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asanjosec

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I need a little advice. I am currently a high school student in East Side San Jose High School. I have some questions concerning what 4year colleges in California would be a good choice for me.
Quick story about my life.
Coming from a very poverty stricken family/area I was surrounded by violence, and on top of that my parents were always fighting. Fortunately, i avoided all of these distractions, including joining gangs, drugs, etc., or I was doing well till freshmen year. For my freshmen year I averaged around a 3.0, and during my sophomore years I averaged a 2.8, or around there for both semesters. Things started to get better junior year and I knew I had to do very well. For both semesters I was active in school and I had to go to the local library everyday for at least two hours, and walk home. Through all of the hardships, I managed to average a 3.66 and 3.5 for both semesters. It is now my senior year, I have taken the SAT one and two, thanks to waivers. I have always wanted to become a pharmacist, and I believe it would make my parents very proud. It is now my senior year, I am currently taking 4 ap classes and average a 3.8. I would like to attend a UC or a CSU, and I was wondering if anyone could help me, or at least give me some tips on what I should do. Thank you.
 

ChainHeal

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wanting to be a pharmacist when you are still in high school is impressive, but you probably want to learn more about the profession before you fully commit yourself. best advice i can give you is: try to get a pharmacy related job once you are in college, to see if you really like the profession.
 

asanjosec

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I like history a lot as well. Its been a dilema and this may sound like a dumb question but is there any profession that involves history that makes a lot of money? Coming from a family that had nothing imigrating from philipines, i want to succeed to make my family proud.
 
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xtsukiyox

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A career in pharmacy is a fantastic hand-up type job path. Get your tech license as soon as you can - it's a decent job for a high school grad, much better than the typical starting salary. Keep your eyes open & pay attention to how the true professionals act as a model for your behavior. You can learn a lot more on the job than just how to ring out medications. Stay above the politics if you can (and there will be politics - the most infamous are the catty techs).

Whatever you do, keep going down your path & don't let anything distract you. Do what you have to do to stay in school. It is very easy to drop out, join the workforce, and never go back. You're ahead of the game by putting school first and knowing what career you want to pursue.

The best revenge for a bad upbringing is taking the high road: succeeding & never looking back. :D The upshot is that the high road also makes your family proud!

Very courageous post. Welcome to SDN! :thumbup:
 

asanjosec

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Thank you so much xtsukiyox for posting. I often was put down and don't get me wrong, I still do for not being a street pharmacist, lol. It's hard being surronded by people who doubt you, and think you'll get nowhere in life, which is why I have to want to succeed, as much as I want to breathe.
 

xtsukiyox

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I like history a lot as well. Its been a dilema and this may sound like a dumb question but is there any profession that involves making a lot of money? Coming from a family that had nothing imigrating from philipines, i want to succeed to make my family proud.

We all have our definitions of "a lot of money." I would reckon that my definition is closer to yours than some on the forum - you're looking for a comfortable living, where you don't have to worry & can get ahead, right? It's important to define what your markers are for the amount of money you want to make, since the actual dollar amount is a moving target.

It's best to be honest with yourself up front as to what you're looking for in a career. While many pharmacists find true fulfillment in family life outside working hours, you have to at least find some value and enjoyment in your job somewhat. I'm seconding the recommendation to see what you can do to find a pharmacy position, or barring that, pharmacists to shadow. Remember that there are many different environments in pharmacy, too.

The prerequisites you'd usually be taking your first couple years in college (prior to applying for pharma school) are relatively portable, so don't feel you're locked in right away. If you are for the most part decided on pharmacy, you might consider applying for a 0-6 school right out of high school. The prereqs you take there are generally still portable if you have a change of heart (although the pharmacy-specific classes might not be).

I'm not that familiar with a career in history, but I'm not aware of any "mainstream" job that makes more than average. It takes a lot of time & work & luck, from what I understand, to find a good cureator or teaching position. Since the job is where the museum is, you will probably have to move. Definitely do more research - my impression is based on anecdotal evidence at best.

One pharmacy avenue you may consider researching: like any business, the real opportunities to open your own pharmacy exist when you can identify an underserved community that needs the service. I'd imagine the filipino community you grew up in may need a pharmacy - and if they do, I'd bet they'd appreciate & trust a filipino pharmacist. :) At some point, you may want to see if you can find an independent pharmacy owner who might be willing to discuss the experience of opening / owning a pharmacy & possibly provide some mentorship.
 

asanjosec

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We all have our definitions of "a lot of money." I would reckon that my definition is closer to yours than some on the forum - you're looking for a comfortable living, where you don't have to worry & can get ahead, right? It's important to define what your markers are for the amount of money you want to make, since the actual dollar amount is a moving target.

