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how honest in interview?

Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by purplepower, Dec 3, 2008.

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  1. purplepower

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    Ok, I need your opinions. How honest should you be in the interview when asked "why do you want to be a pharmacist" if part of the reason is the $$$. I am a career-changer and there is no way I'd be spending this kind of money, sacrifice and effort if there wouldn't be a financial pay-off in the end.

    One time I mentioned that pharmacy got my attention when I saw the shortage and high starting salaries. That seemed to get a negative response from the interviewers who were profs. and probably not making that much and have some resentment toward the retail industry. I tried to backpedal a little and say I would never go into something I didn't find intellectually interesting and I helpful to people (all true) but I don't think the recovery was good enough.

    Second interview I had I think I came off as too fake and rehearsed because I didn't want to go there again. My answer was all about the love of the science and need to help people.

    Here is the real answer: the money got my attention, but I do find it intellectually satisfying, and I it has the right amount of people contact for me. Is that bad to say?

    Thanks for your help.
     
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  3. Sparda29

    Sparda29 En Taro Adun
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    If you wanna get into pharmacy school, do not talk about money until the interviewer mentions money.
     
  4. inquirer89

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    Say that you like the job security and flexibility of a pharmD, but only after you say the other main reasons i.e. You want to help people.
     
  5. FresnoPharmD

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    I wouldn't lead in with it if they ask you why you want to be a pharmacist. I would start with your interest in the field and how you want to impact lives, and then if you want to mention it, talk how you love the versatility of the job and the opportunities and stability...but I would only do that at the end. Telling them why you want to do this shouldn't sound forced...you don't need to say you want to be the Mother Teresa of pharmacy, but you should be going into it for the right reasons. Just think about your answer to that. :)
     
  6. medicalCPA

    medicalCPA Actually, it's medicalCPA, PhD now
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    Personally, I think money is a perfectly legitimate reason to go into pharmacy. Unfortunately, you won't have me interviewing you. The only piece of advice I can give you is look for other positives about pharmacy, and stress them in your interview.

    Look on AACP's website for their "Ten Reasons to Become a Pharmacist." That's a good place to start searching for other positives of pharmacy that interest you.
     
  7. NebPharmer

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    I agree that mentioning money during the pharm school interview appears to be verboten. I was very amused by the person who posted that at the beginning of pharmacy school, one of the professors said it was OK to be in pharmacy for the money, and she heard a visible sigh of relief from her classmates! So, is it some sort of "Don't ask, don't tell" policy?

    One potential interview question I read on the interview feedback here at SDN was "If pharmacy only paid $40,000 per year, would you still want to do it?" I thought that was a great question, and spent a long time thinking about it. The answer for me is no, because I left a job that paid more than that to become a pharmacist, and I'm 44 years old and there is no way the math works out for me. For a 22-year-old, things might be different.

    FWIW, I said in my interview, truthfully, that I love pharmacy because it fits my skillset and is much more meaningful than what I was doing before. My goal is use information to empower people to make good decisions for themselves, and pharmacists seem uniquely situated to do that. I'd go with something more concrete than "I want to help people," because that is a weak, general statement that I suspect these interviewer types hear all the time.
     
  8. CoffeeDose

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    About how many reasons do you give them and how long should it be? I'm preparing about 3 to 4 reasons on paper first and it takes about 7 to 8 lines. I feel that it's so long and I'm afraid it'll bore them out... Should I just pick my top 2 reasons and make it simple and short??:confused:
     
  9. xshooshix

    xshooshix Accepted Pharmacy Student
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    I was told by tour students in one of my interviews that the second you say it's about money (or elude to it), then its an automatic rejection. My aunt is one of the adcoms for one of the medical schools in California, and I asked her about this as well after my dad told me I should say that (according to him, he said something like that when he was interviewing for his residency in America). She quickly responded, "NO!! Don't say that!" lol.

    Moral of the story is: find another reason.... there are plenty. :)
     
  10. medicalCPA

    medicalCPA Actually, it's medicalCPA, PhD now
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    If you are good at reading body language, you will usually be able to tell when you have satisfied your interviewer. As for the length of your response, it helps to be as concise as possible. With shorter answers, chances are your interviewer will have a better impression of you than s/he would if s/he had to cut your answers short, or worse, zone out while you were delivering your sermon.

    I don't know about your situation, but if I were in your shoes, I would mention two or three reasons first, and then tell my interviewer, "I have even more reasons, would you like to hear them?" That way, s/he will decide whether to keep listening or whether to tell you, "you've satisfied me with your answers thus far."
     
