Candidates’ Day Advice: Akil Sidi

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?
None – I only interviewed at UNC

How did you prepare for Candidates’ Day (or pharmacy interviews in general)?
I talked to current UNC pharmacy students to get a feel for what the interview would be like and what sort of questions to expect. I went through some general questions that I thought would be asked and practiced the responses I would give. I also practiced interviewing with a couple of different people to see what my weaknesses were and where I could improve.

What did you like about Candidates’ Day?
I enjoyed meeting all the new prospective candidates along with current students. I learned a lot about the UNC ESOP and some of the unique programs they offer. Although the interviews were stressful, I enjoyed the MMI as it allowed me to interact with different people. Candidates day was a good way to get a feel for pharmacy school and what to expect. Everyone was very friendly and helpful and were willing to answer any questions I had and give me a glimpse into the life as a pharmacy student.

How was Candidates’ Day different from other pharmacy school interviews you attended?
I only attended one pharmacy school interview at UNC so I am not very aware of other pharmacy school interviews. I do know that typically many schools do not use the MMI. That would be the biggest difference I believe; most schools use the traditional 1-3 person panel for about 30 minutes to interview the prospective student. Candidates Day uses a MMI with different scenarios and about 7 different interviewers.

What part of Candidates’ Day was most surprising/unexpected to you?
I was most surprised by all the different people I met and their various backgrounds. It was surprising how open and friendly everyone was to talk to you and help you out as needed. I thought Candidates’ Day was going to be very intense and stressful; instead, other than the interview part, Candidates’ Day was very calm and enjoyable. It was very calm and use to help settle you down so you could perform well on your interview as well as educate you more on UNC ESOP.

If you could go back and relive Candidates’ Day, what would you do differently (if anything)?
The only thing I would differently would be to interact with more people. Each person had a unique story and unique perspective to pharmacy so the more people you meet the more knowledge you get. Also, meeting more candidates would have been beneficial as it would help you build some connections with students if you were to be accepted to the program. Other then these minor changes, overall I believed I performed well at Candidates’ Day and learned a great deal of information.

What advice would you give prospective students preparing for interviews/Candidates Day?
I would advise candidates to be as friendly and outgoing as possible. Talk to everyone and start building relationships as soon as you arrive. It is also a good idea to be very friendly with your recruitment ambassador and the various faculty that are present there. Take the time to ask any questions you have, even if you feel it is a “dumb” question; chances are other candidates have the same question. Take time to prepare for your interviews but don’t stress over it; just do your best and have confidence in your self.

Candidates’ Day Advice – Ricky Kong

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?
None – I only interviewed at UNC

How did you prepare for Candidates’ Day (or pharmacy interviews in general)?
I looked up a list of generally accepted MMI questions. I took that list and practiced with some friends in order to get general feedback of my speaking skills. Feeling comfortable with what you are talking about really comes across in an interview. One of the biggest things that you can do is practice and I know it sounds cliche, but it really does work.

What did you like about Candidates’ Day?
I really enjoyed the structure of the MMI interview. Being able to talk to multiple people can help build a candidate’s confidence as the day proceeds. Also it can help that you can give multiple first impressions if there was an interview that you did not feel great about. Overall, the people I met that day, both candidates and volunteers, appeared to be really enjoying themselves. By the end of Candidate’s Day, I was already sold on wanting to go to the Eshelman School of Pharmacy.

 

What advice would you give prospective students preparing for interviews/Candidates Day?
Make a good first impression on people. Pharmacy is a professional health field so we are expected to act accordingly. Carrying yourself appropriately as well as being attentive in all of the activities goes a long way.

Candidates’ Day Advice – Vivian Cheng

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)?
I looked up common interview questions online, and made sure that I had some answers prepared and rehearsed for each of them. I wanted to be prepared and didn’t want to waste interview time thinking about answers to questions that I could have anticipated, such as “why do you want to do pharmacy” and “why do you want to come to this school.” Additionally, I made sure that I had a personal anecdote to tie into each of my responses so that I could give the interviewers a little better picture of who I am. I used my past work experiences, leadership roles, and big moments in my life to make sure each of my responses was grounded and had context. At the same time, I wanted to make sure I was flexible in my responses in case a question threw me off; I didn’t want to be so stuck in my rehearsed responses that I wouldn’t be able to answer an unanticipated question.

I also came up with 1-2 questions in case I had the opportunity to ask either a student or a faculty member. I tried to come up with specific questions about the program to not only show that I had done my research on the school, but also to receive answers that I could distinguish between each school that could ultimately help me make a decision on which program to pick.

However, probably the most important thing I did was just relaxing the night before the interview! I had reviewed all of my notes the week prior to the interview, and I just needed to relax and not psych myself out.

What did you like about Candidates’ Day?
I really liked having my own personal student ambassador throughout the day! Having a current pharmacy student lead me through the entire day was really helpful, since there were several stations scattered throughout the pharmacy school, and the last thing I wanted to do was get lost! Additionally, all the ambassadors I met were so helpful and gave some great last-minute advice before going into my interview. They calmed me down and reassured me that everything was going to be fine. Furthermore, it was great having so much one-on-one time with a student, as it allowed me to ask some personal questions. At other schools, sometimes the only interaction I had with a current student was during a student panel. On my Candidates’ Day, I really felt like I had ample opportunity to get to know current students, who were so warm and friendly. They took the time to ask us how our undergraduate classes were going, why we were interested in pharmacy, and were happy to help set us up with certain faculty or professional contacts who seemed to match our backgrounds and interests.

Having had a student ambassador on my Candidates’ Day was the reason why I am now involved in the Recruitment Ambassadors Program, the student organization at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy that helps organize Candidates’ Days! I also became good friends with my student ambassador, who recognized me on my first day of class more than 7 months after my interview, and came up me to congratulate me and give me a big hug.

