Meet the Ambassador – Bliss Green

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Bliss Green, Class of 2019, Chapel Hill Campus
Hometown: Wilmington, NC
Prior Education: Bachelor’s degree – Biochemistry and Health, NC State University


If you could have any superhero power, what would it be and why?
I would be able to adjust/freeze time (without it affecting my age). I just feel like there are not enough hours in the day! Wouldn’t it be nice to just freeze time so that you could have a couple extra hours to sleep-in or study for an exam approaching? I could pause traffic and go around, fast-forward through uncomfortable situations and rewind and reexperience exciting situations.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Bora Bora. I am in love with tropical islands with clear blue water and white sand.

What three words best describe you?
Friendly, organized and passionate.

When you were younger – what did you want to be when you grew up?
I feel like I changed my mind often. I remember wanting to be a “movie star” and performing skits/dances for my family.


How did you get interested in pharmacy?
Since I was a senior in high school, I knew I wanted to pursue a field in healthcare. I am fascinated by science and am empathetic towards people. I looked into many aspects of healthcare in addition to pharmacy (including medical, PA, nursing, etc.) and found that pharmacy was the best fit for me. My roommate at the time was applying to pharmacy school and helped guide me through the process.

What would you change about your undergraduate studies and/or preparing for pharmacy school?
I cannot think of anything I would change about my undergraduate studies. Biochemistry was a great program at NCSU that required all of the necessary courses to perform well on the PCAT and to provide the baseline knowledge necessary to keep up when entering pharmacy school. Speaking of the PCAT, make sure to start studying for it at least a few months before you are planning to take it!

What experience/class/activity from undergrad best prepared you for pharmacy school?
I think just being involved overall throughout undergrad was important. It is important to challenge yourself so that you can develop time-management skill and test your limits. I made sure to apply for extracurriculars that challenged me (e.g. honors and scholars programs) as well as extracurriculars geared towards my hobbies (e.g. dance teams).

What advice would you give a prospective students interested in pharmacy?
I am happy with my decision to pursue pharmacy. There are so many different career paths available with a PharmD degree. I would advise prospective students to focus on their undergraduate coursework and keep their GPA up while also getting involved on campus and in the community.

What advice would you give a prospective student trying to decide between pharmacy and another health profession?
I would advise them to really research professions/career paths that the degree offers and see where they are best fit and where their personality traits would allow them to excel. More importantly, shadow someone in the field and see what it is like. Ask questions to your peers, professors, advisors, parents, friend’s parents, etc. If available, join student interest clubs on campus and attend informational sessions to learn more about the professions you are interested in.


Why did you choose the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy?
Besides the fact that I am from a family of Tar Heels, UNC has everything I could ask for in a pharmacy school. From the reputation and ranking, redesigned curriculum, and prestigious faculty, UNC contains all of the resources necessary to challenge students and produce the future leaders in pharmacy. The location of the school, being in the triangle area/research capital and right next to UNC hospital, presents numerous opportunities for growth as a student healthcare professional. I believe that UNC produces cutting-edge pharmacists who are capable of adapting to the ever-changing field. The new curriculum teaches students to be better problem solvers and innovators, while also subjecting students to increased hours of patient care and clinical experience. All of these aspects set the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy apart from other pharmacy schools across the nation. I feel honored to be a part of this program!

What’s been one of your favorite experiences at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy so far?
My first immersion experience/rotation this past summer at UNC Hospital has been my favorite experience so far in pharmacy school. It made me realize the importance of everything I am learning and striving to become. I was able to witness the value of a pharmacist in the clinical setting and provide patient-care to real-life patients in need. It was an amazing learning opportunity and really solidified by passion for the profession of pharmacy.


Have more questions for Bliss? Feel free to send her an email: elizabeth_green@unc.edu

Meet the Ambassador – Arwa Omary

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Arwa Omary, Class of 2018, Chapel Hill Campus
Hometown: Raleigh, NC
Prior Education: Bachelor’s degree – Biochemistry, NC State University


If you could have any superhero power, what would it be and why?
This probably is not a true superhero power, but I would love to be able to travel at the speed of light. I would save so much time, not have to worry about running late, and would avoid dealing with traffic during my every day one-hour commute!

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
My travel destinations’ list is very long, but if I had to chose one place it probably would be Turkey.