  11. purplepower

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    Then I have to agree with 5 minutes in his "tips for pharmacy admissions" post where he said "be yourself...not!" Come on, how many of you would be trying so hard to get into pharmacy school if they made 40k like they used to, not so long ago?

    I know there are many other reasons to like pharmacy. Thank goodness there are other reasons! Money isn't everything. But isn't it kind of like not mentioning the pink elephant in the living room? All this advice (on other posts) to be yourself and not have rehearsed answers is not very realistic.

    Thanks for the honest feedback though. I've been needing to have this discussion.
     
  12. bluesickle

    bluesickle ... it begins
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    How are you supposed to answer the 40k question? It almost sounds like a trap question. If you say you would still do it, you're fake but if you say you wouldn't, you're all about the money. :confused:
     
  13. Storm90

    Storm90 Accepted Pharmacy Student
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    My answer was along the lines of "If tuition costs around $40k, then yes, but if I have to pay $100K in tuition and make only $40K/year, I'll be in debt until I die, and I can't support my family if I'm paying off that much debt. I just wouldn't be able to justify putting my desires ahead of my family's needs. Money isn't a reason I want to be a pharmacist, but I have to be realistic." If the main reason you want to be a pharmacist is money, find another profession.
     
  14. Organic Pharmer

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    To me the money issue is more of a short term reason to pursue pharmacy. Once you buy your nice cars and nice houses, material things will become less exciting to you. And as time passes you are going to seek out the intangible rewards that you get from helping others and positivity contributing to society. So maybe try and think of what pharmacy will offer you once you are already financially set.
     
  15. purplepower

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    There's no fancy cars or fancy houses in my future. Just peace of mind. I'm coming at this from receiving a lot of education for a job that was at times intrinsically rewarding but not one that I could support myself and children on. I am amazed about the complaints that pharmacists have about their jobs. I think I will be the happiest pharmacist alive. There are so many incredible opportunities in this field right now. I have worked jobs with horrible working conditions and horrible pay. And I had student loans to pay off! I'm not coming at this as a 20 year old that just wants a new BMW.
     
  16. medicalCPA

    medicalCPA Actually, it's medicalCPA, PhD now
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    My response would be similar. It's common sense, and I don't believe any rational person would fault you for saying so. If I had to pay over $100,000 above undergraduate tuition just to enter a job that paid $40,000/year, I would not do it because there are entry-level jobs that paid a similar amount. The opportunity cost would be too high. The same argument can be made for young pop stars and athletes who do not go to college.

    There is a difference between wanting to be compensated well in your career -- or at least commensurate with the effort you put into it -- and making money the sole reason for choosing said career in the first place.
     
  17. WhiteSnows

    WhiteSnows Think Right and Grow Rich
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    Whatever reason you want to tell them ( except money thingy), make sure you show them your determination of becoming a Pharmacist. Make sure you show them you really want this career as your ultimate career, and you are not a career changer.

    After I told my interviewers about "the reason I want to become a pharmacist", I immediately said " becoming a Pharmacist is not just a dream, it is my definite plan, and purpose".

    I have a good advice for you. Tell them a story when you have exposure/hear/learn Pharmacy, and that gave you a strong impress about this profession. If you do not have any, then explain what pharmacy is about, explain how great this career is, and YOU WANT TO BE A PART OF THE INTEGRAL HEALTH CARE (because pharmacist is a part of intergral health care system).
     
  18. bluesickle

    bluesickle ... it begins
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    Great feedback guys! :clap:

    I'm going to need all the ammo I can get because I've never interviewed for pharmacy school before.
     
  19. purplepower

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    Ok that's good advice. Wish me luck cause I'm going to try this again tomorrow. Interviewing is so much harder than I thought it would be.
     
  20. RXsocal

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    Haha Great answers! I've been practicing these interviews to make it sound more fluid and every advice helped :)
     
  21. JeremyE30

    JeremyE30 Accepted Pharmacy Student
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    Tell them you want to be a pharmacist because you want.... fast sports cars, your own mini-mansion, hot chicks at your disposal, $100 bottles of liquor and $50 cigars. That should get you in.
     
  22. calisoca

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    You are on the right track. I might buffer that response with this addition: I also like the potential of working with pharm techs that are hot, young, and vulnerable to my superior income.

    They will eat that up.
     
  23. Storm90

    Storm90 Accepted Pharmacy Student
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    Did that work for you in your interview?
     