How was Candidates’ Day different from other pharmacy school interviews you attended?
My first impression of Candidates’ Day at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy was that it did a great job at “showing,” not just “telling.” Everything from the scheduled programs throughout the day to the small-group lunches with current pharmacy students really did a great job reflecting the atmosphere that is cultured at this pharmacy school. It was professional, laid-back, and welcoming at the same time. Never did I feel pressured to put up a guard or act like someone I wasn’t. The students made me feel so welcome, and treated me almost as if I had already been accepted! They really seemed invested in getting to know me, and that stood out to me. At some other pharmacy school interviews, The students just answered some of my questions, but that was it. They also seemed just a lot more intimidating and too business-like.

Additionally, the faculty members did a fantastic job being both professional and warm. As a third-year student, I can tell you that they are not just putting up a front, that they are genuinely invested in all of their students and want to get to know you, just like how the student ambassadors are. Furthermore, the programming during the day was very unique. I had not been to an interview as interactive as Candidates’ Day, while also being very informative about how classes and student organizations are like at the school. It didn’t feel like I was sitting in a long lecture about how great the school was.

 

Candidates’ Day Advice – Megan Cuomo

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?
None – I only interviewed at UNC

How did you prepare for Candidates’ Day (or pharmacy interviews in general)?
One thing that was helpful was reviewing what Multiple Mini Interviews (MMIs) are and viewing practice questions online. Additionally, thinking of examples of important experiences throughout your work, school, or personal life that shaped your desire to practice pharmacy, interactions with patients, etc. can be helpful. These experiences can help support your answers in scenarios evaluating non-cognitive traits.

What did you like about Candidates’ Day?
The design of Candidate’s greatly benefits the potential incoming students due to its varied activities and easy access to current students. One of the unique things about UNC’s Candidates’ Day is the extensive exposure to the school through demonstration of technology, the flipped classroom model, and current students. Being able to interact with several current students throughout the day really allows the prospective students to understand many ways to get involved at UNC and different perspectives on student life.

What part of Candidates’ Day was most surprising/unexpected to you?
The most surprising part of Candidate’s Day to me was the presentation on classroom procedure by Dr. Persky. I was surprisingly relaxed during that session and learned a lot about the flipped classroom model. He did a good job of making the session fun!

If you could go back and relive Candidates’ Day, what would you do differently (if anything)?
I am not sure I would do anything differently. Since you cannot prepare very much for the MMI, the most important things that I think I did well were to ensure I was dressed professionally and comfortably, slept well, ate breakfast, and stayed confident. Starting out your morning well by arriving early and feeling good can really help reduce stress.

What advice would you give prospective students preparing for interviews/Candidates Day?
It can be intimidating to be interviewing at the same time as so many other prospective students. It is important to stay confident in yourself and your accomplishments during the entire day, from check-in to lunch or tour. UNC values diversity; just because you have less pharmacy or school experience or different experiences than another candidate does not mean that you would not add value to the school!

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.

UC Davis Pre-Health Conference

uc-davis

We will be attending the Pre-Health Conference Saturday, October 8, 2016, on the UC Davis campus. This is always a great event with 3,000+ students and over 70 pharmacy schools attending. If you’re planning to attend, please stop by our table and say hi!

Registration and more information about the event can be found here: http://prehealthconference.ucdavis.edu/index.html

 

 

Virtual Pharmacy School Fair

One of our favorite events every year is the AACP Virtual Pharmacy School Fair. Come chat with us (and other pharmacy schools) October 4 and 5! This is a great way to learn more about pharmacy schools and the admissions process, whether you’re just thinking about applying to pharmacy school or whether you’re in the process of applying. We – current students and staff – will be available and chatting both days. We look forward to chatting with you!

AACP-Evite-Student-Oct2016

Visit the School this fall

We have several events coming up at the School this semester – at both our Asheville and Chapel Hill campuses! Our events are a great opportunity for you to learn more about pharmacy as a career, about our program and students, and about the admissions process. You will be able to interact with staff and current students and take a tour of the School. We hope you will be able to join us!

Sign up for a Pharmacy Friday or Open House here.

Apply now – don’t wait!

The 2016-2017 PharmCAS application has now been open one month. We have a rolling admissions process, which means we’ve begun reviewing verified PharmCAS applications.

Once you complete and submit your PharmCAS application, it takes PharmCAS 4-6 weeks to verify your application. Then, PharmCAS releases your application to our School for viewing. Allow us up to one week to process your application, and then we will send you an email with instructions to begin our supplemental application.

As we get closer to the December 1 deadline, we receive more and more applications, so apply now!

 

Class of 2020

Last night we welcomed the Class of 2020 to the School with a Cookout on the School’s front lawn. Students got to mingle and eat with their classmates, faculty, staff, and current student Peer Mentors. Beautiful weather, delicious BBQ, and a live band was a great way to kick off the Fall 2016 semester. Orientation continues today, and the Class of 2020 starts classes on Wednesday.

Class of 2020 cookout

Want to know more about the Class of 2020? Check out their stats below:

Class of 2020 141 total students
Chapel Hill campus 120
Asheville campus 21
Average PCAT Composite Percentile 88%
Average GPA (Cumulative) 3.5
NC Residents 51%
Non-Residents 49%
Female 70%
Male 30%
Average Age 22
Age Range 18-51
Number of States Represented 23
Countries 2
Number of NC Counties                     29
   
Race:  
    Asian Pacific Islander   27%
    African American   8%
    Native American  0%
    Two or more races 4%
Hispanic* 4%
  *Reported as ethnicity  
Underrepresented minority** 12%
**Includes African American, Native American, and Hispanic