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PHARMCAS Personal Essay thoughts...?

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I like what you have so far! You have a lot of good ideas that I personally feel need to be expanded upon. Everyone else should chime in also!

1) in the 2nd paragraph, what about shadowing the pharmacy changed your goals? what did the pharmacist do to help you realize that pharmacy is something you might enjoy doing?
2) in the 3rd, how was the pharmacist like the people's hero? you describe that the pharmacist knew the local patients, but what did the pharmacist specifically do to make them their hero?
3) conclusion paragraph: how does being a pharmacist help create a better humanity? what do you mean by humanity?

These are some of my initial thoughts. Hope they help. Good luck!
 
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PharmDtoB816

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*So, this is my PHARMcas personal essay, applying for the 2018 starting pharmacy class. Can you guys please read over this and give me advice on what to add/remove/edit/keep/etc.? It would be much appreciated. I'm just really nervous about this and would love someone else's opinion. Thank you :)*

Being the son of a mother and a father who were forced to immigrate from their hometown, forced to leave their comfort zone, and make a living in a place they have never been before, has made me realize that I could not just go into college and try to work toward something I felt comfortable doing. I could not bring myself to follow my childhood dream of becoming a firefighter, or my high school dream of becoming a personal trainer. My parents always pushed me and my siblings to challenge ourselves. In my sophomore year of high school, I was accepted into the Children’s hospital volunteer program. At first, I chose to be a greeter. As a greeter, my job was to roam around the hospital for hours, greeting and helping people find their way around. Although I despised this task, I stayed put for a month, and then decided to switch to volunteering in the emergency room. In the emergency room, I saw things that made me cry. I saw injured children of all sorts. I saw a child who had a third-degree burn, because his father trusted him to stay alone next to a backyard campfire. I saw a child who had gotten a gruesome knee injury playing soccer. As a volunteer, I could not help. I could just stand there and watch as they rushed the children to their rooms.

This is the first moment I thought to myself, “I want to help people". My goal to become a personal trainer vanished; now, I wanted to become a doctor. I wanted to be the person everyone goes to when they need help. Shortly down the line, in my freshman year in college, I decided to start working on the same track my brother did, pre-medical studies, but as a chemistry major. My mother told me about a friend of hers who had their daughter shadow at a pharmacy that was close to our house. I drove down to the Double Oak Mountain Pharmacy, and asked them if I could shadow there for a while. The head pharmacist, Joseph Feick, allowed me to shadow. I shadowed for a couple of weeks, and realized this was something I might enjoy doing. The two weeks of shadowing at that pharmacy changed my goals in life forever.

A couple of months later, I decided to apply to pharmacies as a pharmacy technician. I was called in for an interview at both CVS and Walgreen’s pharmacies, and ended up getting the job at Walgreens. I absolutely loved this job. The pharmacist was like the people’s hero. I loved the way the head pharmacist always dressed in a nice white coat, and was always very calm. I loved the way the pharmacist knew the local patients, and would follow up on their lives whenever they came to pick up their prescription. I loved the way the pharmacist was the center of the pharmacy; the person everyone went to when they had questions or concerns about their health.

At this point, I knew exactly what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I started working on pharmacy school prerequisites. I kept working at the local Walgreens, and finished my pharmacy technician training in no time. I enjoy speaking to the pharmacists and asking them for advice, as they have already been through exactly what I am starting to do. They are always helping me. The other pharmacy technicians are always pushing me to stay positive no matter how nerve-racking the work day has been. This environment where everyone cared for each other was something I wanted to be a part of for the rest of my life.

“Wherever the art of medicine is loved, there is also a love of humanity.” (Hippocrates.) I believe pharmacy relates to this quote, as the pharmacy is the haven for everyone to turn to when they need help. My current goal is to work on increasing my knowledge and experience in the pharmacy, as I plan to devote the rest of my life to it. My ultimate mission is to one day open my own independent pharmacy. I am an individual who is now focused on helping humanity. I have heard stories of my ancestors overseas who did not receive help when they needed it the most, and I have seen gruesome injuries when I was in a position where I could not help at all. I do not want to ever put myself in that position again. I want to apply my knowledge, creativity, and positive energy to create a better humanity. I have chosen pharmacy as my goal, as it is a very rewarding career, both emotionally and academically, and I cannot wait for the opportunity to serve as the people’s pharmacist.
This is really good. I would highly recommend you rewriting your opening sentence! It has very good content but it is too long and convoluted, it took me a moment to fully appreciate what you were saying, that's not good. Try to break it down a little and it will have more impact on the reader.
I would also change the paragraph about the pharmacist a little bit. You talked about how you liked him being dressed and how he presented himself and how people looked up to him...those are self centered ideas...try to make less of that and more of how "he was a helping hand", "knowledgeable healthcare provider", "how people calmed down and regained hope after talking to him"....see where I'm going? Overall very good essay
 
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TheOnlinePharmacist

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*So, this is my PHARMcas personal essay, applying for the 2018 starting pharmacy class. Can you guys please read over this and give me advice on what to add/remove/edit/keep/etc.? It would be much appreciated. I'm just really nervous about this and would love someone else's opinion. Thank you :)*

