Meet Justin! He got interested in pharmacy through his undergrad chemistry classes, believes finding balance in pharmacy school can be challenging, and loves cookie dough!
Justin Harrison, Class of 2018, Chapel Hill Campus
Hometown: Apex, NC
Prior Education: Bachelor’s degree, UNC Wilmington
If they made a movie of your life, which actor would you cast to play you?
Will Farrell- I love humor
If you could have an endless supply of any one type of food, what would you choose?
Cookie dough- not even the cookies.
If you won a lottery ticket for $100 million dollars, what would you do with it?
Finish pharmacy school. Pay off debts. Buy each one of my immediate family members and best friends a house. Move to somewhere in the Caribbean and open a pharmacy there.
If you had one extra hour each day, how would you use it?
To play soccer. I really miss being able to play this sport and wish I had time to play more often during the school year.
How did you get interested in pharmacy?
I did an undergrad degree in chemistry and was very interested in how molecules can affect everything. Beforehand I saw medication as just a drug, not molecule(s) that may alter something to correct. I have always had an interest in the medical fields, but understanding chemistry better really lead me to be most interested in pharmacy.
What would you change about your undergraduate studies and/or preparing for pharmacy school?
I would have prepared to enter pharmacy school as a junior instead of completing an undergrad degree, taking one year off and then entering pharmacy school.
What experience from undergrad best prepared you for pharmacy school?
I did an undergraduate honors research focusing on discovery of an amino acid sequence to lyse bacteria. I thought it was the coolest thing being able to be on a leading front in bactericidals and fell in love with pharmacy even more ever since beginning this project.
What advice would you give a prospective students interested in pharmacy?
Find your passion early. There’s nothing wrong with taking your time, but if you know early on you are interested in helping people early on in your pharmacy career you can be there much more sooner. Also, if you are unsure take your time. There’s nothing wrong with taking a longer time with deciding your future career. Shadow A LOT, work in a pharmacy, or spend time with a current pharmacy student to understand what its like to become and be a pharmacist.
Why did you choose the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy?
It’s one of the top schools of pharmacy in the country and world. I wasn’t happy going to other schools and I really wanted to go to UNC for pharmacy school. It is the best education and by far the best value for a pharmacy education.
What’s been one of your favorite experiences at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy so far?
My favorite experience is getting to be in a entirely different group of people who I spend the next 4 years with. It’s strange starting over again with your friend groups, but its so cool to be in class with so many intelligent and friendly people. Its great to show up and take classes with people you enjoy seeing every day.
What has been the most challenging part of pharmacy school?
Work-Social-School life. Pharmacy school takes a lot of energy, effort, and dedication. It is a lot more demanding than undergrad and takes adjustment to understand the level at which UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy wants you to perform. You will be competing with the top of the top. Your classmates are brilliant and to compete with them you need to give full effort too. This means consistently studying and preparing for the week ahead of you. I was not used to this coming into pharmacy school.
What area of pharmacy is most interesting to you?
I think hospital has the most interesting scenarios for pharmacy. I’m still open though.
What makes for a successful pharmacy student at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy?
You need to maintain a great balance of school, organizations, clubs, extracurriculars, jobs, and social life. Balance all those and you will be an excellent pharmacy student.
Have more questions for Justin? Feel free to send him an email: firstname.lastname@example.org