It's best to be honest with yourself up front as to what you're looking for in a career. While many pharmacists find true fulfillment in family life outside working hours, you have to at least find some value and enjoyment in your job somewhat. I'm seconding the recommendation to see what you can do to find a pharmacy position, or barring that, pharmacists to shadow. Remember that there are many different environments in pharmacy, too.

The prerequisites you'd usually be taking your first couple years in college (prior to applying for pharma school) are relatively portable, so don't feel you're locked in right away. If you are for the most part decided on pharmacy, you might consider applying for a 0-6 school right out of high school. The prereqs you take there are generally still portable if you have a change of heart (although the pharmacy-specific classes might not be).

I'm not that familiar with a career in history, but I'm not aware of any "mainstream" job that makes more than average. It takes a lot of time & work & luck, from what I understand, to find a good cureator or teaching position. Since the job is where the museum is, you will probably have to move. Definitely do more research - my impression is based on anecdotal evidence at best.

One pharmacy avenue you may consider researching: like any business, the real opportunities to open your own pharmacy exist when you can identify an underserved community that needs the service. I'd imagine the filipino community you grew up in may need a pharmacy - and if they do, I'd bet they'd appreciate & trust a filipino pharmacist. :) At some point, you may want to see if you can find an independent pharmacy owner who might be willing to discuss the experience of opening / owning a pharmacy & possibly provide some mentorship.

Reasons why I want to be a pharmacist: to succeed in life, make money, get myself out of the "ghetto", I'd rather have no kids than raise them in this environment, make my family proud, just you know have a good life. I like the last idea :). On a side note my conselurs do not know what they're talking about.
 

xtsukiyox

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Thank you so much xtsukiyox for posting. I often was put down and don't get me wrong, I still do for not being a street pharmacist, lol. It's hard being surronded by people who doubt you, and think you'll get nowhere in life, which is why I have to want to succeed, as much as I want to breathe.

It's really hard to make it out from the bottom. Shoot, how do you even approach going to college if no one you know has ever been? It sounds like you've got the determination to be part of the minority that does make it out.

I am rooting for you! :thumbup:


I did miss one part of your original question - the top line. :laugh: I am from Arizona, so I don't know much about California 4 year schools. My advice would be not to limit your search for a pharmacy school to California, if you think you can manage living away for a few years. If you can get into a 0-6 school out of state, it sounds to me like (in some ways) that'd be one of the easier paths. If not, you could try to go somewhere close to home for your bacchelor degree, then move for pharmacy school if you have to.

A note on bacchelor degrees for pharmacy schools - a lot of pharmacy schools seem to be moving towards this requirement, especially in California. I don't have one, and I was accepted to MWU-CPG (about 17% of their 2011 matriculating class, IIRC, didn't have a bacchelor degree). While you may still be able to find out of state programs that will accept you without a bacchelor degree, from what I understand from other SDN'ers is that you will more than likely need one.

Research your top choice pharmacy schools early, though, so you can focus your undergrad education. There are some lovely links stickied at the top of the Pre-Pharm forum, and for more undergrad resources, there is the hSDN forum (among others like Financial Aid, etc.). You're at the perfect time to be looking at undergrad requirements though - do you need a foreign language, or a certain number of math credits?

Does anyone more familiar with California have any advice on this note?
 

kcwang

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California certainly have good schools, but like xtsukiyox mentioned, explore your options out of states as well. You have decent gpa, but it would be great if you can include extracurriculum activities or volunteering experiences. Start some projects with your friends, or form a club. A lot of ppl are applying to college with decent gpa, but not everyone has EC or experiences.

Btw, good job on raising your gpa from 2.8 to 3.8 despite all the negative influence around you.
 

xtsukiyox

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Reasons why I want to be a pharmacist: to succeed in life, make money, get myself out of the "ghetto", I'd rather have no kids than raise them in this environment, make my family proud, just you know have a good life. I like the last idea :). On a side note my conselurs do not know what they're talking about.

You're absolutely right. Pharmacy isn't the most popular field to go into. I bet they know all sorts of stuff about undergrad & how you need to get through high school, but a professional level degree may be outside their specialty. It's good to treat academic advisors & counselors with a touch of skepticism. It's best if you take ownership of what you need out of the college. They are there to help you get through the system, and if you already have a focus, use them as a tool to help you achieve that end. I wish I had known that walking into the community college district I went to.

