Erin Mays, Class of 2020, Chapel Hill Campus
Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Prior Education: Bachelor’s degree – Biology, Centre College
If you could have any superhero power, what would it be and why?
The ability to make delicious, well-balanced full meals just with the snap of a finger. I love meal planning, coming up with recipes, and even grocery shopping. But, when it comes time to the actual cooking part, I don’t want any part of a process that takes longer than 15 minutes. My Pinterest is full of recipes I want to try, but I hate preparing meals! Actually putting some of those to use would be great!
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I would love to go to South Africa. I have heard great things about the landscape, the city of Cape Town, the food, and the culture. I have traveled all over Europe but I think South Africa would be unlike anywhere I have been before!
What three words best describe you?
Determined, personable, confident
When you were younger – what did you want to be when you grew up?
I always wanted to be a teacher or an author. Who knows- perhaps one or both of those may still come true one day!
What experience/class/activity from undergrad best prepared you for pharmacy school?
On a whim during my sophomore year of undergrad, I applied to be a pharmacy technician at CVS. I had no experience and was relatively young to work in a pharmacy. A pharmacist happened to see my application and took a chance on me! It was terrifying to start a job where I had no experience, but by not being afraid to constantly ask questions and working hard, I became very confident as a pharmacy technician and knew pharmacy was the career for me.
What advice would you give a prospective students interested in pharmacy?
Don’t be afraid to get some experience in the field! This will not only benefit you by giving you a leg up in your first year of pharmacy school (I still remember certain things about medications by working in CVS), but also will confirm to you that pharmacy is something you want to do. Whether it is working as a technician or shadowing a pharmacist, the more experience the better. Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions!
Why did you choose the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy?
This question is very important to me, because I come from a state that also has its own high-ranked state university pharmacy program. However, after interviewing at each school, there was no doubt in my mind that UNC was the best place for me. First, UNC is clearly leading the way in pharmacy education, as shown by its recent #1 ranking. Its new curriculum emphasizes innovative classroom learning techniques, like the flipped classroom method. My favorite part of the curriculum so far is that every class includes at least one case- where we apply what we have just learned to a real life patient scenario. This not only shows us how the information we have learned can apply to our careers in real life, but also helps us learn the material better by applying it to real life scenarios early on. Other schools, like the one from my home state, are making an effort to copy this curriculum, so clearly it is working to produce the best pharmacists. Also, UNC does not wait until the fourth year to get students out working in real rotations. The curriculum arranges rotations for students beginning at the end of our first year, so we will be even more prepared when we graduate. Finally, UNC as a whole has been incredible so far. You can just feel the excitement for learning all over campus- I’m serious. Plus, the school works hard to make the in-state tuition process easy for out-of-state students like me!
What’s been one of your favorite experiences at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy so far?
One of my favorite experiences so far has been joining Phi Delta Chi, one of the professional pharmacy fraternities on campus. Before attending ESOP, I assumed professional fraternities were just like clubs, but it is much more than that. It is a true brotherhood, and allows for numerous networking opportunities. It is a great way to develop close relationships with students in other classes. The brothers of Phi Delta Chi also hold themselves to a level of excellence here at ESOP and also nationally. Being surrounded by a network of such successful people only inspires me to work even harder.
What makes for a successful pharmacy student at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy?
Using your classmates! What is really nice about PY1 year is that your entire class takes all the same classes, and everyone has the same schedule. During undergrad, I never studied with other people, as most of my friends were in other majors. However, group studying is truly one of the most useful study techniques, and it works! I feel like I know the material so much more and will remember it for longer after talking it through with a study group before tests.
Have more questions for Erin? Feel free to send her an email: firstname.lastname@example.org