 


How did you get interested in pharmacy?
During my junior year in high school, my dad had to be hospitalized for AFib. The day he was going to be discharged, a clinical pharmacist walked in and counseled him on the use of Lovenox. She thoroughly explained what the medication was, how to use it, and what to look out for. Observing her counsel my dad really sparked an interest in me for pharmacy. Ever since then, I became passionate about learning how drugs work in our body and being able to communicate that in a patient-friendly manner to patients.

What experience/class/activity from undergrad best prepared you for pharmacy school?
I would say coming into pharmacy school with a major in Biochemistry has definitely been helpful. It made understanding drug mechanisms of action a lot easier. Also, having worked at CVS for almost a year and a half was very beneficial when we started learning about drugs in pharmacy school. Previously being exposed to things like brand/generic names at work made memorizing drug information go a little smoother.

 


What’s been one of your favorite experiences at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy so far?
Both my introductory rotations (community and hospital) have been immensely rewarding. Specifically, during my community rotation last summer, I felt that even though I was still a second year pharmacy student, I was able to use the knowledge I had gained during the first 2 years of school and apply it to provide optimal patient care. Just as an example, I performed a medication review for a 95 year old patient who was on Warfarin. He had just seen his dermatologist and she prescribed Econozole (a topical antifungal). It turns out though that Econozole is contraindicated with Warfarin use because it results in bleeding and major bruising. I called the dermatologist and recommended a switch to topical Nystatin which she agreed with. The patient was very grateful because I was able to save him from unnecessary bruising. So, my point is that you would be surprised at what primary providers do not realize when it comes to medications, and my rotations have certainly reinforced the importance of having a pharmacist on the healthcare team.

 

What makes for a successful pharmacy student at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy?
Definitely having an open mindset and being willing to challenge oneself is key to success at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. Three years ago, I would never have imagined myself being able to balance 2 jobs along with several leadership involvements while being a full time pharmacy student. But this is why having the drive to constantly challenge yourself to go above and beyond what you previously thought was your limit will serve you well in pharmacy school. The opportunities are endless at ESOP and I would definitely encourage students to take advantage of such enriching experiences as long as it doesn’t get to the point where it’s overwhelming.


Have more questions for Arwa? Feel free to send her an email: arwa_omary@unc.edu

Meet the Ambassador – Ricky Kong

Ricky Kong, Class of 2018, Chapel Hill Campus
Hometown: Rocky Mount, NC
Prior Education: Bachelor’s degree – Biology, UNC-Chapel Hill


If you could have any superhero power, what would it be and why?
I would want to fly because then I could save money on gas and bypass all of I-40 traffic.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I would want to go to Hong Kong because I hear the food there is beyond delicious and I am all about food.

What three words best describe you?
Outgoing, Fun, Listener

When you were younger – what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a chef, but owning a restaurant is hard so I decided to go into a field that I could enjoy like pharmacy.


What would you change about your undergraduate studies and/or preparing for pharmacy school?
My uncle is a pharmacist and after interning at his pharmacy in college, I fell in love with the profession.

What would you change about your undergraduate studies and/or preparing for pharmacy school?
I would have taken more opportunity looking into other fields of pharmacy. After pharmacy school starts, there are so many options and paths to take in regards to your future career. It would have just been nice if I had more background knowledge of some of these options because it really can shape what electives you take and what you can get out of rotations.

What experience/class/activity from undergrad best prepared you for pharmacy school?
I think that getting to know my undergraduate professors really shaped how I approached pharmacy school. I remember one professor specifically, Corey Johnson from my anatomy class. He was a great mentor who helped me build my rapport with professors and the advice that he gave me over 2 years was just priceless.

What advice would you give a prospective students interested in pharmacy?
I would tell most prospective students that are interested in applying to pharmacy school to not make their whole undergraduate experience about grades and GPA. Pharmacy has a great deal to offer and there are so many fields suited for different people. Be well balanced is my main message to all prospective students.

What advice would you give a prospective student trying to decide between pharmacy and another health profession?
Follow what you believe is going to make you happy. Look into all of the health fields and see if a certain profession will be more suited to you. I would say not to just pick pharmacy on a whim but to actually do some background research into the field before applying.


Why did you choose the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy?
The faculty are top notch. The facilities are really nice and are being updated as we speak. Also Chapel Hill was my home for 4 years in undergrad and I could not have imagined a better place to go to pharmacy school.