  24. yummycookie

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    ^^Ditto!
    Telling them a story as to why/what got you interested in pharmacy will definitely get the interviewer's attention, instead of the typical, "I want to help others, my love for science...."
    On my interviews, after I told them my story, I always get compliments and they seem to like the answer a lot. Bottom line is, you shouldn't be too nervous when you answer your questions, just be yourself in a sense that your answers shouldn't sound too forced or that you're reading right from a script. But remember you still have to say what they want to hear, so try to integrate their mission statement into your responses. You will be pleasantly surprise. Good luck to everyone who's going to interviews! :D
     
  25. WVUPharm2007

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    I was brutally honest. They asked the question and I just flat out said...to paraphrase...

    Look there is the 900-lb ape in the room...yeah it pays well, that will attract anyone to the job, but not everyone is actually interested in the subject matter. There is a reason my O-chem and biochem teachers wrote my recommendations - I knew they knew I was interested in and excelled in their classes. Pharmacy is the next logical step for me. I think learning what drugs do and how they work is incredibly interesting. Turns out I can make a good living doing that, hence I am sitting here in front of you. I flipped it. I just threw it out there and ran with it. I think they found my candor refreshing. Ironically, it was my brutal honesty and candor that got me into trouble several times in pharmacy school.....but I digress.

    Anyway, the interview....got a 29.5/30 on the thing...of the highest among those accepted into the program that year. I also wrote a lengthy, rambling paper on Plato, existentialism, and how I see the world on my in-person written essay and got a 5/5...lol.

    It kind of cracks me up that I essentially got into pharmacy school based upon roughly 4 brilliant hours of work between my PCAT and my interview...because the other 2 years of work was average. I got like 5 or 6 Cs...
     
  26. DOTAFORLIFE

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    I was annoyed that none of the other interviewees in my group mentioned money. I mentioned it indirectly when I said pharmacy was a stable and financially rewarding field.

    I totally agree that if pharmacy paid $50K a year you wouldn't see this explosion in applicants. The field pays so well because there is a shortage and it is necessary to attract new blood. Adcom knows this so be honest.

    If I was adcom I would totally feel patronized and insulted if I had applicant after applicant saying they wanted to "help people." What a trite and insincere answer. You can almost feel their eyes glaze over when an applicant launches into a long winded speech about their grandpa and how they want to help people.

    The argument can go both ways. If you want to make money, why not go into business? If you want to help people, why not join a rescue mission to Africa?

    To sum up, come up with an original answer about why the field suits you. And it doesn't hurt to mention money. Why wouldn't anyone wanna make money doing something they like?
     
  27. Transformer

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    Being witty and telling the admissions committees what they want to hear might get you accepted to more or maybe even less pharmacy schools.

    Regardless, I strongly believe being honest is the best way to find out whether the school is a good fit for you.
     
  28. confettiflyer

    confettiflyer Did you just say something?
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    you don't want money.....you want security
     
  29. YiYaoYue

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    Anyone who really is fit for pharmacy and knows that they want to go into pharmacy should be honest.

    Obviously if you are in it for the wrong reasons, then you might get in by BSing, but I will tell you right now that you will most likely regret that decision.
     
    #28 YiYaoYue, Dec 4, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2008
  30. WhiteSnows

    WhiteSnows Think Right and Grow Rich
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    In stead of telling them you want money, or you want to want help people. Why not start with what you are really about. In my interview day, I told them I had tutored chemistry almost 3 years of my undergraduate, and I had met many people at different age taking different chemistry lvl. Then I mentioned I enjoyed working with people. Also, I mentioned chemistry is my favorite subject, and pharmacy is a career that fullfill not only my interest in chemistry, but also provide me an opportunity to meet people, and educate them how to use drugs blah blah blah.

    So that, it is important that you start telling a short story about what brings you to this profession, why do you really think this career fullfill your interest? Do not jus go to Pharmacy because of money, you will be surely regret.
     
  31. JackTran

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    Ok guys not talking about $$ is wrong, you just have to be honest with yourself during the interview because all the teachers that interview you know that you wanna be a pharmacist because of the generous wages.

    My best friend is now a P2 student, and I remember one of his interviewer (who was a JD as well!!) told us that you don't want to lie or exagerate during interview because he will detect it right away. Be honest!!
    He told us that my friend just told him the truth, he went to pharmacy because of the money and he wanted to support his family after he graduates. My teacher was moved. Of course my friend did very good on the PCAT, etc, but he was honest and that what made the difference amongst all the other applicants.

    Just my 2 cents.
     
  32. WhiteSnows

    WhiteSnows Think Right and Grow Rich
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    I think it will be risk to talk about money. Why would you put yourself on a hotspot if you know so. Besides, not everyone go to Pharmacy for money. And your friend's school does not represent for all the pharmacy schools.

    In my interview day, I did not ever mention 1 word about money, I still got in. After the interview, I did not have to worry about it.
     
