tdale4

10+ Year Member
Apr 22, 2008
5
0
Status
I am hoping to get some advice for you guys, first I'll tell you all a little about myself.

I'm 35, live in the DFW Area, Married, and my wife and I have 5 kids. I spent 4 years in the Army and 4 years as a border patrol agent. Currently (last 4 years) I work in corporate security. I have about 80 college hours with a pretty low GPA 2.5. I went to college online a few years ago and wasn't all that dedicated.

I'm looking for a change in careers. I really do not like my current job, too many hours (60 a week) for $50,000 a year. I feel like I’m just spinning my wheels and getting nowhere, plus there isn’t much upward mobility in my field.

After spending a lot of time thinking about what I really want to do I decided upon a career as a pharmacist for many reason, pay, job satisfaction, hours, etc. This will be a major change in our lives. I know I need to complete 2 pre-pharmacy years and I plan on attending TarrantCountyCollege for the pre-pharmacy classes to keep the cost reasonable.

I really want to attend the UT Austin Pharmacy School, mostly because of location, I love Texas and my wife can transfer there with the company she works for. If not Austin then Houston would be my second choice.

So my questions are basically:

What can I do to improve my odds of getting into pharmacy school?

When should I start studying for the PCAT?

It’s been a while since I took a math course, and it was only college algebra. What math courses should I take to get ready for Calculus I and to pass the PCAT?

Basically what advice would you give me that would help me attain my goal of becoming a pharmacist?

Thanks for your help and suggestion

Tim
 

DieHardRX

will try till accepted
10+ Year Member
Aug 9, 2007
68
0
SoCal
Status
Pre-Pharmacy
I suggest you spend more time looking into the profession to learn more what you about to spend at least 6 years studying for it and the rest of your life practicing it. It is kinda disappointing that the reasons for changing your career to pharmacy as you mentioned nothing but money-related.

Perhaps volunteering at a pharmacy or shadowing a pharmacist would provide you more info. on whether you should embark on this journal or not. The rest should be very straight-forward.

good luck
 

tharper14

P1.5
10+ Year Member
Jan 19, 2008
448
0
Texas
Status
Pharmacy Student
Congrats on the excellent new career choice! Like DieHardRX said though, make sure you know what you're getting yourself into before committing to 6 yrs of studying. UT is an awesome school, but then again, I'm bais. You'll have an upward struggle with a current GPA of 2.5... however, I think UT has academic forgiveness if the courses you took are more than 10 yrs old.

It's possible to do all your pre-reqs in just over 1 yr... I started April last year and I'll be finished my pre-reqs by August. Of course, I don't have 5 kids and did not have much of a life in that time but it can be done.

To answer your questions: start studying for the PCAT asap; retake college algebra if you don't remember much, then do precalc, then calc 1. Check with UT to see if you need to take Calc 2. They told me I needed to take it but when I asked the admissions dean he said I was good.

My advice, if you don't have pharm experience, get some! If anything, it'll help you in the interview.

If you have any questions feel free to pm me.

Good luck!
 
OP
T

tdale4

10+ Year Member
Apr 22, 2008
5
0
Status
I suggest you spend more time looking into the profession to learn more what you about to spend at least 6 years studying for it and the rest of your life practicing it. It is kinda disappointing that the reasons for changing your career to pharmacy as you mentioned nothing but money-related.

Perhaps volunteering at a pharmacy or shadowing a pharmacist would provide you more info. on whether you should embark on this journal or not. The rest should be very straight-forward.

good luck



Money isn’t the only reason, I won’t lie and say money isn’t important…it is a factor, but my other reasons are just as important. I work a minimum of 60 hours a week and my job requires a lot of travel, which I don’t like. Missing birthdays and holidays can be hard with a family. Plus I see no real future in my job. I’m at a place in my life where I can either make a change or continue life as usual. I once heard “If you always do, what you’ve always done; you’ll always get, what you’ve always got” I need a change and I’ve given this A LOT of thought.

I do plan on either volunteering at a pharmacy or getting a part time job as a pharmacy tech while I complete my pre pharmacy credits.

Are there any other things I can do to improve my chances of being accepted in a pharmacy school? I was thinking about volunteering at habitat for humanity, will community involvement make a difference?

Thanks again

Tim
 

BADD281

10+ Year Member
Nov 27, 2007
157
0
Status
Pharmacy Student
Do you like science? I think that is a question you should ask yourself too because honestly I cannot imagine doing some of those pre-reqs. and working 60 hour weeks..I just do not see how it would be possible really. Organic Chemistry I + II...Microbiology...even General Chemistry I +II was no joke. It takes so much discipline to get A's in these kinds of courses and it would be really hard to get the grade if you have so much other stuff going on at the same time. Not to mention it would probably take you forever to get through them with full-time work! Most pharmacy schools have about 60 credit hours of pre-reqs. and a lot of times the coursework cannot be over 5 years old so you will more than likely have to start over. I wish you the best of luck if you chose to pursue pharmacy, but you need to also be realistic with yourself at the same time.
 