Being the son of a mother and a father who were forced to immigrate from their hometown, forced to leave their comfort zone, and make a living in a place they have never been before, has made me realize that I could not just go into college and try to work toward something I felt comfortable doing. I could not bring myself to follow my childhood dream of becoming a firefighter, or my high school dream of becoming a personal trainer. My parents always pushed me and my siblings to challenge ourselves. In my sophomore year of high school, I was accepted into the Children’s hospital volunteer program. At first, I chose to be a greeter. As a greeter, my job was to roam around the hospital for hours, greeting and helping people find their way around. Although I despised this task, I stayed put for a month, and then decided to switch to volunteering in the emergency room. In the emergency room, I saw things that made me cry. I saw injured children of all sorts. I saw a child who had a third-degree burn, because his father trusted him to stay alone next to a backyard campfire. I saw a child who had gotten a gruesome knee injury playing soccer. As a volunteer, I could not help. I could just stand there and watch as they rushed the children to their rooms.

This is the first moment I thought to myself, “I want to help people". My goal to become a personal trainer vanished; now, I wanted to become a doctor. I wanted to be the person everyone goes to when they need help. Shortly down the line, in my freshman year in college, I decided to start working on the same track my brother did, pre-medical studies, but as a chemistry major. My mother told me about a friend of hers who had their daughter shadow at a pharmacy that was close to our house. I drove down to the Double Oak Mountain Pharmacy, and asked them if I could shadow there for a while. The head pharmacist, Joseph Feick, allowed me to shadow. I shadowed for a couple of weeks, and realized this was something I might enjoy doing. The two weeks of shadowing at that pharmacy changed my goals in life forever.

A couple of months later, I decided to apply to pharmacies as a pharmacy technician. I was called in for an interview at both CVS and Walgreen’s pharmacies, and ended up getting the job at Walgreens. I absolutely loved this job. The pharmacist was like the people’s hero. I loved the way the head pharmacist always dressed in a nice white coat, and was always very calm. I loved the way the pharmacist knew the local patients, and would follow up on their lives whenever they came to pick up their prescription. I loved the way the pharmacist was the center of the pharmacy; the person everyone went to when they had questions or concerns about their health.

At this point, I knew exactly what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I started working on pharmacy school prerequisites. I kept working at the local Walgreens, and finished my pharmacy technician training in no time. I enjoy speaking to the pharmacists and asking them for advice, as they have already been through exactly what I am starting to do. They are always helping me. The other pharmacy technicians are always pushing me to stay positive no matter how nerve-racking the work day has been. This environment where everyone cared for each other was something I wanted to be a part of for the rest of my life.

“Wherever the art of medicine is loved, there is also a love of humanity.” (Hippocrates.) I believe pharmacy relates to this quote, as the pharmacy is the haven for everyone to turn to when they need help. My current goal is to work on increasing my knowledge and experience in the pharmacy, as I plan to devote the rest of my life to it. My ultimate mission is to one day open my own independent pharmacy. I am an individual who is now focused on helping humanity. I have heard stories of my ancestors overseas who did not receive help when they needed it the most, and I have seen gruesome injuries when I was in a position where I could not help at all. I do not want to ever put myself in that position again. I want to apply my knowledge, creativity, and positive energy to create a better humanity. I have chosen pharmacy as my goal, as it is a very rewarding career, both emotionally and academically, and I cannot wait for the opportunity to serve as the people’s pharmacist.

Thank you so much for your feedback! I also felt like I needed to expand on those areas. The max character count is 4500 and I'm currently sitting at 4370ish, so I'll try my best to expand on those areas! If you see anything I could omit without affecting the flow of the essay, please let me know. Thanks again!
 

TheOnlinePharmacist

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This is really good. I would highly recommend you rewriting your opening sentence! It has very good content but it is too long and convoluted, it took me a moment to fully appreciate what you were saying, that's not good. Try to break it down a little and it will have more impact on the reader.
I would also change the paragraph about the pharmacist a little bit. You talked about how you liked him being dressed and how he presented himself and how people looked up to him...those are self centered ideas...try to make less of that and more of how "he was a helping hand", "knowledgeable healthcare provider", "how people calmed down and regained hope after talking to him"....see where I'm going? Overall very good essay

Thank you so much! Great point about the opening sentence, I also felt like it was too long! Also, I see what you're saying about the part where I was describing the pharmacist. I will edit that part. I'm loving this feedback. I wish there was a way where I could get more people to see this and give me more tips!
 