  33. CoffeeDose

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    I certainly think it depends on your luck on who you'll get as your interviewers. Some interviewers will find it refreshing that you tell them the truth and not the normal "i want to help save the world.".. yada.yada.. However, there are other interviewers who do look for specific answers and they'll straight out reject you if you mention money in it. You cant really predict and "be honest" all the time. I guess you just have to one way or the other and pray that they'll like your answers.
     
  34. DaddyOAK

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    I mentioned "being able to take care of my family while doing something I enjoy" when that subject was hit upon.
     
  35. twester

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    I mentioned money as a factor, but it was more of an afterthought with a chuckle than anything. I made a good living in a previous career and I think I mentioned that as well.

    Don't say you want to help people. Talk about how you will help people as a pharmacist, which will require you to know specifically what pharmacy entails. Talk about shadowing experiences you gained and what you liked about them. What made you decide, after seeing what a pharmacist does, that this is the profession that suits you? Was there a standout patient interaction? Did the pharmacist give you any advice that cemented your thinking? Have you had personal experience with a pharmacist who influenced the health of a family member or your interest in the field? The talking points are virtually endless all without dwelling on the salary.
     
  36. calisoca

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    Purplepower: As you can see, there are multiple ways to address this question and nobody is going to agree on it. In the end, mentioning money runs potential risks while answering with your passion to be a part of healthcare does not. Nobody can fault you for the latter. This is a no brainer. As Sparda said at the top, don't mention money unless the interviewers bring it up themselves. Why would you risk it?
     
  37. bluesickle

    bluesickle ... it begins
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    Just say "I want da bling bling" and call the interviewer "Dawg." I heard that works all the time.
     
  38. PrepharmKID

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    This is another pointless thread. Everyone knows what the answer is. Of course you can be completely honest and possibly lose your chance at getting in or you can say what they want to hear. Enough said.
     
  39. purplepower

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    K,

    I took bluesickle's advice and said "hey dawg it's all about the G's" and I think I did really good :love:

    Thanks!
     
  40. WVUPharm2007

    WVUPharm2007 imagine sisyphus happy
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    Awww...it's so cute how dumb you think the adcoms are and how smart you think you are.

    No, they can see through the bull****. If you don't mention something about it being a secure job at least in passing they may very well think you are a huckster that will say anything to get what they want.

    When I was rotating under a professor at WVU during interview season one of the professors came into clinical suite kinda laughing about some candidate that had come in with fake, prepared, BS answers to her questions...she was insulted that the candidate thought she was an idiot. If the first thing you say when they ask "Why do you want to be a pharmacist?" is "to help people" they will at the very least chuckle to themselves on the inside. So, yeah...tell them what you think they want to hear...hopefully they won't roll their eyes.
     
  41. YiYaoYue

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    well from reading the other thread (pharmacist shortage?) it may not really be a secure job with the number of schools opening and not as many retiring.

    I agree that you shouldn't just say I want to help people. It isn't really specific either. You don't want to fake like your the most caring and compassionate person in the world and when you become a pharmacist all you will do is go around in third world countries giving out free meds. But at the same time, you should be someone who cares about others. Americans are getting really cold and when someone else needs medical help on the street... most people walk right by them. A pharmacist shouldn't be like everyone else who walks right by the person... they should have some level of looking out for others knowing that you want someone to do the same when you need help.

    If it was simply about money then why pharmacy? Why not be a doctor who makes more? Or even a Dentist? Both jobs are pretty secure.

    I don't think every person needs to mention money to get into pharmacy school. If you are going to study and practice something your whole life, you should know reasons why you want to specifically do pharmacy over the millions of other professions that make just about as much money. Of course money is a reason because that's why people get jobs, but part of interviews is to find out why pharmacy and not something else. Whether you are just doing it because your parents said so or someone who is in the profession told you do it and you just followed blindly... or did you actually figure out what you want to do and do some research and make the choice yourself.
     
    #40 YiYaoYue, Dec 6, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2008
  42. WhiteSnows

    WhiteSnows Think Right and Grow Rich
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    I like your first sentence.:thumbup:
     
  43. PrepharmKID

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    I was being half sarcastic buddy. Obviously I think people should say the right thing in their mind, no one can really know what is the right thing to say. But mentioning money and leaving it at that is really stupid. Saying you want to help people and that is your reason for living is also gonna sound pretty stupid becuase they hear that every year.

