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Letter of references

Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by june1946, Apr 25, 2007.

  1. june1946

    june1946 2+ Year Member

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    Jan 25, 2007
    I have been out of school for a while and plan to apply for pharmacy. I don't know how I can get the LORs. Any advice? I have BS in Biology.
     
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  3. Jack555

    Jack555 5+ Year Member

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    Mar 13, 2007
    You could see if you could volunteer some at an independently owned pharmacy. From the start tell the pharmacist that you would like some experience and that you are looking for a letter of reccomendation.
     
  4. Bhavesh

    Bhavesh Member 7+ Year Member

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    Apr 22, 2004
    what about where you work?

    will you be taking any pre-req classes?

    will you be getting a composite letter/package from a preprofessional advising office?

    would any of your professors remember you? if so, can you explain your situation, explain your goals, and what you've done to get to pharmacy school so that they can write a letter based on your good grade and current accomplishments?

    and like jack said, check with a pharmacy
     
  5. Farmercyst

    Farmercyst On with the Poodles already Pharmacist Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    A few questions. Where did you go, big school/small? How long is "a while" 2 years or 20? If you went to a smaller school with more contact with the profs and have only been out 2 years you may still be able to get one from a prof. If it was a large school or you've been gone 20 years, it'll be significantly more difficult. If you're in a health related field that helps, otherwise most schools won't take employer LORs. Getting to know a pharmacist would be beneficial. Most schools require three and you don't want poor LORs due to last minute choices. Volunteer at hospital if you have to, but I'd say this may be a difficult task to accomplish.
     
  6. opa

    opa 2+ Year Member

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    Nov 30, 2006
    One thing you might do is to audit a graudate class that you are interested in and make a point of making a contribution. If you do all the reading then you'll stand out. You might also find a professor you already know through your church or work (adjunct professor) and audit their class.
     
  7. june1946

    june1946 2+ Year Member

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    Jan 25, 2007
    Thank you all for helping me. I graduated from UCLA 10 years ago so I don't think any professor will remember me!!. (Am I too old for pharmacy?) I was working, out of job about a year, volunteering at Red Cross now. I'll check with pharmacy like Jack said.
    Bhavesh, with the BS in Biology, do I need to take pre-req classes?
    Farmercyst, when you mentioned getting to know a pharmacist, you meant working with them right?
    Opa, could you please explain more about auditing a graduate class?
     
  8. ucisgreatone

    ucisgreatone 2+ Year Member

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    Jan 5, 2007
    IMO, It's probably a good idea to retake some of your biology courses, things have changed in the past 10years and it wouldn't hurt to refresh your bio/anatomy/phys.
     
  9. pcmanla

    pcmanla 2+ Year Member

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    Feb 15, 2007
    i also granduated from university about 10years ago. i had to retake all prerequisites because some schools don't give me any credits for classes i took 10 years ago.. Most schools require "fresh credits".. you need to find it out first, then retake it if you have to...
    good luck.. and you are not too old to go back to school.. i think you are still young enough because you have your wonderful dream...^^:luck:
     
  10. Idesiretosling

    Idesiretosling 2+ Year Member

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    Oct 20, 2006
    Well depending on where you apply you may have to take prereq classes, some schools may not except course work from 10 years ago, different schools have different requirements to apply. I know the Biology degree at my school does not cover all the prereqs to apply to pharmacy school, some extra classes on the side were needed.

    You are not too old at all, if you want it then go for it! Pharmacy will turn out to be a great investment in your life financially if it is something you enjoy.
     
  11. june1946

    june1946 2+ Year Member

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    Jan 25, 2007
    Greatly appreciate your info.
    Thank you for your support

     
  12. Farmercyst

    Farmercyst On with the Poodles already Pharmacist Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Working with them would get you the strongest LOR. You could do this either as a volunteer or if you're in a place that puts you in contact with pharmacists (hospital worker, nurse, orderly, courier, etc) Just coming by and talking with one during shift,break,lunch, etc would be better than nothing. If neither are options you could always walk up to one on any given day, let them know your interests and see if they would entertain a few questions (Not that you have to ask them questions, but it's the easiest way to get them talking so they know who you are and what you're about) It wouldn't be the strongest LOR, but even UOP suggests if you don't know a pharmacist have one interview you so you can have them send an LOR based on the interview. (I'd post the link, but breaks over.)
     
