The Ambassador is responsible for leading and coordinating Pre-Pharmacy Day. In this section, I, Christie Lee, will provide an all-embracing look at the day’s activities from my viewpoint.
Pre-Pharmacy Day is most definitely an eye-opening event. The Pre-Pharmacy Society at UCI board and School of Biological Sciences co-host it in order to create amazing and unique opportunities for pre-pharmacy students.
Pre-Pharmacy Day is dedicated to students who are both committed to pursuing a Pharm. D., as well as those who are interested and would like to learn more about the career of pharmacy. Due to the wide range of prospective attendees, there are limited spots that fill up quickly, so it is highly recommended that you register as soon as possible!
Without further ado, here is my personal breakdown of Pre-Pharmacy Day for those of you who have not attended before.
Every single aspect of the day is dedicated to educate our attendees on how to become better pharmacy school applicants, as well as to expose them to a wide variety of Pharm. D. programs available. Often times, people tend to overlook the workshop portion of the day; however, I believe that this is the most prime opportunity to truly learn more about a school’s program and to receive inside tips on the application process. All of the representatives we invite are experts on their school and offer a plethora of knowledge when it comes to applying in general.
With that being said, we invite representatives to host 25-minute long workshops that cover topics related to either the career of pharmacy itself or applying to pharmacy school. Previous workshops that have been presented include The PharmCAS Application, Taking a Gap Year, The Future of Pharmacy, and Creating Your Personal Statement. My personal favorite workshop was the Effectively Answering Interview Questions workshop because it gave me further insight as to what the interviewer is looking for during a pharmacy school interview. Not only that, but the advice given is one that is applicable for both pharmacy school, as well as any other interview you may encounter in the future.
Another interesting portion of our workshops includes our panels. This year we will have two panels: The Pre-Pharmacy Society (PPS) at UCI Alumni Panel and the Dean and Schools’ Representatives Panel. The PPS at UCI Alumni Panel is comprised of current pharmacy school students who graduated from UC Irvine and were involved in PPS during their undergraduate career. It is an opportunity for attendees to hear what the transition to pharmacy school is like, as well as to receive valuable advice from students who were once in their shoes. The Dean and Schools’ Representative Panel is where representatives sit at a table and answer a variety of questions regarding their respective programs, unique aspects of their schools, and what they look for in an applicant.
All of our workshops are geared to teach our attendees the importance of informing themselves about pharmacy school programs. A lot of us tend to place a strong emphasis on GPA and school rank, but it is also essential to consider the unique opportunities each school has to offer. Regardless of the topic, our workshops offer our attendees the chance to hear in-person from a representative ways to become a strong applicant, and to find new ways to apply it to their own selves.
Student & Representative Lunch Social
Oftentimes our nerves get the best of us and prevent us from asking a question during the workshops. If you still have a question that you’re dying to ask a representative or if you just want to network, the Student and Representatives Lunch Social is the perfect opportunity for you!
The Lunch Social is a dedicated time for students and representatives to eat their lunch while casually mingling amongst one another. Once again, the Lunch Social will be taking place during the middle of the day before the Tabling Exhibit. It is an amazing chance to network with current pharmacy school students and representatives and to establish genuine connections that will benefit you in various ways. A common saying is that pharmacy is a small world, so it is extremely essential to begin networking and conversing with the community that you may eventually become a part of one day. You’ll also be surprised to see how a conversation that started off as asking a couple of questions about a school can quickly transition to various different personal interests.
Our Lunch Social is also when we hold our Equal Opportunity Drawing! Many schools donate various desirable items that they feel well represents their school. This is always a fun time to see whether luck will play in your favor and win you a prize from your dream school.
The Lunch Social for me was one that really taught me how to not be afraid to ask questions. It’s so pleasant to see how caring and genuine all of the representatives are, because at the end of the day they just want to help you! You can gain so much information and knowledge just by simply asking questions.
Pharm. D. Program Tabling Exhibit
Imagine the chance to meet and speak to dozens of representatives from over 20 of the top pharmacy schools in the nation on a single day! This is exactly the kind of rare opportunity the Pharm. D. Program Tabling Exhibit creates for our attendees.
During our exhibit, each attending school hosts a booth where their representative(s) can manage it and answer any questions our attendees may have. Attendees have this time to freely explore the Exhibit Hall and speak to any representative they are interested in. The majority of the time, schools will bring in flyers that further explain the details of their program as well as requirements, so be sure to pick one up from each table!
The best advice I can give you is to keep an open mind and to make sure to visit and speak to every single attending school! There are so many amazing and well-established pharmacy school programs throughout the nation that we often times fail to recognize. Rather than only paying a visit to the few schools you’re already familiar with, try to branch out and speak to new schools! You never know, you may find an unexpected program that perfectly suits you!
I can genuinely say that Pre-Pharmacy Day truly changed my perspective on the career of pharmacy. I attended the event during my first year of college without any prior knowledge of pharmacy schools or the career itself, but I was curious to learn more. I never expected to leave the event with so much newfound knowledge and valuable insight that would eventually influence my decision to pursue a Pharm. D. as my career aspiration. It is because of this event that I have found myself dedicating so much time and energy into my personal career goals, and it helped me create a constant desire to learn how to continue to improve myself. I was able to establish a new mature sense of professionalism and learned how to network. The entire experience itself made me become more confident, not only with my capabilities but also as an individual.
I hope that every one of you find it in your best interest to attend Pre-Pharmacy Day. My goal as Ambassador is to ensure that all of our attendees can learn more about their pharmacy interests and to leave the event feeling inspired just like how I did. At the end of the day, this event is created to educate YOU, the attendee, to learn more about pharmacy and to help you achieve your career goals.
If you ever have any questions regarding Pre-Pharmacy Day, please do not be afraid to ask us! We would be more than happy to help and answer any questions you may have.
Christie Lee | Pre-Pharmacy Society at UCI Ambassador | 2019-2020