Meet the Ambassador – Bliss Green

green_bliss

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

My Immersion Experience – Bliss Green

Students have their first immersion (pharmacy rotation) the summer after their PY1 year. They are placed in either a hospital (health system) or community pharmacy. For more information about our curriculum, click here.


Name: Bliss Green
Year: PY2 (Class of 2019)
Rotation: Health System

Where was your immersion located?

UNC Hospital, Cardiac ICU and Central Inpatient Pharmacy/Sterile Products Area

How did you prepare for your immersion experience?

Throughout the second semester of the PY1 year, there will be a few informational meetings that discuss the requirements for various immersion sites and important dates to make sure everyone is on the same page. I reached out to my preceptor about one month before my immersion to introduce myself, ask if he wanted me to have anything prepared for my first day, and set a location/time to meet him. Before my first day of my immersion, I made a trip over to UNC hospital to make sure I knew where to go and to make sure I could connect to the hospital WIFI. I highly recommend this, especially if you are prone to getting lost like me! You don’t want to be late or unprepared on your first day. Besides that, there was not extensive preparation needed before the start of the first immersion.

What was a typical day like?

For the first month of my rotation, I was in the cardiac ICU working with advanced heart failure patients alongside my preceptor, a PGY2 pharmacy resident, and a PY4 pharmacy student. I was assigned patients by my preceptor and followed them throughout their admission (I started with one patient at a time and then worked my way up 3 patients towards the end of the month). A typical day started around 7am. I would look up newly admitted patients on my unit, particularly patients labeled as “high risk for readmission” and perform a medication history assessment. Basically, I would print their list of medications, go find their room, and interview them on which medications they are actually taking and how they are taking them (as well as the last dose). I would then call their pharmacy to confirm fill-dates and make note of any discrepancies. After medication histories, I would open my assigned patient’s medical records on EPIC (UNC’s electronic health record database) and analyze any changes in labs, vitals, medications, notes from physicians, etc. from the night before. Based on this data, I would begin writing my SOAP note that included my assessment of the patient’s status and my proposed plan for each problem. I would then attend rounds with the entire medical team. This is where I could hear the discussion about my patients and make any medicine recommendations to the team. After lunch, I would present my note/findings to my preceptor and we would have a discussion/mini-lecture on the medications involved. The end of my day usually consisted of independent research assigned to me by my preceptor to support our discussion and my recommendations, updating my patient’s notes in EPIC, and discharge counseling in the cases where my assigned patient was ready to go home. I was usually finished around 4:30pm. Some days I also attended journal club, medication safety meetings, transplant discussion meeting, and lectures/discussions with other students/preceptors. I also spent one day with a nurse to witness their role and how they administer the medications. Lastly, I was lucky enough to shadow two serious operations.

What did you like about your rotation?

I liked everything about my rotation! Especially my clinical month in the cardiac ICU. Everything became so real when I stepped foot into the unit. I was challenged on a daily basis and never stopped learning. My preceptor was a phenomenal teacher and a true role model as a pharmacist/professional. I loved seeing how valued and respected he was as the medication expert on the healthcare team. The experience truly motivated me and made me excited about my career path.

What part of your immersion was most surprising and/or interesting to you?

I was able to shadow two open-heart surgeries during my clinical month in the cardiac ICU, which is something I will never forget. I witnessed the insertion of a Left-Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) into a patient’s heart, as well as a complete sternotomy and aortic dissection. This was the first time I have ever seen a beating heart, working lungs, etc. It was amazing to see what the human body can endure and the advantages that science permits.

What was the most challenging part of your rotation?

The most challenging part of my rotation was the emotional aspect of working with advanced heart failure and the poor health status of patients in my unit . It was difficult to see how sick these patients were and accept the fact that most patients with this stage of the disease do not have good outcomes. I witnessed death and heartbroken families multiple times. It is easy to let your emotions bring you down in this type of setting but you have to remain optimistic and provide the best patient care possible.

Is there anything else you want to share about your immersion experience?

I also spent one month in the central inpatient pharmacy and the sterile products area at UNC hospital. This allowed me to see more of the “operations” side of heath system pharmacy. Within this month, I also spent five days exploring five other types of pharmacy (investigational drugs, pediatrics, specialty pharmacy, special formulations/compounding, and operating room pharmacy). It was a great experience and very beneficial to explore various different aspects of pharmacy. I was offered a job in the IV room/sterile products area after my rotation and am currently working there now!

Meet the Ambassador – Arwa Omary

omary_arwa

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

rath_carolyn

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

Meet the Ambassador – Justin Harrison

harrison_justin

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

mays_erin

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

Candidates’ Day Advice – Starr Barrier

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?
1

How did you prepare for Candidates’ Day (or pharmacy interviews in general)?
Because both the schools I interviewed at planned on doing MMI, all I did to prepare was think about why I wanted to become a pharmacist and what unique qualities each school had to offer me and why I would chose to attend that school.

What did you like about Candidates’ Day?
I especially liked the MMI. I liked how organized it was here and enjoyed it a lot more than I would a typical 30 minute one on one interview. You don’t have enough time to be nervous and you get multiple chances to make a good first impression. I liked how the day was split into different sections, and the group discussion time was a good way for us to interact with other candidates and relax a bit. The information panel was particularly helpful.

How was Candidates’ Day different from other pharmacy school interviews you attended?
The information panel had current students along with professors and I thought this was very helpful. Other schools had student panels but no professors were present. I think this also showed how close the student body is with the faculty and this was eye opening for me and one of the reasons why I chose UNC because it shows the faculty really want you to succeed.

What part of Candidates’ Day was most surprising/unexpected to you?
The group discussion was surprising and fun. I liked getting to interact with other candidates that I’m now in school and getting to interact with one of the professors was interesting.

If you could go back and relive Candidates’ Day, what would you do differently (if anything)?
I would have asked the faculty more questions. Asking questions in general is important, but you especially want to talk to faculty to see if this school is the right fit for you.

What advice would you give prospective students preparing for interviews/Candidates Day?
I would think about why you want to become a pharmacist and if there is a particular field you’re interested in. If you’re not that’s fine, but if you’re passionate about something you definitely want to talk about that at some point. I would ask a bunch of questions because you want to make sure that you chose a school that’s going to be a good fit for you. Don’t forget to relax and be yourself! This is your chance to sell yourself and they want to see who you are.

Meet the Ambassador – Taylor Dennison

dennison_taylor

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

Candidates’ Day Advice – Ashlyn Norris

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

What did you like about Candidates’ Day?
My favorite part about Candidates’ Day was that we got to meet so many different people and really get a chance to know the school. Throughout the MMI you got to meet a variety of professors, faculty members and administrators and in the different sessions throughout the day you were able to interact with even more professors and see what a typical class was like. I really feel that not only did the school get to know me better, but that I also got to know the school and the people here.

What part of Candidates’ Day was most surprising/unexpected to you?
I was most surprised about how much I enjoyed the MMI. I was able to be myself and have meaningful conversations with the faculty members conducting the interviews. Instead of talking about myself for 30 mins to two people, which was awkward at times, I was able to talk to a variety of people and answer questions that made me think and demonstrate my character.

What advice would you give prospective students preparing for interviews/Candidates Day?
My advice would be to stay relaxed and just be yourself. All of the people are really nice and want to see you succeed. The interview questions are not stressful and are meant to get to know you better, so just be honest and true to yourself.