PharmDtoB816

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Thank you so much! Great point about the opening sentence, I also felt like it was too long! Also, I see what you're saying about the part where I was describing the pharmacist. I will edit that part. I'm loving this feedback. I wish there was a way where I could get more people to see this and give me more tips!
I think you have a rather good substance here. You have answeared the prompt question in full. Sometimes you may get bad feedback (as in not helpful/misleading etc) so I wouldn't go for the quantity of Feedbacks but rather for quality. If you are still in college a writing center would be a great resource. Like, no offense to the previous feedback but if you start talking about what humanity means to you and how a pharmacist became somebody's hero you will water it down to "blah-blah-blah" in the eye of the adcom...you are an immigrant, that's a good thing to talk about - you can use it as to describe hardship, maturity, determination. You have healthcare experience, that's good - you describe how it affected your career decision. I'd say in paragraph about ER experience (very touching one ) add something like "this is when I knew I wanted to dedicate my life to the healthcare field. Seeing people in the moment of despair/fear/pain and be a part of the relief/help/hope"...why not ER doc? Because you really appreciated the impact your pharmacist was making on his patients/community every day; because it allows you to deliver a continuous care to your patients for years to come"...what are your future plans? Making your community a better place (helping humanity is good but maybe too global... maybe not...if you want to travel the world and help people) talk about addressing issues of overprescription of antibiotics and opioids and how bad it is and how patient education by pharmacist could offer some relief...do not water it down! make it solid, and answear the questions (which you pretty much did already) Don't add too much stuff just to increase the number of characters...that will take away from the point plus adcom reads a ton of these, so they may not be too excited/attentive when one essay is really long and talks about everything but the prompt, think about it...You have good stuff here, so just sharpen it and you'll be good to go! good luck :)
 
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TheOnlinePharmacist

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I think you have a rather good substance here. You have answeared the prompt question in full. Sometimes you may get bad feedback (as in not helpful/misleading etc) so I wouldn't go for the quantity of Feedbacks but rather for quality. If you are still in college a writing center would be a great resource. Like, no offense to the previous feedback but if you start talking about what humanity means to you and how a pharmacist became somebody's hero you will water it down to "blah-blah-blah" in the eye of the adcom...you are an immigrant, that's a good thing to talk about - you can use it as to describe hardship, maturity, determination. You have healthcare experience, that's good - you describe how it affected your career decision. I'd say in paragraph about ER experience (very touching one ) add something like "this is when I knew I wanted to dedicate my life to the healthcare field. Seeing people in the moment of despair/fear/pain and be a part of the relief/help/hope"...why not ER doc? Because you really appreciated the impact your pharmacist was making on his patients/community every day; because it allows you to deliver a continuous care to your patients for years to come"...what are your future plans? Making your community a better place (helping humanity is good but maybe too global... maybe not...if you want to travel the world and help people) talk about addressing issues of overprescription of antibiotics and opioids and how bad it is and how patient education by pharmacist could offer some relief...do not water it down! make it solid, and answear the questions (which you pretty much did already) Don't add too much stuff just to increase the number of characters...that will take away from the point plus adcom reads a ton of these, so they may not be too excited/attentive when one essay is really long and talks about everything but the prompt, think about it...You have good stuff here, so just sharpen it and you'll be good to go! good luck :)

This is all I needed. Literally, you've helped me so much. I've been looking for feedback like this since I wrote my personal essay, and a friend told me about SDN, and you haven't failed me! I will sharpen it with all the points you mentioned, and then take me final rough draft to the writing center at my university's library to finalize it. I want to turn in my application as soon as possible, because I heard that's also a plus! Thank you so much! I'm grateful for people like you :)
 

okieboba

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"Although I despised this task..."

I would suggest avoiding negativity in your essay. Also, despise is such a strong word. Instead, I would just point out that after awhile, you switched to a different role. Or fluff it up and say an opportunity presented itself in the form of...
 
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TheOnlinePharmacist

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"Although I despised this task..."

I would suggest avoiding negativity in your essay. Also, despise is such a strong word. Instead, I would just point out that after awhile, you switched to a different role. Or fluff it up and say an opportunity presented itself in the form of...

Thanks. I was wondering whether or not to mention that I "despised" the job too, haha!
 

PharmDtoB816

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This is all I needed. Literally, you've helped me so much. I've been looking for feedback like this since I wrote my personal essay, and a friend told me about SDN, and you haven't failed me! I will sharpen it with all the points you mentioned, and then take me final rough draft to the writing center at my university's library to finalize it. I want to turn in my application as soon as possible, because I heard that's also a plus! Thank you so much! I'm grateful for people like you :)
You are more then welcome! Glad I could help. Apply as soon as you can! I've applied in August for ED and already got accepted, but they have mentioned to us that the admission is on the rolling basis (at least in my school in NY)...so once they fill up the spots, it's done ....even though the deadline is far away
 
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TheOnlinePharmacist

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I will! The plan is to send the applications in Tuesday night. I'm going to ask my microbiology professor for a rec letter, and I'm almost positive he'll say yes. If he says no, that'll ruin my plan. But the class is small and I've made the highest score on Exam 1, and among the highest scores on exam 2, hopeful that he'll say yes to writing me one. If you have any advice on asking professor's for rec letters, please let me know haha.
 
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heartxoxo

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I term of asking for letter of rec, if you could make an appointment to go and ask in person, that's great. If not, I would send out a formal individualized email for each person that you're asking a letter from.
 

jinxed_41

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Hello! Would anyone who replied to this post be interested in reviewing my essay?! Please!
 
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