a club, but once we got it going, it was fun! It'll basically be a team effort. First and foremost, you'll have to recruit. Start by attaching flyers and holding your first meeting. You'll be surprised at how many people show up. Once you get interested people, it'll be a team collaboration from there on out.

    I was elected President because I initiated the process again. It's a great contribution on my app. Good luck!
     
  14. Crash29

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    As others have already stated, you're being a bit hard on yourself. Having a high GPA isn't the most important thing. And also don't underestimate that upward trend thing. That's very important and it's good you have that going for you.. just try and keep it that way. I had a cumulative GPA of about 2.7 and got interviews at every school I applied. and accepted into my first choice (a top 10 pharmacy school). It helped that I had a very high prerequisite GPA and a high PCAT. Just try to do your best in the math and science courses and stay with that upward trend. I had very little EC's and volunteer experience also, so it's really good that you have that experience. It will definitely help.
     
  15. iggles

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    when looking at my gen chem 1 would they count my D+ AND my C when figuring my pre-rec gpa?
     
  16. Crash29

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    Unfortunately, for the purpose of calculating your cumulative and science/math GPA, both the D+ and C would be counted by Pharmcas. Pharmcas doesn't actually have an official prerequisite GPA calculation. I just mention this, because this is something that certain schools might pay close attention to... how you did in those particular classes. Either way, it's not the end of the world. GPA does not tell the whole story. You really need to pick the schools you will be applying to and do some research to find out where they place the most emphasis. Some schools specifically state that they basically only look at science/math gpa. Others have cutoff points for overall and/or science/math gpa. Some schools offer grade forgiveness for retakes (Pharmcas itself does not), while others don't. Most any school will look favorably on an overall upward trend in grades.
     
  17. DrDrugs2012

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    All grades are required for the calculation of pre-requisites and PharmCAS. Everyone on here has given you valuable advice (e.g. trends are VERY important), however I will be the debbie-downer for a moment. While its good that you retook the courses now and went from a D+ to C and F to C+, schools more or less want to see retakes go to B's. Right now, with only that data, regardless of what your GPA is, you are giving the impression of a C-C+ student. You need to really rock the PCAT. Employment and extracurriculars help you stand out among a crowd of 3.3/75th %ile candidates. But no amount of outside experience in employment and extracurriculars will make up for the fact that most schools have an unpublished 'minimum threshold' which is higher than their admissions criteria when it comes to how they select interview candidates. I put it in quotes because its a loose guideline - they follow it in most cases, but then hand pick the ones below that threshold who they are particularly impressed with, if they are a legacy student, etc. And in the world of applications, merely having the courage to identify your own weaknesses (those grades) and retaking the courses is not sufficient to make you stand out if you are under that higher 'minimum threshold'. Not unless you turn those grades around quickly and you're more of an A-/B+ student. THAT is remarkable and I am sure that admissions committees will look on that very favorably.

    Getting to the interview is quite literally 90% of the battle because most schools will only interview about twice as many students as they have spaces. Your shot of getting accepted after the interview is more like 1 in 1.5 to 1 in 3 when it was 1 in 10 or 1 in 20 pre-interview.

    But work hard, focus your priorities accordingly, set measurable goals for yourself and I am sure you will have every opportunity to meet success on your own terms!
     
    #16 DrDrugs2012, Jul 30, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2011
  18. ValeRx

    ValeRx PharmD
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    Interesting... you're an intern? How are you an intern if you are not a pharmacy school student (which is required for intern licensure)?
     
  19. iggles

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    Thanks. Im going to try my hardest for the next two years and see how high I can raise my gpa. Hopefully I can make it above the cutoff you are talking about.

    My uncle is a walgreens exec. He called the walgreens district supervisor in my city, then the supervisor called a nearby walgreens pharmacy manager and that's how i got the job. But yea normally they only allow interns that are in tech school or in pharmacy school.
     
  20. iggles

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    well i at least meet the minimum pre-req for most schools that I looked at.
     
