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What do I include in my essays/personal statement?

Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by Joleybear, Nov 25, 2018.

  1. Joleybear

    Classifieds Approved 2+ Year Member

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    I am finishing up my PharmCAS a bit later than I wanted... I feel like no matter what I do my personal statement might sound like I am making excuses, but they also ask about certain life circumstances and hurtles that may have led to you having less experience or a lower gpa, etc...

    I am a student currently taking 17 credit hours and I am a mom of 3 kids. Two of my kids have autism and are predominantly non-verbal. I also have chronic illness and OCD/anxiety disorder. What do I leave in? What do I leave out? I don't want to ruin my chances by being too honest about any issues I have had or sounding like I am whining. My GPA is lower (3.2 or 3.3 or something like that) due to a past abusive relationship where I ended up leaving the relationship but failed a semester. My last few semesters were 1. A, A, A, C 2. B, B, B, B then an A in Organic Chemistry I this past summer and this one is straight As (Organic Chemistry II Lab and Lecture, Anthropology, Calculus and Physical Science). The truth is that with school being unpaid I could not afford to have unpaid experience and while taking 17 credit hours, some being in person, I have been unable to work. I will be able to work and get experience come January since I won't have any face-to-face courses at all. Do you think it is okay to explain this part of my situation? That having no car and children with special needs plus going to school in person has left me little time to gain experience in the field but I have connections that should allow me to start as a tech in January... thank you for any advice.
     
  2. Pharm_K1015

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    Hi there! I would advise you to write your personal statement based on supporting reasons why you should be accepted to so and so's pharmacy program. What makes you better than other candidates? What are the reasons that make pharmacy your passion? You can talk about the problems you have faced in life under the "special life circumstances" section in PharmCAS. Some schools that I applied to had supplementals and separate questions under "program material" where you had to explain why you got a bad grade, bad PCAT score, etc. These are the sections where I talked about personal experiences.
    Also, in one of my interviews, they literally asked us the question, "give me an example of a tough situation in life and how you overcame it". Basically, you'll have many opportunities to talk about your personal life, hurdles, etc. but you should really focus your personal statement on YOU. Your personal statement is a chance to make yourself look good, so talk about everything positive about you and especially talk about great academics/experiences.
    Hope this helps! :)
     
  3. BC_89

    Moderator Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 2+ Year Member

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    For every set back you feel you have, include 1-2 positive facts that support your ability to contribute to the school (In other words, ability to graduate and thus paying your fees to the program).

    Example: Although you recieved academic probation due to special needs children and an abusive relationship, you assessed the situation and delegated your study-life balance in such a way that you excelled in your upper level science courses. This academic standpoint taught you diligence and perseverance when multi-tasking.

    Supplemental Apps more than likely will ask more in depth of academic set-backs. Present it as long as you can provide evidence of academic success and experience so you don’t convince admin you’ll fail out of the program.
     
    Joleybear likes this.
  4. Joleybear

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    Yes they are asking that. Whoops. I have five essays to write for the applications (two schools) and they want to know what special circumstances may have impacted me and I was not sure if I should include ALL of it. Thats more what I meant. Like I also worked 60 hrs a week and was in school at the same time one semester when I got Bs and a C. This was on top of being 23 with two infants, one having autism and just out of an abusive marriage. Sorry for the confusion! I meant in response to that question about circumstances. and thank you for clarifying that about the personal statement too!!! That still helps :)
     
  5. Joleybear

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    Well, after I failed during the semester after my break-up, I improved the next semester (I had FFDC and retook the same courses for BBBC). When I got the new grades I was also working 60 hrs per week and taking care of two infants. It was also all online coursework so I did this while caring for children. So I am thinking its OK to mention that when they ask about special circumstances? I just dont want to sound like Im whining. Thank you for the examples!
     
  6. smalltownfarm

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    Tell them you have no problem taking on 200k in loans theyll accept you
     
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