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What to do now? (1st year of Undergraduate ending)

Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by crayons, May 7, 2008.

  1. crayons

    crayons 2+ Year Member

    Aug 13, 2007
    My first year of undergraduate study is coming to a close and I have questions:

    1. Would it be any beneficial to my resume if I volunteered at any health-related positions such as working in a hospital, but not necessarily related to pharmacy? I do not have a pharm tech license and pharmacy internships or volunteer positions are hard to come by.

    2. As my 2nd year of college approaches, what would you suggest me doing during the school year. Or if you're currently a pharmacy student, what have you done throughout your undergraduate years? There are many options in college; however, I'm not sure what to pursue (sports, pharm clubs, interest clubs, jobs, community service, etc).

    3. And finally.. if I cannot find any pharmacy volunteer positions, would it be a smart idea to invest time volunteering at animal shelters this summer and putting it on my resume? I really enjoy working with animals, but I wasn't sure if I should go for it or spend more the time doing something more productive.
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  3. aboveliquidice

    aboveliquidice No sacrifice - No victory Pharmacist Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Apr 23, 2006
    San Antonio, TX
    Search - and you will find your answers...

    Common sense seems to be so underrated these days - Do you think being involved in community service will help your application??? Hmmm... What about good grades, are those a good idea?

    Yes - Do things that will make you look good on paper. Get involved, take the most difficult course load that you can complete with excellent grades - and don't forget to work on the things that will not show up on paper (they are important too).

  4. crayons

    crayons 2+ Year Member

    Aug 13, 2007
    Well, of course good grades and community service are definitely necessities, but I was reaching out for suggestions that other people have approached.

    In other words, I wanted to hear examples and their own experiences. And whether or not they tried a different approach towards applying and got in.
  5. AggiePharmer

    AggiePharmer Pharmatoxicogenomicist 2+ Year Member

    Mar 1, 2008
    San Diego
    Look for something to do that will get you involved with a professor. I found that taking an upper-grad course with concurrent research project over the summer paid massive dividends for helping me find experiences my junior and senior years, and a slammin' eLOR down the road for Pharm school.

  6. fenixtnlfan

    fenixtnlfan P2 Wildcat Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Jul 21, 2007
    Tucson, AZ
    You might want to get your foot in the door by volunteering at a hospital that has a pharmacy even if they don't give you one of those positions right away. If you ask to be transferred when a spot opens up you are more likely to get in if you are already a volunteer.

    It's always a good idea to get experience in the field you want to get into, but you can also do other things you enjoy like volunteering with animals.
  7. jewel2

    jewel2 5+ Year Member

    Apr 13, 2008
    you can still volunteer at a retail store or hospital without any license.
    my 1st year is near the end too and my friend got her job at the hospital where she will work over the summer. although you might not be doing work related to pharmacy, you can learn a lot of things about what pharmacists do at hospital, and befriend people there (maybe it will help you get a real job there after graduation).
  8. laimyours

    laimyours like my hat? 7+ Year Member

    Dec 1, 2006
    New York, NY
    If you can't find a pharmacy position get involved else where. Join a club on campus and run for an office. That looks good for showing leadership! Did you try volunteering at the hospitals? Nursing homes? Even if there isn't a pharmacy position try to volunteer there. They need to run background checks and give TB tests. Then you're ready when and if a pharmacy position becomes available.
  9. RxWildcat

    RxWildcat Julius Randle BEASTMODE! Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

    Mar 25, 2008
    Any healthcare related experience is a plus. You could also shadow pharmacist in different areas.
  10. mike36

    mike36 7+ Year Member

    Feb 21, 2007
    Austin, TX
    You can work work as a lab assistant in a hospital. You only need a HS diploma. You would probably be accessioning samples, spinning down blood, etc. You could also work as a phlebotomist. It is health care related and not many pre-pharms take that route. It might make you stand out a little.

    You will have to learn lab values in pharmacy school anyway. Asking the lab techs questions and learning as much as you can as a lab assistant could be beneficial.

    Others may disagree with me, but as a lab tech I have to try to promote it as best I can. You would probably make around 10$/hr and could maybe transfer to pharmacy if a spot opens up.
  11. stylerprodigy

    stylerprodigy Gator Pharmacy Student 5+ Year Member

    Mar 9, 2006
    In addition to maintaining a high GPA you can do anything you feel like you will enjoy. Join clubs at your school that interests you and obtain a leadership position to show leadership and dedication. Find a way to gain exposure to the profession. Find a professor to do research with. These are some ideas but do what you enjoy doing.

    One thing I did that made me stand out was taking part in an international medical outreach program with a trip to Honduras being part of a medical brigade. This was done through Pre-med AMSA at my school at the time. After my trip to Honduras I became a co-founder and first president of an organization call International Medical Outreach at my school. That was one thing that probably set me apart from other applicants. Furthermore, the trip solidified my goals of becoming a healthcare professional and allowed me to experience medicine that is not practiced in the US but in underdeveloped countries. This experience also gave me something to write about in my personal statement and supplemental application. I also did the usual volunteering in the hospital pharmacy and found a professor that was working on neural stem cell research to work for during undergrad.

    Again, do what interests you and something that will allow you to gain exposure to the pharmacy profession and/or science, not the usual in-class lecture and lab. You mentioned you love animals and would love to work/volunteer in the animal shelter. By all means, do it. You might be interested in veterinary pharmacy in the future. I understand what you mean in the original post by wanting to distinguish yourself with other applicants so hopefully the experience I shared above will give you an idea of what to do. Remember will also you want a good anecdote to include in your personal statement. Good luck to you!

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