This week’s blog was written by a special guest—Yelena Harutyunyan, a fourth year pharmacy student at West Coast University. She’s excited to share her thoughts and experiences as a pharmacy school applicant and pharmacy student. Take it away, Yelena!
Hi there! My name is Yelena. I’m a fourth year pharmacy student at West Coast University. In addition to being a pharmacy student, I’m also a wife and mother.
My Educational Background
During my time in both high school and college, I studied very hard to keep my grades up. My best classes were always math, English, and science. This is fitting because, as future pharmacists, it’s important to have strong skills in these specific areas.
In addition to working hard in my classes, I always made an effort to develop genuine relationships with my teachers and professors. These relationships paid off when it came time to apply for pharmacy school because I was able to solicit strong recommendations from my professors.
My Pharmacy School Admissions Process
The pharmacy school admissions process was very interesting to me. Because I’m married and have a child, I knew I didn’t want to move far away for school. So, I made the decision to apply to just one pharmacy school near my home—West Coast University.
Once I selected my desired school, I determined its specific acceptance requirements and worked hard to ensure that I met them. Then, I completed the interview and paperwork portions of the application process. Once my application was submitted, there was nothing left to do but wait. After some time, I finally received my acceptance letter. My hard work paid off!
My pharmacy school application process was a bit nontraditional because I only applied to one pharmacy school. While I wouldn’t recommend this to every prospective pharmacy school student, it worked out well for me.
My Advice for Prospective Pharmacy Students
Applying to pharmacy school can be a tough process. There are a lot of moving parts and it’s important to stay organized. But, in the end, all the hard work is worth it!
The following are a few important pieces of advice for students interested in applying to pharmacy school.
1. Stay cool, calm, and collected during your pharmacy school interviews.
In my opinion, the interview portion of the pharmacy school admissions process is the most important because it’s the moment when an applicant has a chance to showcase their communication skills—skills they’ll make use of throughout the entirety of their careers as pharmacists.
To nail a pharmacy school interview, it’s important that prospective students remain calm and relaxed and answer the questions to the best of their abilities. It’s also important to remain respectful, kind, and professional.
2. Triple check your application requirements to ensure you’ve submitted everything.
The pharmacy school application process can be complicated. So, it’s important for students to take steps to ensure that they’ve completed every required piece of each application. It would be a shame to miss out on a school based on an incomplete application!
One great way to tackle this is by making a checklist of all required documents/information for each school. Then, as a student pulls together each application, they’ll have a “cheat sheet” to reference to ensure that nothing is missing.
3. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
As students are going through the pharmacy school application process, they’ll likely have a few opportunities to ask admissions officials and current students questions. It’s important to take advantage of those opportunities!
Enrolling in pharmacy school is a big, long-term commitment. Prospective students have the right to know what their workload, schedule, extracurriculars, social life, etc. will look like over the next 3-4 years. So, they shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions—even tough ones! The answers to those questions will help students determine if the schools they’re applying will fit their personalities.
4. Make sure your pharmacy school application stands out!
Admissions representatives at pharmacy schools look at multiple applications each and every day. So, it’s important for students to showcase what makes them unique. Here are a few ideas:
- Spotlight leadership experience
- Showcase community service efforts
- Put a unique spin on the basic personal statement
A Final Piece of Career Advice
Thanks so much for reading along! I hope my personal story and my admissions advice can help to make the pharmacy school application process just a little bit easier for prospective students.
Pharmacy is a wonderful career! If students are confident and hard-working, they’ll get far.