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Have a Contingency Plan with your Career (Living Example)

Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by BC_89, Sep 21, 2018.

  1. BC_89

    Moderator Lifetime Donor Verified Expert Verified Account 2+ Year Member

    Oct 13, 2014
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    Pharmacy Student
    This is the time of year many of you are awaiting answers for interviews, acceptances, and excitement on new experiences. With anything in life, you find an interest and build on that interest to become a professional of the field of your choosing. One thing no one can predict is life-unexpected moments. I wish to share with all of you my own experience on how important you take your education and couple it with what society calls career-demands:

    Having earned a Biochemistry degree and one semester of pharmacy school under my belt, things were turning great for my family. However, unforeseen circumstances required me to leave my schooling on good terms to join the military in order to keep my spouse and kids with me. I excelled quickly in the enlisted ranks up to being a "Lead" tech dealing with budgeting for multiple pharmacy clinics, creating schedules for both soldiers and civilians, while simultaneously staying physically fit and performing 24 hour tasks along the way ('tis the army culture). I had the greatest opportunity to have my education 100% paid for in pharmacy school with plans on getting my pharmD and returning to the service and keep serving the best way I can (life is about experiences not just money but paid education is ALWAYS a plus).

    Recently, due to army regs and service connected injuries (google 12 mile ruck marches and air assault divisions in UH-60 Blackhawks) I pushed my body to far and injured myself physically as well as mentally. To simply put, after being all I can be the military has decided that in the next few months they will be letting me go as a disabled vet with a disability pension to assist my family. However, the wording with my permanent profile has flagged me from working in healthcare or anything related to patients or medications for many years to come.

    Due to my strong background in chemistry and math, I have recently been accepted in the state of Texas to an engineering program that will be paid for up to a masters degree of my choosing (mechanical, electrical, petroleum, aerospace, software engineering, etc). Given that I am starting a brand new career change, I am thankful for a few things:

    1) My emergency savings

    Pre-pharms, the university you attend for pharmacy DOES NOT MATTER. Attend the cheapest setting and learn early in school how to budget. Not saying you wont get loans but you can save thousands if you use common sense.

    2) My GPA and bachelors

    DO NOT SETTLE for just pre-reqs. You never know what will happen down the road with a bachelors in hand, some pharmacy schools will reward a bachelors in the program after two years, please attend those and give yourself options. Its a disappointment in yourself getting accepted with a 2.5 GPA trapping yourself to one path. Just like as told to med students I say to you: Always have options along with your career goals.

    3) "EXPERIENCE" I gained before going straight through school.

    Pharmacy is one of the rare jobs you dont have to shadow. You can work as a tech and gain experience with a company. Why set yourself up on APPE rotations to finally be in a pharmacy only to be behind the learning curve with on-the-job training? I worked inpatient and outpatient in pharmacy and the experiences pushed me further to stand out in the crowd.

    Life through me a curveball and I cant believe how prepared I was for every small detail up to this point ( high scholarships and low debt, great spending habits, great networking skills). Nonetheless, career changes are scary transitions without financial plans.

    Pre-pharmers, I want you to be interested in pharmacy BUT do not deny the saturation that is ahead. Future supervisors and hiring managers only want to see that degree and how much they can profit. You will be floating and working prn in order to gain connections or possibly laid off a few years down the road and have to leave beyond your state borders for lower wages just to stay afloat. Prepare for these moments as if they were to happen. If I did not have a financial way of going to Pharmacy I absolutely would not have gone despite my experiences. 200k+ loans will balloon If you dont have a safety net. Have a contingency and you never know what will open up.

    TLDR; Can no longer work in health field. Past experiences and savings has led to an acceptance in Engineering with housing and tuition covered up to a masters program. Saturation in pharmacy exists. School doesn't matter only cost of attendance matters. Get a bachelors dont settle. ALWAYS HAVE A PLAN.

    I wish you all well in your journey as I hope for the best in mind.
    T Love and kathyearth like this.

    DOOM N GLOOM Membership Revoked
    Removed Account on Hold

    Sep 3, 2018
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    TTLDR; Pharmacy is saturated. Taking out $200k+ in loans to attend school is like a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. If it doesn’t straight up kill you, it will give you permanent brain damage.

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