UES Girl

Membership Revoked
Removed
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Oct 21, 2007
16,363
16
!!!!!
Status
Pharmacist
I agree with the poster above, Tim. I think the question you really need to ask yourself is why I want to go into pharmacy ? Most people transition into pharmacy because they either have pharmacy experience or strong science background(degrees in chemistry,biology or biochemistry) and wish to apply it in health field or both. You have neither seem to have worked in the pharmacy nor do you have a science degree. It is a bit odd when someone randomly decides to make a serious career choice w/out having to explore a career in some way : that's like wanting to become an astrophysicist w/out ever taking any physics.


I also agree that if you work this much it may take your more than the 2 years to do your pre-reqs. It'll probably take you 3-3.5 years to finish everything - some schools now go beyond the basic science courses and require additional classes in upper divisions such as biochemistry, molecular biology or physilogy. I sincerely wish you luck but I think you need to learn a bit more about this career path prior to jumping the gun. It's definately waaaay to early to even start thinking about the PCAT, since you need to complete majority of your pre-reqs before you can even take it.


Also unless you apply to schools with academic forgivness, your old college credits will matter and factor into your GPA. That means you will have to bust some serious butt to bring your GPA from 2.5 into a normal healthy range. I hope you love science because getting good grades in your pre-reqs will be your best if not only bet to raise your GPA.
 
OP
T

tdale4

10+ Year Member
Apr 22, 2008
5
0
Status
Do you like science? I think that is a question you should ask yourself too because honestly I cannot imagine doing some of those pre-reqs. and working 60 hour weeks..I just do not see how it would be possible really. Organic Chemistry I + II...Microbiology...even General Chemistry I +II was no joke. It takes so much discipline to get A's in these kinds of courses and it would be really hard to get the grade if you have so much other stuff going on at the same time. Not to mention it would probably take you forever to get through them with full-time work! Most pharmacy schools have about 60 credit hours of pre-reqs. and a lot of times the coursework cannot be over 5 years old so you will more than likely have to start over. I wish you the best of luck if you chose to pursue pharmacy, but you need to also be realistic with yourself at the same time.
Sorry I did not make that part clear. I will be quitting my job and we will be living on my wife's salary. I will be getting a part time job, preferably as a pharmacy tech. I know it will be a difficult road, but I have to try.
 

UES Girl

Membership Revoked
Removed
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Oct 21, 2007
16,363
16
!!!!!
Status
Pharmacist
Sorry I did not make that part clear. I will be quitting my job and we will be living on my wife's salary. I will be getting a part time job, preferable as a pharmacy tech. I know it will be a difficult road, but I have to try.

Well. in that case good luck, like my sig says your success is directly proportional to the amount of effort you put in. Work hard and you'll make it.:luck:
 

Idesiretosling

10+ Year Member
Oct 20, 2006
835
3
Status
Pharmacy Student
Tim-

Community leadership roles and volunteering always look good on an application but with: needing As in all your classes to boost your GPA, working and your family I can imagine extracurricular/volunteer activities will be tough. I would suggest looking into your children's school/sports activities and see if some volunteering can be done there....spend time with the kids and get some volunteering in. Maybe there are blood drives at their schools you could volunteer at or offer to help tutor. Habitat for humanity is a good one though. If you have time and can land leadership roles or help implement some kind of program at your kids school, those are the things that really stand out.

Like other posters have mentioned, definitely make you this is the career for you, shadow pharmacists in as many settings as you can. You already know that 2.5 GPA is not going to cut it, so work hard and make sure you get all As you can bring that GPA up.

Good luck with the journey...One step at a time and make that step count!
 
OP
T

tdale4

10+ Year Member
Apr 22, 2008
5
0
Status
Thanks for the advice. I will be devoting as much time as needed to get A's in my pre-pharmacy credits. Time will tell how much I time can devote to volunteering.

I know I will need a very high PCAT score to offset a lower GPA. 10 years ago I didn't realize that just skimming by in college would come back to bite me later, But I will not let it stop me from reaching my goal. I'm older now and much more mature, hopefully the pharmacy schools will take that into consideration when I apply.

It's been a while since I was in college what math sequence would you recommend? I was thinking of taking one math course each semester, Algebra, trigonometry, pre-calculus, then Calculus. Will I need Geometry?

I have all my History, Government, and English courses covered from my previous college, so this should allow me to catch up on math during the next 2 years. I'm really looking forward to going back to school, I have always loved science. It will be challenging, but I like a challenge and the reward will be worth it.

Thanks again

Tim
 

BADD281

10+ Year Member
Nov 27, 2007
157
0
Status
Pharmacy Student
Like I said... 10 year old courses probably won't qualify at some schools.. or even most?
 

tharper14

P1.5
10+ Year Member
Jan 19, 2008
448
0
Texas
Status
Pharmacy Student
10 years ago I didn’t realize that just skimming by in college would come back to bite me later, But I will not let it stop me from reaching my goal. I'm older now and much more mature, hopefully the pharmacy schools will take that into consideration when I apply.
Like I said, over 10 yrs old, UT won't count it. You get a clean slate. Take advantage of it.