What’s been one of your favorite experiences at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy so far?
I would say that my favorite experience so far has been getting to know my professors and getting their story as to why they chose to be in the field of pharmacy.

What has been the most challenging part of pharmacy school?
Time management becomes a necessity in pharmacy school.

What area of pharmacy is most interesting to you?
Community pharmacy because of the rapport that I can have with patients.

What makes for a successful pharmacy student at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy?
Good time management and involvement is key to being a successful student in pharmacy school.

What’s one thing you would change about the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy?
I wish that I could have had more elective classes than allotted to me during my PY3 year.


Have more questions for Ricky? Feel free to send him an email: rkong@live.unc.edu

Meet the Ambassador – Carolyn Rath

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Carolyn Rath, Class of 2020, Chapel Hill Campus
Hometown: Phoenix, AZ
Prior Education: Bachelor’s degree – Biology, Global Health , Duke University


What three words best describe you?
Enthusiastic, hard-working, and very smiley!

When you were younger – what did you want to be when you grew up?
I used to be very focused on starting my own bed-and-breakfast. I still haven’t ruled it out for a post-pharmacy career retirement project 🙂


What would you change about your undergraduate studies and/or preparing for pharmacy school?
During my time in college, I focused heavily on my coursework and earning good grades. While this diligence helped me to be successful in the classroom, I think that I missed out on opportunities to develop leadership skills, serve my community, and pursue relationships with potential mentors. If I could go back now, I would encourage my undergraduate self to close my textbooks, leave my dorm room, and head out into the world to engage more deeply with activities and people that could help me to grow as a person.

What experience/class/activity from undergrad best prepared you for pharmacy school?
I volunteered in the playroom at the Duke University Children’s Hospital throughout my time in college. While I was not gaining direct pharmacy knowledge, the experiences I had and the people I met reaffirmed my passion for health care and decision to pursue the pharmacy profession. It was a great privilege to have the chance to positively impact pediatric patients and their families – I look forward to striving for this positive impact every day as a pharmacist!

What advice would you give a prospective student trying to decide between pharmacy and another health profession?
What I wish that someone would have told me when I was indecisive about my future path was that it’s okay not to know exactly what you want to do right at this very moment. Choosing between pharmacy and other health professions is a big decision – but don’t let the process consume you! Invest time to explore your options now so that later, you will know you made the right choice for you. Personally, I was hesitant to reach out to health professionals about shadowing opportunities. However, if I hadn’t shadowed several pharmacists at Duke University Hospital and learned about the myriad opportunities in the field, I might not have realized that the pharmacy path was perfect for me!


Why did you choose the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy?
Why did you choose the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy?
When I was choosing between pharmacy programs, I organized my thoughts with a pros and cons list – color-coded and categorized, of course! I compared different schools based on curricula, student involvement, research opportunities, and proximity to strong health care systems. Without fail, the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy ranked at the top of every category! Not only could I attend a school with a unique, innovative, and challenging curriculum, but I could also apply my classroom knowledge to early immersion experiences in the pharmacy field. In addition, I could join a friendly, driven student body that was committed to serving patients in the Carolina community and beyond. I smile now when I think of the effort I put into that color-coded list – the best color for me was clearly Carolina blue!

What area of pharmacy is most interesting to you?
Currently, I am most interested in pediatric or neonatal pharmacy. Through my shadowing experiences, I have had the opportunity to learn about how pharmacists can positively impact pediatric patients and their families as part of the patient care team. To many people, the pediatric or neonatal units at a hospital can be scary places – but to me, these units are filled with hope for helping the smallest patients take big steps towards health and well-being.


Have more questions for Carolyn? Feel free to send her an email: cgr8@email.unc.edu

Candidates’ Day Advice – Ryan Ragan

With interview season underway, current students reflect back on their experiences at our interview day (Candidates’ Day).


Besides UNC, how many other pharmacy school interviews did you attend?
2

How did you prepare for Candidates’ Day (or pharmacy interviews in general)?
Talked to family and friends about pharmacy school to help verbalize my motivation to attend pharmacy school. I also met with my undergraduate professional school counselor and practiced a mock interview before each Candidates’/Interview Day.