  13. opa

    opa 2+ Year Member

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    Nov 30, 2006
    There are many health related classes that you can audit (must be w/out a lab) and in most cases, the professors are only too happy to let you participate since you are older/wiser and have real world experience. (Your real world expereince doesn't even have to be work related. I was able to offer valuable firsthand input about parents in the Medicare system or about negotiating 3rd party reimbursement after switching insurance at work) I'm interested in health economics, compliance, e-prescribing. Your local universites will have classes in some of these especially if they offer an MPH. Find out who the professor is and email him explaining your interest in going back to school. You can talk about your interest in the subject matter or just say you want to see how a class feels after being out for so long. Graduate courses are small enough that you can make a real contribution especially if you do the reading. Furthermore, you are likely to be somewhat more self-assured than the younger people in the course (even grad students seemed young to me these days) so you will probably get more than you share of floor time in discussion. At some point broach the subject of an LOR with the professor if you feel that you have made a positive impression in the class. At Berkeley, I called the registrar to attempt to find out how to pay to audit and it turned out that it's at the Prof's discretion with no cost since they have no way of processing payment for non-credit attendees. If you need more info, just pm me.

    The second avenue I mentioned is similar. I have a friend who I met at my church (actually synagogue) who was an adjunct professor. His course was one that seemed interesting so I asked if it would be ok for me to attend. He said fine and it worked out pretty much as above.
     
  14. june1946

    june1946 2+ Year Member

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    Jan 25, 2007
    If my dream comes true, you're part of it. How long did it take you to retake all prerequisites? I look on schools' website. Some say within 6 years. Some don't. If they don't mention anything , does that mean no time limit?
    Again thank you all for advise. It'll help me a lot.

     
  15. MPBenJ

    MPBenJ 2+ Year Member

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    Oct 22, 2006
    Check first with the schools you want to appy to!

    I also graduated from undergrad 10 years ago. (I can't believe it)..... and I got accepted to both Midwestern CCP and UIC for this fall.

    I had two missing pre-reqs (Anatomy and Physiology and Speech - only because I never took them in college)
    I took them at a community college this school year at night after work and on the weekend.

    Before I applied to UIC I had their admissions counselor verify which classes would be accepted and what I was missing. I was told that based on my coursework and work experience that all the pre-req classes I had taken would count.

    I never asked midwestern actually, but it never came up as an issue that I had taken most of my pre-reqs more than 10 years ago (I graduated from undergrad in 1997).

    One thing that might have helped - I got a 96 on the PCAT and I studied very hard to make sure schools knew I still had a good grasp on what I had learned in college.
     
  16. june1946

    june1946 2+ Year Member

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    Jan 25, 2007
    Thank you for sharing your experiences. It's good to know that I'm not alone and if you can make it, I'll try hard to make it. By the way how did you get your LORs? Thanks

     
  17. MPBenJ

    MPBenJ 2+ Year Member

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    Oct 22, 2006
    I had to get one letter from a supervisor and one from a professor for the two schools I applied to. I had my old boss write me a letter for one of them. For the other one, I had worked in the lab of one of my biology professors so I contacted her and she wrote one for me.

    If you have to re-take any classes or take any classes you might be missing - that could give you an opportunity to get a professor recommendation.

    good luck!
     
  18. TheDrugMan

    TheDrugMan 2+ Year Member

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    May 3, 2007
    I asked my Chemistry professor to write me one. I planned on applying this year, but decided that I would be better prepared next year. If she writes me the letter now Will it be OK to apply with next June 2008? They don't expire. Do they?
     
  19. binghamkid

    binghamkid Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

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    Feb 7, 2007
    I would also advise you to contact the admissions office of the institutions you are interested in applying to and asking them what their policy is for non-traditional applicants and their letters of recommendation. While the institutions may still require you to have a pharmacist LOR (which you can get just by shadowing or volunteering), your science professor LOR may be waived for a professional work supervisor LOR instead. They will not ask something unreasonable of you such as going back to get a LOR from 10 years ago. The suggestions above are excellent as well, but since your work supervisor would know you best, I would highly recommend checking to see if their letter can be substituted.
     
  20. binghamkid

    binghamkid Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

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    Feb 7, 2007

    PharmCAS does not retain any information from year to year. If your professor is writing you one now, you should have her hold a copy of the letter electronically so that she can just submit it the following year.
     
  21. chem123

    chem123 2+ Year Member

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    Jan 10, 2007
    i have a question about LORS, i'm sure this was discussed before i cant find it though, but will it affect my chances that much if i read my rec. letters? i really want to!, just to make sure they have on there what i want, but i dont want to if it will ruin my chances :(
     
  22. TheDrugMan

    TheDrugMan 2+ Year Member

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    May 3, 2007

    It's highly recommended that you DO NOT :)
     
  23. binghamkid

    binghamkid Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

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    Feb 7, 2007

    If you're really close to your writer, they may voluntarily give you a copy to look at and review. However, you should still waive your right to access it as it provides the impression of impartiality. However, in my experience, most of my writers have voluntarily provided me a copy so that I can feel confident that they put in the best effort they could to write a top-notch letter (and they do).
     

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