Meet Claire! She is a big fan of avocado, and feels that her background in international studies and Spanish in undergrad prepared her to think differently in pharmacy school.
Claire Bugner, Class of 2018, Chapel Hill Campus
Hometown: Kingwood, TX
Prior Education: Bachelor’s degree, Louisiana State University
If you could have an endless supply of any one type of food, what would you choose?
I think I would choose an endless supply of avocado. Avocados are something that I would never get tired of, and that can be used in multiple ways. I like avocado in soup, in salad, by itself, with eggs, you name it! The list could go on…
If you won a lottery ticket for $100 million dollars, what would you do with it?
After ensuring the necessities of family and close friends were taken care of, I would use a large chunk of the money to travel. I traveled during and after college, but there are so many places that I have yet to see (in the US, South America, Asia, Europe, basically all over). I would bring along a travel buddy to help share in the experiences. I would probably space the travel out across a few years, with breaks in between to get back to reality- although I’m sure in a few years I would only scratch the surface.
If you had one extra hour each day, how would you use it?
I don’t think I could designate the extra hour each day for anything in particular; it would have to depend on the specific day. Some days I want more sleep (but most days I make sure to get 7-8 hours), some days I wish I had just one more hour to go to the gym, others it’s that last hour of cramming on the night before the exam. Most days I wouldn’t complain about having an extra hour!
How did you get interested in pharmacy?
I started out college knowing I wanted to go into the medical field, but I wasn’t sure what specific path I wanted to take. During my freshman year I decided on pre-med and took all the basic science courses, although I changed my major to international studies and Spanish. During my junior year I decided that maybe I didn’t want to go to med school, and I began talking to a friend who was interested in pharmacy school. After talking to her and various doctors and pharmacists, I decided pharmacy school was right for me. I enjoy the challenge and problem solving that pharmacy entails, as well as the requirement for continual learning.
What would you change about your undergraduate studies and/or preparing for pharmacy school?
I honestly wouldn’t change a thing. Some people think I’m crazy for graduating with a humanities and social sciences degree and then going to pharmacy school, but I enjoyed it. I enjoyed learning about various cultures and histories in undergrad, but I also took the core science courses. Sometimes in class I feel like some of my classmates already know things from their previous science majors, but I never feel at a disadvantage. Our professors are great at teaching us everything we need to know, and I am glad to have my diverse background.
What experience from undergrad best prepared you for pharmacy school?
I really did enjoy my science classes in undergrad- biochem, genetics, chemistry, etc. But ironically, I think my International Studies courses did a great job preparing me for pharmacy school. They taught me how to synthesize multiple topics and information into a cohesive product, and because they were small and discussion-based classes they helped me form valuable communication and argumentation skills. I use these abilities all the time in pharmacy school, and I’m sure I will continue to use them into my career.
What advice would you give a prospective students interested in pharmacy?
Talk to as many different people as you can to get different perspectives and see if pharmacy is right for you. Each person may have different insight that can help you form your decision. Additionally, pharmacy is a huge field, and there are more opportunities than you can imagine. Have an open mind, and try everything out to figure out what is best for you.
Why did you choose the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy?
I had applied to UNC for undergrad, but ended up staying closer to home at LSU. I have always loved North Carolina, because of the weather (Texas and Louisiana are hot!) and because of UNC’s reputation and beauty. The UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy has a great reputation as well, but I chose the school because of how I felt on Candidate’s Day. I was very impressed with the program and felt like I could find a home here. I also felt like the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy could offer opportunities in my education that other schools simply did not have the resources to offer.
What has been the most challenging part of pharmacy school?
I think one of the most challenging parts of pharmacy school is getting used to the shear workload and learning how to individualize your study techniques. Pharmacy school simply requires more studying than undergrad due to the amount of material we learn, and that is something you will learn very quickly. What makes this a bit difficult is that you are surrounded by bright students who are all capable of handling the work – but each person has their own study style. Some can handle a job, others can be involved in multiple student organizations; you have to go through trial and error to figure out what works best for you.
Have more questions for Claire? Feel free to send her an email: firstname.lastname@example.org