What did you like about Candidates’ Day?
I liked the opportunity to interact with a wide variety of members of the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy (UNC ESOP) community from students to deans and everyone in between. I also enjoyed the peak into the flipped-classroom teaching style practiced by the professors in combination with the discussion about the unique curriculum at UNC ESOP.

How was Candidates’ Day different from other pharmacy school interviews you attended?
Candidates’ Day was different in two major ways. First, Candidates’ Day provided an example of the flipped-classroom teaching style of the professors at UNC ESOP. Secondly, UNC Candidates’ Day afforded the opportunity to interact with many more faculty and staff than the other interviews I attended. It seemed to me that the faculty and staff are more involved in the interview process at UNC ESOP than at other institutions.

What part of Candidates’ Day was most surprising/unexpected to you?
The most unexpected part of the day was receiving dedicated face-to-face time with students currently enrolled in the School of Pharmacy program, without the presence of faculty, staff, or administration looming in the background. This allowed for a much more open and candid conversation among the group about more informal topics. The topic of conversation was much less structured than I was expecting to experience during the course of an interview day.

If you could go back and relive Candidates’ Day, what would you do differently (if anything)?
The only thing I would do differently would to stay as healthy as possible in the weeks leading up to the visit because I felt bad for constantly sniffling and coughing throughout the day. The sense that I was being a nuisance to the other interviewees made me a little uncomfortable. In reality, this is largely out of my control since I was flying in from Minnesota where it had been snowing and cold for 2 months before the interview.

What advice would you give prospective students preparing for interviews/Candidates Day?
The best piece of advice I can provide is to relax and be yourself throughout the day. By relaxing, your responses will remain candid and allow you to interact in a meaningful manner with all of the professors, administrators, staff members and students that you meet throughout the day.

Meet the Ambassador – Justin Harrison

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Justin Harrison, Class of 2018, Chapel Hill Campus
Hometown: Chapel Hill, NC
Prior Education: Bachelor’s degree – Chemistry, UNC Wilmington


What three words best describe you?
Funny, Kind, Hard-working

When you were younger – what did you want to be when you grew up?
A scientist of some type. I’ve always really enjoyed science and math growing up.


How did you get interested in pharmacy?
I had an interest in pharmacy while I was studying chemistry as an undergrad. I thought I wanted to have a career in chemistry and really enjoyed the study. Towards the end of my undergrad studies I became more interested in how chemicals can affect the body and I began to pursue a career in pharmacy.

What would you change about your undergraduate studies and/or preparing for pharmacy school?
I wish I could have known I wanted to pursue pharmacy from the beginning of undergrad so I could have spent less time deciding my career. It would have been nice to save up for more years of studies.

What experience/class/activity from undergrad best prepared you for pharmacy school?
All of my chemistry and biochemistry prepared me very well for pharmacy. Anatomy and physiology is also a crucial class to understanding the function of the body and how to alter it with pharmacotherapy.

What advice would you give a prospective students interested in pharmacy?
Try out pharmacy before entering the career. Try to shadow or get a job in the hospital, community, industry and get a feel for how versatile a degree in pharmacy can be.

What advice would you give a prospective student trying to decide between pharmacy and another health profession?
Try them all by shadowing. If you are indecisive the best way to learn if something is a possibility or not for you is to experience it for yourself. Try out everything you are interested in. You are committing a lot of time to receive a degree in any medical profession, so take your time and make sure its the right choice for you.


What’s been one of your favorite experiences at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy so far?
My first rotation was amazing. I had my hospital rotation at Duke Hospital and was exposed to so many areas in the hospital. It’s amazing how much opportunity is out there to impact patient care as a pharmacist.

What has been the most challenging part of pharmacy school?
There is a lot of information. Sometimes the courses can go through peak and troughs as far as work load and every now in then many of the courses have high demands at the same time. This requires either planning for these times in the future or working long, hard hours to complete all your work.

What area of pharmacy is most interesting to you?
I’m most interested in cardiology pharmacy at the moment.

What makes for a successful pharmacy student at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy?
Have a good attitude, show up to class every day (it’s your job in school), prepare for class ahead of time, and study for exams as you learn material (no more cramming for exams).


Have more questions for Justin? Feel free to send him an email: justin_harrison@unc.edu

Meet the Ambassador – Erin Mays

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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: erinmays@email.unc.edu

Meet the Ambassador – Taylor Dennison

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Taylor Dennison, Class of 2019, Chapel Hill Campus
Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio
Prior Education: No bachelor’s degree – 3 years, Clemson University


If you could have any superhero power, what would it be and why?
If I could have any superhero power I would want to be able to fly- cliche but so true. I would love to be able to get places faster and see things from a bird’s eye view!

