The Ambassador is responsible for leading and coordinating Pre-Pharmacy Day. In this section, I (Michael Au) will provide a comprehensive view of the day’s activities from my own perspective.
Pre-Pharmacy Day is truly a spectacular event. The Pre-Pharmacy Society at UCI board and Ayala School of Biological Sciences co-host it, and they work extremely hard to bring the best possible experience to UCI every single year.
This year, however, is a little more special because it will be the 5th Annual Pre-Pharmacy Day! To celebrate reaching a milestone year, we have plans to make it bigger and better than ever before. If you are dedicated to or even just considering pursuing a Pharm. D. in the future, I promise that this is an event you don’t want to miss. That being said, make sure you register as soon as possible because spots are limited and they will fill up incredibly fast!
But enough with the shameless plug – here’s my personal breakdown of Pre-Pharmacy Day for those of you who have never attended.
The workshops are probably one of the more underrated aspects of Pre-Pharmacy Day. Everyone is drawn to PPD because of the chance to meet representatives from their favorite schools, and rightfully so. But equally as important is the information that the representatives can provide. These representatives are attending Pre-Pharmacy Day for a reason: they’re EXTREMELY knowledgeable about their school, and want the best for their potential students.
Representatives host hour-long workshops that span across the majority of the day. Workshops in the past have covered topics like The PharmCas Application, Taking a Gap Year, and The Admissions Process (from the perspective of the school). My favorite workshop is undoubtedly the School Panel, where representatives sit at a table and answer questions about a number of topics, including (but not limited to): new changes occurring at their school, what they look for in a student, and the uniqueness of their PharmD program. It’s one thing to read about a school’s average GPA’s or PCAT scores online, but it’s another thing entirely to hear in-person what the school’s representative thinks is important in an applicant.
No matter what the topic may be, these workshops always provide wonderful and unique insight on what it takes to be the best possible candidate, which is something we all strive to be.
Pharm. D. Program Tabling Exhibition
What if I told you that by coming to Pre-Pharmacy Day, you could meet and network with more than two dozen representatives from 20 of the best pharmacy schools across the nation? It sounds crazy, and a little too good to be true…
Well, you can. That’s exactly what happens during the two-hour Pharm. D. Program Tabling Exhibition. Each attending pharmacy school has a booth managed by their representative(s). During this time, you are completely free to walk around and visit any booth you want, and ask any questions you may have. Typically, each booth has a flyer that details the intricacies of their particular pharmacy program, so make sure to get one from every school!
My advice would be to visit every booth, talk to every single representative, and inquire about every school. I have a ton of friends who have been completely won over by talking to representatives from schools that they never pictured themselves going to. There’s a great chance that you’ll find yourself in the same situation if you take the time to explore what each and every school has to offer!
Student & Representative Social Hour
Didn’t have time to talk to a representative during the exhibition? Too shy to ask a question during the workshops with everyone there listening? No worries, we’ve got you covered with Social Hour.
Social Hour is exactly what it sounds like! Every year, we set aside one hour for students to mingle with the representatives who come to visit UCI in a more casual setting than the workshops or exhibition booths. This year, Social Hour be at the end of the day, so it’s the perfect chance to unwind, network, and bond with representatives and other students over some refreshments. Pharmacy is a small community, so the more friendships and connections you can form within it, the better. This is also a great time to pick the representative’s brain if you haven’t yet already. As I mentioned earlier, they’re extremely knowledgeable and willing to help you out – you just have to ask.
I had an awesome time last year talking to the representatives. I remember one conversation in particular where we started off talking about the pharmacy profession’s outlook, and then all of a sudden we were talking life. It was a pretty powerful moment, and one of many that I cherish from Pre-Pharmacy Day.
I went into last year’s Pre-Pharmacy Day not knowing if pharmacy was something I wanted to pursue, but I left the event with a newfound passion for pharmacy that has carried me through everything I’ve done since. I sincerely hope that you choose to attend this year’s Pre-Pharmacy Day, and that this event will have the same monumental impact on you that it did on me.
If you still have any questions regarding Pre-Pharmacy Day, please don’t hesitate to ask by contacting us. We will be more than happy to answer them!
Michael Au, PPS at UCI Ambassador 2017-2018