Those sound like solid reasons for going into pharmacy. There may be other options for you - it's a good time to be exploring them. I heard a very nice story on NPR the other day that said actuaries are in-demand and make a good wage. What attracts you specifically to pharmacy (say, over being a doctor or an actuary)?
 

asanjosec

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You're absolutely right. Pharmacy isn't the most popular field to go into. I bet they know all sorts of stuff about undergrad & how you need to get through high school, but a professional level degree may be outside their specialty. It's good to treat academic advisors & counselors with a touch of skepticism. It's best if you take ownership of what you need out of the college. They are there to help you get through the system, and if you already have a focus, use them as a tool to help you achieve that end. I wish I had known that walking into the community college district I went to.

Those sound like solid reasons for going into pharmacy. There may be other options for you - it's a good time to be exploring them. I heard a very nice story on NPR the other day that said actuaries are in-demand and make a good wage. What attracts you specifically to pharmacy (say, over being a doctor or an actuary)?

I've always liked to idea of dealing with medicine, and helping people so I figured hey, why not be a pharmacist. I would probably enjoy dealing with law and thought about being an attorney, but I've heard negative stuff about getting into law. My mind is really set on being a pharmacist, but the problem is I have no one that really knows about the profession to answer the questions I have. Also thanks for all your help!
 

asanjosec

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California certainly have good schools, but like xtsukiyox mentioned, explore your options out of states as well. You have decent gpa, but it would be great if you can include extracurriculum activities or volunteering experiences. Start some projects with your friends, or form a club. A lot of ppl are applying to college with decent gpa, but not everyone has EC or experiences.

Btw, good job on raising your gpa from 2.8 to 3.8 despite all the negative influence around you.

I have been doing some volunteer work for clubs but I plan to get really active soon. I plan to head over to the hospital and ask if I could volunteer. My counselor said it would really help if I put in hours there, and I worked at a tutoring job for my junior year, hoping I can include that in my transcript. I'm currently volunteering at school PTC (peer tutoring club). Ironically I'm tutoring the people who tried to get me into drugs, gangs, etc.

And thanks, it was really difficult but I got it done.
 

xtsukiyox

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I've always liked to idea of dealing with medicine, and helping people so I figured hey, why not be a pharmacist. I would probably enjoy dealing with law and thought about being an attorney, but I've heard negative stuff about getting into law. My mind is really set on being a pharmacist, but the problem is I have no one that really knows about the profession to answer the questions I have. Also thanks for all your help!

It sounds like you've thought about this quite a bit. Kudos to you!

PS, you're in the right place. SDN is a fantastic resource. :)

I have been doing some volunteer work for clubs but I plan to get really active soon. I plan to head over to the hospital and ask if I could volunteer.

When you go to the hospital, ask what you can do to volunteer at the pharmacy (rather than asking if you can). From what I've heard, you may have to make it known that's your goal, but show commitment by putting in hours elsewhere at the hospital first (gift shop or something). Keep looking at different hospitals & medical clinics too - if there's a waiting list for pharmacy volunteers, get yourself on the list but see if you can find somewhere without a waiting list.

Also, it will probably help your goal if you get licensed as a pharm tech first. In general, you would sit for the PTCB exam (ptcb.org), then apply for licensure through your state's Board of Pharmacy. Some states have other requirements - if you have questions or issues, ask; there are a lot of people from CA here. I'd start at the CA BoP website: http://www.pharmacy.ca.gov/

My counselor said it would really help if I put in hours there, and I worked at a tutoring job for my junior year, hoping I can include that in my transcript. I'm currently volunteering at school PTC (peer tutoring club). Ironically I'm tutoring the people who tried to get me into drugs, gangs, etc.

Point of interest: Even though it was dated (~10 years), I still put down my volunteer tutoring from high school on my pharma school application. There are mixed opinions on putting dated info, but in my particular situation, I wasn't padding my extracurriculars with the entries and I felt it showed a track record.

Are there any causes you're passionate about? Animal rescue, cancer research, reading to children? I wish I had been involved in some sort of organization beyond school - there are a lot of good people to surround yourself with & learn from.
 

kcwang

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Point of interest: Even though it was dated (~10 years), I still put down my volunteer tutoring from high school on my pharma school application. There are mixed opinions on putting dated info, but in my particular situation, I wasn't padding my extracurriculars with the entries and I felt it showed a track record.

Hmm I did not know that, I had 1500 volunteer hours during highschool. Eh it's too late now.
 
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