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Pre-Pharmacy Society. To Contact Us: Jennifer Nguyen. Overview Went to MTSAC, transferred to Cal Poly Major: Biotechnology Work ~4 years as a tech Volunteered ~4 hours a week Intern Clubs

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to contact us prepharm cpp@gmail com http www csupomona edu prepharmsociety

Pre-Pharmacy Society

To Contact Us:

jennifer nguyen
Jennifer Nguyen


  • Went to MTSAC, transferred to Cal Poly
    • Major: Biotechnology
    • Work ~4 years as a tech
    • Volunteered ~4 hours a week
    • Intern
    • Clubs
  • Began application in June, submitted late September


  • University of the Pacific
  • Why?
    • Established many “firsts”

eg. 1st chartered University in California

    • Active in the community
    • Caring and diverse faculty
    • Changes in their curriculum flexible
    • Learn-by-doing philosophy, just like Cal Poly!
    • 3 Year Program

(but don’t have this as your only reason when you interview)

  • Personal Statement
  • Max 4500 characters
  • Why you selected pharmacy as a career
  • How the Doctor of Pharmacy degree relates to your immediate and long-term professional goals
  • Describe how your personal, educational, and professional background will help you achieve your goals.
  • The personal essay is an important part of your application for admission and provides you with an opportunity for you to clearly and effectively express your ideas.
supplemental applications

School asks more specific questions

  • Please explain briefly why you wish to attend ______
  • In your own opinion, describe the concept of professionalism.
  • Have you considered the ramifications of relocating and/or living in Hilo, HI for the duration of your pharmacy academic career? If so, does the possibility of living in Hawai’i appeal to you? If so, why? Do you have any concerns? If so, what are they?
  • Read all directions on PharmCAS
  • Keep track of deadlines
  • Have reasons why you want to go to that school
  • Have someone read over your personal statements

(English professor, Dr. Chan, friends, etc)

  • Keep an open mind. There may be some schools that do not use PharmCAS
  • Keep up-to-date on current issues

Dave Harriman

Academic History:

. Arcadia High School Class of 2007

. 2 years Pasadena City College, 2 years CSU Pomona

. B.S. Microbiology Spring 2011

GPA: 3.69 Cumulative, 3.49 Science

PCAT: 60 (1st attempt), 95 (2nd attempt)

Experience: 1 year volunteering at a small independent pharmacy

Letters of Reference: Anatomy/Physiology Prof, Pharmacist I volunteered for.


Dave Harriman

Strengths: Strong Personal Statement, High PCAT score, academic performance

Weaknesses: Hardly any community service, could use more experience, no research, did not practice for interviews (could have sold myself more)


Dave Harriman

Applied: 10 schools

Interviews granted: 10

Interviews attended:

Nova (accepted), UOP (waitlisted), & UCSD (rejected)

School of choice: Nova Southeastern University

Why: Location (weather, new place for growth/development), Reputation, Tuition, New labs/equipment/classrooms


My Advice

. PCAT Tips – See handout in member folder for my personal guide to attaining a high PCAT score.

. Closed File vs Open File Interview tips

. Time Management

- Will go over my personal timeline to help gain a perspective on the application process and how you should plan.


Closed File vs Open File Interviews

Closed File = All they have is your resume at the most. Common w/ most California schools. Usually the interview is weighed more heavily w/ this style of interviewing.

Open File = The interviewers read through your interview prior to interviewing you. Usually the interview is not weighed as heavily.

. Know what questions to expect and be prepared for the style of the interview. Use SDN interview feedback.


Time Management

. Be prepared.

. E-Submit PharmCAS Application before Fall Quarter starts! This is to give you time to work on the supplemental applications and perhaps time to study for the PCAT if you still need to take it.

. It is ok to submit PCAT later. For most schools, up until the January PCAT will be considered.


Natasha Ngo

  • Academic History:
  • Walnut High School Class of 2007
  • B.S. Biology Summer 2011
  • GPA: 3.77 Cumulative, 3.69 Science
  • Experience: 1.5 year at independent community pharmacy
  • Letters of Reference: Dr. Chan, Dr. Alas, and Dr. Ha

Natasha Ngo

Applied: 4 Schools - UOP, USC, UCSF, & WesternU

Interviews granted: 4

Accepted: UOP, WesternU

Pending: USC

Where am I at now? WesternU

What do I like about WesternU? Most personal experience. Interacted with their students/faculty. Block system. Upcoming, soon to be established among fly-by-night schools. Able to serve immediate community.

What do I like about USC? Incredibly established school. Founded PharmD program. Amazing networking opportunities. Outstanding and nationally recognized community outreach programs. Interpersonal and communication skills to suffice beyond pharmacy school.


Natasha Ngo

  • Experience
  • Queen of the Valley, Clinical Care Extender MedOnc, E.R.
  • BIO 441, Team Leader
  • WesternU PHCL Health Fairs
  • Organized Pharmacy Presentations
  • Guest Lectured @ GATE Program
  • Lab Bench Research Dr. Alas – Chk2 on DNA DS-Break Repair
  • Pre-Pharmacy Society, President
  • Other: CPP & other Dance programs, Established
    • online business

Natasha Ngo

  • Strengths
  • Well-rounded applicant
  • Strong LORs
  • Myriad of leadership experience
  • Know myself very well
  • Weakness:
  • Organization

Interviews – Suggested Preparations

  • Student Doctor Network Interview Feedback
  • Connect with current students or those who have previously interviewed
  • Mock Interviews Write Responses Note: don’t sound rehearsed!
  • Essay Practice
  • Misc: Professional attire (suit, dress shoes,…) portfolio

Interviews - FAQs

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Groundwork: background, family, strong qualities,
  • where I see myself in the future…
  • Why Pharmacy? Why not Medicine, etc.?Make personal connections, use experience to validate statements
  • Why this program?
    • Research school, connect with students, etc.
  • Situational or Critical Thinking
  • Do you have any questions for me?

Interviews - FAQs

  • Also on the table:
    • What is an issue in pharmacy today?
    • Do you have any leadership experience?
    • What do you know about the health care reform?
    • What does the future of pharmacy look like?
    • Anything of interest from your application
  • Be confident. Sell yourself!
  • Give examples!!
  • Build a rapport
    • Business cards, thank you letters