    #19 iggles, Jul 30, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2011
  21. Nguyen

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    Just make a bunch of A's in your next classes and study at least an hour for the PCAT every day. That should do it :)
     
  22. iggles

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    haha easier said than done
     
  23. ValeRx

    ValeRx PharmD
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    exec or not, nobody can override state board of pharmacy law. You aren't an actual intern because you are not licensed and cannot perform intern duties. If you do, you are in violation of the law and Walgreens and the pharmacist on duty is accountable for anything you do.
     
  24. iggles

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    All I know is I went through the same training a intern goes through and I asked the pharmacy manager if I can call my work there a summer internship and he said yes. He will also be writing my LOR.
     
  25. owlegrad

    owlegrad Uncontrollable Sarcasm Machine
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    It may not be the kind of internship you are thinking of. I doubt any pharmacist is going to let someone who is not licensed do any true pharmacist intern tasks. He could be an undergrad intern - intern is a pretty vague term, it can be used to mean many things.
     
  26. UES Girl

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    Are you sure you are not just a tech ? Techs cant be interns either and neither can you since are required to have a valid intern license with your state and since you dont have an intern license how can you work as an intern pharmacist ? :confused:

    Interns are esentially student pharmacists like med students are student doctors. What you are saying would like be like somebody getting a job as a doctor without being being accepted to medical school. Executive uncles or not, I just dont understand how that can happen. :rolleyes:
     
  27. UES Girl

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    Still may be an intern but you are not an intern pharmacist we are thinking of.
     
  28. UES Girl

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    In your situation, I would say since you havent taken many classes, many try to hold off your application, take more classes, raise your gpaand apply the following cycle. Maybe even consider getting your bs degree.

    Your ecs seem really strong with average grades, you will have a good shot at getting in, good luck.
     
  29. iggles

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    I am actually not applying this app cycle, i am applying the following cycle. I guess I wasn't too clear on that.
    are you saying I have a good shot at getting in with my grades now or once I get average grades?

    Also about the intern thing... I do everything a pharmacy tech does except touch medicine(typing up scripts, working the drive through, etc). I don't have the certification or anything the above posters were talking about. But all the pharmacists and techs that work there know me as the intern and the person who is writing my LOR is calling it an internship. I don't know whether I am officially an intern or not but I will put it down as an internship on my app. I hope this clears up some confusion.
     
  30. UES Girl

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    What will your gpa be when you apply next cycle approximately ? Your ecs are strong, if you have gpa around 3.1-3.4 you will have a decent shot if you apply with good pcat and to a few schools. I know a lot of people with similar stats getting into really good schools with good ecs alone. Ca schools dont require pcat even, if you go for your bachelors, you have both longer time to continue raising your gpa and a longer time to get more ecs.

    You can play up your er volunteer and walkgreens thing as that you have both hospital anf retail experience are well versed in a variety of health settings.
     
  31. iggles

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    I'm hoping I can raise it to a 3.2 at least. I'll be finishing the bulk of my science classes in the next year so it's either gonna make or break my science gpa. I'll try my best.
     
  32. pinksparkly

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    It looks like you have plenty of science classes left to take, so you should be able to raise your science GPA at least.

    It looks like you have the A & P sequence, the orgo sequence, and microbiology left (these were required by many of the schools I applied to. Obviously, it varies). The pre-professional advisor at my school recommended that I take some upper-division science courses to help my application (my basic sciences were old and the grades unimpressive). I took genetics and biochem. If nothing else, it helped my confidence level.

    +1 to the advice about getting the pre-pharm club active again. One of the organizations I joined before I applied was very new, so I was able to worm my way into the vice presidency. It worked out quite nicely.
     
  33. owlegrad

    owlegrad Uncontrollable Sarcasm Machine
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    Yup, that is a valid internship. It is just not the same type of internship that a pharmacy student would do (by which I mean a student who is enrolled in a COP). I think that is what confused some people. Thanks for clearing that up. :thumbup:
     
  34. iggles

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    appreciate the advice
     

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