    As for that answer being what the interviewer wanted to hear, no one can say. What if you say job security or money and the interviewer is actually wanting to hear that you would like to make a difference and help. this is why i said NO ONE CAN REALLY KNOW THE RIGHT ANSWER, at least until you are there with the interviewer. Witty response to my post though, but I would say we are both right. I never once implied that the person should give a short dumb answer like "to help people". That was your story.

    In all honesty, this is a dead thread like I said, no one can really say the right thing to do. It depends on so many factors. If you want to insult someone, do it to 5Minutes, that guy is a tool. He basically repeats everything everyone else says but using jibberish.
     
    #42 PrepharmKID, Dec 6, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2008
  44. WVUPharm2007

    WVUPharm2007 imagine sisyphus happy
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    But your previous post implied that everyone should know what the correct answer is?
    Which is it, Mr. Two-Face? If it is truly tongue-in-cheek as you claim above, I would work on my writing style if I were you. No sort of facetiousness came through at all. That sort of ambiguity might cost you if you are to give a writing sample during an interview or on an application.
     
  45. PrepharmKID

    2+ Year Member

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    Umm yeah, once you are in your interview, you should be able to read your interviewer. Those aren't even basic college skils. Just social skills that should have been picked up as a child.

    Why are you using the term "two-face" out of context. I'm saying if you're interviewer sounds like he might accept job security, it would be best to stop at that. Maybe even ask him about it at that point if he/she allows it. The interview is open-ended and I am sure they would love for you to ask their opinion. yeah, I admit my answer was rather ambiguous, but no one has interviewed with every school/interviewer so there is technically no definite answer. Sheesh these personal attacks.
     
  46. WVUPharm2007

    WVUPharm2007 imagine sisyphus happy
    Pharmacist 15+ Year Member

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    Wow...so you can actually go in there and predict what the interviewer is thinking based upon a brief 5 minute interaction consisting of common run-of-the mill chit-chat? Youngin', you need to be a lawyer...or maybe a salesmen. That type of talent is wasted in pharmacy.
     
  47. PrepharmKID

    2+ Year Member

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    Just by you starting off by saying that the job security is a great perk and discussing that area and seeing where it goes from there. Yeah, I think that's a great way to get started. Maybe see what got them interested. If they start discussing how they really wanted to do it to become a medical professional but not as a doctor, you can then say oh yeah, that is also one of my reasons. In that discussion you were able to say the job security and also making a difference in the health of people are reasons you chose pharmacy. Thanks, maybe i'll look into that. lol. Youngin'? I'm 24 chief, not 18. You have what, a year or so on me. You're an old man now huh.
     
    #46 PrepharmKID, Dec 6, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2008
  48. WhiteSnows

    WhiteSnows Think Right and Grow Rich
    Pharmacist 7+ Year Member

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    I agree with you 100%. It will be hard to express our whole ideas based on a couple sentenses.

    However, prepharmkid is going around forum and call people stupid this, stupid that. He acts like he knows everything, and he also tries to find something from people's posts that he can criticize.

    Sometimes, I had posted some humorous replies that I was not trying to make people misdirecting about pharmacy school or whatever. Still, he took those against me. He even mentioned that I got in pharmacy school was because something went wrong with the falcuties of the school. And now he called me I am a tool.:eek:

    C'mon dude, I AM IN Pharmacy school, and you have not even got any interview yet. I even wished you luck. Why did you want to make fun of me? THINK ABOUT IT.
     
  49. PrepharmKID

    2+ Year Member

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    WVUPharm2007 and I disagreed on an actual situation, you on the other hand are just a tool. Everyone knows it so I dont really need to go into that. Are you trying to tattle on me or something? What are you talking about you are in pharmacy school?? See here come the lies again.... Apparently you are 28 or 35 or something, I hope you finally got in after being REJECTED last year and whining about it forever.
     
  50. WhiteSnows

    WhiteSnows Think Right and Grow Rich
    Pharmacist 7+ Year Member

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    I am in pharmacy school = lie? I am accepted and yes I am in. If this makes me a liar, then you are really ridiculous.

    Again, you are trying to find some little mistakes in using words to criticize people, and you call them this, call them that.

    About my age, why do I have to tell people my real age in publish room? Again, you are pulling some of my older posts to use it against me. :thumbdown:

    I was not rejected last year. I was in a waitlist. However, what is wrong about being rejected? Secondly, I was not whinning about anything at all. As an accepted student, I am preparing for my pharmcy school. I am happy and enjoy everyday of my life. I know I do not have to worry about applying, waiting for interview, and wait for decision anymore.


    What is about you?
     
  51. atticus27

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    Your name describes your mentality pretty well.."Kid" You are the biggest tool box on this forum. 5 minutes might be a little odd but at least he's not an ***hole like you. wanker.
     
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