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"What can you contribute to the xxxxxx school of pharmacy. Why should we invite you?"

Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by ethyl, Nov 22, 2005.

  1. ethyl

    ethyl Go suck on a Zoloft.
    Pharmacist 10+ Year Member

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    Worst interview question evaaar. Can anyone help me prepare for this one? I'm afraid I'll be a deer in headlights after questions like this and many others.... how can I answer it without stating something stupidly obvious or cheesy?

    I was thinking about going into how well I tend to lead group studies, or provide an active political side for pharmacy. ughhh


    Feel free to add any other questions that might stump me. :oops: :scared:
     
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  3. starrfishes

    starrfishes Member
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    Oh, another good pharmacy interview question I hate is, why not become a doctor or a nurse? Why pursue pharmacy school and not medical school??
     
  4. Pharmwannab

    Pharmwannab Senior Member
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    My advisor told me to watch out for that one. I seriously have no good answer for it though. Every answer I can think of could be applied to becoming a doctor, nurse, etc. Uh, because I want to be a second check to make sure the doctor won't kill the patient with what he prescribed? Heh. It's basically asking the same thing as "why do you want to go into pharmacy?" without even mentioning those other professions.
     
  5. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd
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    I hate the "what can you contribute?" question.

    The medicine one was easy for me. I have never been interested or considered medicine. They may as well have been asking me why I didn't want to be a carpenter. It's just not something I see fitting me.
     
  6. usi

    usi
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    You guys! This asks what can you CONTRIBUTE. Not what do you know about the school.
    Think about it this way.
    A great student body makes for a great school. The students make the schools. Just like the employees make the workplace great or awful.

    Put another way: What is special about yourself that will make this school a better place to attend for everyone.

    Think about how you impacted on the student body of your present school!

    That's my opinion and I am sticking to it! :)
     
  7. rxlynn

    rxlynn Senior Member
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    Well, this might not be helpful for you, but I am significantly older than the average applicant, so I pointed out how I had significant work experience (in and out of pharmacy) and what I could contribute from those experiences.
     
  8. starrfishes

    starrfishes Member
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    I think you explained it much better than I did, as to what the question means! It's still somewhat hard to come up with a good answer without sounding cheesy, though.
     
  9. ethyl

    ethyl Go suck on a Zoloft.
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    crap this hard... :oops: I'm typing out all my possible replies and I'm stuck at "I..."

    Can anyone help me articulate my answer?

    Quick background of myself: Hobbies include politics (debating) and day trading, therefore I'm very in tuned with business. Open to almost all areas of pharmacy, especially pharmacogenomics, pharmaceutical sales and nutritional support.

    Should I suggest I might further the school's research in 'whatever' their big news is recently? The big downside is that I have no experience in research... however my degree is in Molecular and Microbiology.
     
  10. trinnieoh

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    Okay, what I think may be an acceptable answer is that, show them how you've stuck to a goal and succeeded. And that, if you get into P-school, that you'll make it though and become a valuable member to your community. That its like an investment and you'll um, mature. lol. Sorry, there are better words, I'm just tired.
     
  11. ndearwater

    ndearwater SDN Donor
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    I like calling it P-school. That's funny. :laugh:

    So ethyl, you mentioned pharmaceutical sales. That seems to be a controversial career path for pharmacists because I guess some people view the drug companies as big, evil corporations who don't care about the patient's well-being but rather what's lining their pockets. I'm not agreeing with that but I'm just wondering if you should scratch that off your list of top 3 pharmacy careers to discuss.

    You can contribute a lot of great things to a school's program! Look at the organizations they offer, discuss becoming involved in APhA-ASP. I have heard something about a particular board of pharmacy students within that organization who discuss drug law and policy. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but it's something like that.

    Just because you don't have research experience doesn't mean you don't have enthusiasm to participate and learn more in that field. Get creative and think of things you'd like to contribute once you're a student. And don't forget to throw in things like being a good team leader (as well as listener) and all that good stuff.
     
  12. ethyl

    ethyl Go suck on a Zoloft.
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    Thanks for the tips! I guess you're right about the whole pharm rep stigma. :(
    I always call it "pharm school" for some reason. Sometimes I don't even realize I say it... like when telling a friend "I'm applying to pharm school next month." I get some weird looks. :oops:
     
  13. Fatpharm

    Fatpharm Member
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    If they ask why not medicine? Well isn't Pharmacy medicine? If they ask why not a doctor or nurse, you can say pharmacy is a similar health career that helps patients. If you were to go to medical school, you would have to choose what field or specialty of medicine that you would want to persue. Pharmacy is the field that you have chosen. Don't go into some SOB story saying you bombed the MCAT or medical school is too competitive to get into. Describe what appeals to you about pharmacy that the other professions cannot offer!

    As for why should we choose you, this is not a time to be modest. You need to sell yourself on what you have accomplished. What makes you unique? Think of creative responses to get remembered, because I guarantee about 90% of all pharmacy candidates say the same thing. Brainstorm with your resume and think of any special accomplishments or job experience related to pharmacy.
     
  14. usi

    usi
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    OK. I worked in pharmaceutical and biotech, in the research side. I met many sales reps in the cafeteria. I am thankful they are out there, because they ultimately made the company the money they need to keep my position as a research chemist secure. Research is very risky, and expensive, so somebody has to go out there and make the money...
    I have a lot of respect for them. Besides, they are so much more friendly and stylish than us lab rats...
    :D
     

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