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I would love to go to Bali or to the Great Barrier Reef.


How did you get interested in pharmacy?
I was talking with my Mom’s co-worker who exposed me to the world of clinical hospital pharmacy. Prior to that I had no idea that pharmacists were even in hospitals let alone rounding with other health care professionals and having a direct impact on patients. I loved that pharmacists could use their knowledge to optimize medications while working with patients directly, to me that was the best of both worlds and initially got me interested in pharmacy.

What would you change about your undergraduate studies and/or preparing for pharmacy school?
Although probably unexpected if I could change my undergraduate studies in order to better prepare for pharmacy school I would take more Spanish classes. I have been fortunate and have had the opportunity to work with many Hispanic populations through several organizations I am a part of at school. If I had a better understanding of the Spanish language I would be able to better understand and serve the patients I work with.


Why did you choose the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy?
I chose the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy because of the incredible administrators, faculty, professors, and other students who are here. Every day I am encouraged by the people I am surrounded by who challenge me and push me to be my best. I was also drawn to ESOP becuase of the changing curriculum which allowed me to go on rotations earlier, more often, and for longer than any other program I had looked at. Finally, the emphasis on international opportunities was something that drew me to ESOP. I have a passion for travel and attending a school that also valued multicultural experiences was important to me.

What area of pharmacy is most interesting to you?
Clinical pharmacy in a hospital setting is what interests me most right now. I am especially interested in oncology pharmacy and the role that pharmacists can have managing the adverse effects of many cancer drugs. However, since I am only just starting my second year I am keeping my mind open to all the diverse options the career of pharmacy has to offer.


Have more questions for Taylor? Feel free to send her an email: tedenni@email.unc.edu

Meet the Ambassador – Amanda Searls

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Amanda Searls, Class of 2020, Chapel Hill Campus
Hometown: Green Brook, NJ
Prior Education: Bachelor’s degree – Pharmaceutical Sciences , University of Michigan


If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
If I could go anywhere in the world I would go to Japan. My grandmother is from Japan and I would love to go and meet some of my relatives!

When you were younger – what did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was younger I wanted to be a chef! I still enjoy cooking and trying out new recipes. I like to use cooking as a stress reliever when I need a study break:)


How did you get interested in pharmacy?
I became interested in pharmacy after my grandfather was diagnosed with dementia. He also battles several other illnesses and balancing his medications was a challenge at first. I soon realized how important medication management is to the treatment process and became fascinated by the field of pharmacy. I began shadowing and talking with pharmacists, and ultimately decided that pharmacy was the right fit for me!

What experience/class/activity from undergrad best prepared you for pharmacy school?
I think the prerequisite science coursework helped prepare me for pharmacy school. These classes forced me to develop good study habits that are crucial for pharmacy school. Student organization leadership positions and research also prepared me well. Both of these experiences improved my communication and management skills. At research, I had lab meetings twice a month where I had to present my data. This gave me the confidence to converse with higher level students and faculty which has transferred to pharmacy school. This also taught me to time manage and balance activities outside of my school work.

What advice would you give a prospective students interested in pharmacy?
I would advise students to talk to as many student pharmacists and pharmacists as they can before applying. I would strongly advise looking for shadowing opportunities by reaching out to those at a local pharmacy school or pharmacy. I was not a pharm tech during undergrad, but I shadowed and talked with pharmacists to learn as much as I could about the opportunities within the field. I would also advise students to look up the prerequisite courses required by different pharmacy schools and make a list of them. Many schools have slightly different requirements and it can get confusing if you are applying to many schools!


Why did you choose the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy?
One major aspect that impressed me was the new curriculum. The PharmD curriculum at UNC is distinct from any other college of pharmacy. The flipped classroom approach is unique in that it facilitates active learning and problem solving. This method of teaching stimulates higher-level thinking and discussion. I also loved the opportunity for early immersion experiences after the first year. This curriculum provides up to seventeen months of patient care experience, which was more than any other program I was considering. The focus on innovation and the encouragement to answer questions without answers are unique aspects to this PharmD program. It is an indication of a program that is trying to make a difference in the world.

What’s been one of your favorite experiences at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy so far?
One of my favorite experiences at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy so far has been my participation in the Recruitment Ambassadors Program. Being able to give back to the school and inspire interest in the profession of pharmacy is very personally and professionally rewarding to me. Also, the group of ambassadors and faculty make this organization fun!

What has been the most challenging part of pharmacy school?
The most challenging part of pharmacy school has been balancing time. School work and student organizations are vitally important and should come first. However, it is important to leave some time for activities outside of school that are important to you.


Have more questions for Amanda? Feel free to send her an email: amanda_searls@unc.edu

Meet the Ambassador – Sabree Burbage

 

Sabree Burbage, Class of 2018, Chapel Hill Campus
Hometown: Seaford, DE
Prior Education: Bachelor’s degree – Pharmaceutical Sciences, North Carolina Central University


If you could have any superhero power, what would it be and why?
I’m not quite sure if this counts, but I’ll go with it anyway. My Superhero power would be the ability to understand, speak and write in any and every language. I would like to be able to travel, but it seems as though language barriers often times will limit travel destinations. Having this power would allow me to communicate with the locals and allow me to blend more seamlessly into the area. In a super hero sense, this power would allow me to be a mediator for nations worldwide. I would be able to bridge the communication gap and help to offer solutions to whatever conflicts may arise.

Of course if this doesn’t count, I’d love to be able to fly!

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I would love to travel throughout Spain. I love traveling to and learning about areas that exude their culture and cultural traditions. Several different destinations within that country have rich history, art and great food. I also have the goal of being fluent in Spanish one day, a long term trip here would definitely help with that.

When you were younger – what did you want to be when you grew up?
The family always jokes that in preschool I said I wanted to be a farmer, so that I could feed the world. Apparently I drew a picture and everything. However, from the earliest that I can actually remember, I wanted to be a wedding/event planner. I was always great at organizing events and working with people. I also enjoyed seeing people in their happiest moments and helping them to achieve their goals.


How did you get interested in pharmacy?
I decided in high school that I wanted to work in health professions. I’ve always wanted to help people, but wasn’t sure in what capacity. However, I knew that I wanted to have direct patient contact on a fairly regular basis. Pharmacy became an interest of mine once I noticed that they are the lasting link between the patient and the health profession. I also viewed them as “translators”. Often times people feel rushed with doctors, or do not understand what they are saying. Pharmacists are able to answer any questions the patient may have and “translate” the medical jargon into words that the patient understands. Not only this, as patients are treating the condition, they are able to return to pharmacist as necessary to answer questions. This profession truly allows you to form a relationship with the patient.

What advice would you give a prospective student trying to decide between pharmacy and another health profession?
Pharmacy is an incredibly diverse field, but it is not the only health profession that exists. If you are undecided, try to learn as much about the professions as you can before making the commitment. This can be done through researching, shadowing and interviewing (doctorate students, residents, professionals). Once you have learned about the field, what qualities are valued in the profession, what it takes to get there, etc., you can then weigh your options to determine which is the best option for you.


Why did you choose the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy?
I decided to attend UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy because I felt that it was the best fit for me. This school had very friendly and knowledgeable professors and students and each person that I encountered had great things to say about it. Also the school offers a large amount of opportunities for students to explore several aspects of pharmacy, get experience in the field and to interact with the community. Because of my interests in public health, the PharmD/MPH dual degree was also a very attractive option. Lastly, one of the major reasons was that this school emphasized the importance of patient centered care and truly identifying and empathizing with the patient; they actually cared about the patient as a person and did not view them as just another medical condition. This goes full circle back to why I wanted to become a pharmacist. If that hadn’t sold me, of course, there is the additional bonus that UNC is the best pharmacy school in the country.

What area of pharmacy is most interesting to you?
My pharmacy interests are still growing and changing. Because I want to interact with patients heavily, that s driving my current interests. With that in mind, right now, I am interested in ambulatory care, patient education, care transitions and MTM. It is easy to give a patient a medicine and tell them to take it. However, patients are people, too. By that I mean that mistakes happen, life happens and sometimes medication regimens can become overwhelming leading medication errors and bad patient outcomes. The areas I listed cater to the patient and help to decrease the risk of these errors, or prevent them from happening.


Have more questions for Sabree? Feel free to send her an email: sabree_burbage@unc.edu