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School of Pharmacy|College of Health Sciences

Brandon Anderson

Pharm.D. Candidate, Class of 2015

What is your hometown:

Andover, Minnesota. Andover is a suburb of Minneapolis.

Background and education:

I obtained my associates in arts degree from Anoka Ramsey Community College. I then transferred to the University of Minnesota College of Biological Sciences to pursue my bachelor of science degree in biochemistry. While attending community college, I played two years of Junior A hockey for the Twin Cities Northern Lights Hockey Team. I have worked at Walgreens as a Pharmacy Technician since I was 19 years old. I do not have any family members in the health care or pharmacy fields; my father was a boat salesman and my mother works for the county.

Why do you want to be a pharmacist?

I wanted to be a pharmacist for as long as I can remember. I grew up with chronic ear infections, which led to many trips to the pharmacy. I was always fascinated how the pharmacist could create this liquid which would magically make my ears feel better. As I grew older, this fascination grew as well. I thought the pharmacist could physically make the tablets and I became very curious as to how they could make the tablets within fifteen minutes. This fascination continued to grow; as I wanted to know how the medications worked in the body to cure diseases. I knew the profession of pharmacy was right for me when I first stepped foot into the pharmacy.

I will never forget my first day in the pharmacy; it was an eight hour shift which seemed like it was only ten minutes. As I continued to work in the pharmacy during my undergrad years, it continued to solidify my being a pharmacist. I enjoyed having this role in the community; it seemed like I could make a positive difference in someone's day when they came into the pharmacy to fill their prescription.

Why did you choose to apply to the University of Wyoming School of Pharmacy?

What first intrigued me about the University of Wyoming School of Pharmacy (UW SOP) was the small class size. When I transferred from a community college to a large university, my class sizes went from around 30 to 300. I did not like the large class sizes at the university, so I purposely pursued a small pharmacy school. The solidifying factor for choosing UW SOP was when I was here for my interview. The interview was very comfortable and natural, so UW SOP quickly moved to the top of the list of the pharmacy schools I wanted to attend.

How would you describe the School to prospective students?  What advice can you give to incoming students?

I would describe UW SOP as personable, similar to a big family. UW SOP is personable because the teachers want to know each and every student and they personally care about the well-being of each student. Because of the small class sizes, UW SOP is like a big family because the students in each class become very close. UW offers many opportunities, which larger universities cannot offer. For example, I have always been interested in research; when I talked to my advisor about getting into a lab, the next day I met with a principle investigator and found myself performing research.

Advice I would give incoming students is to not pursue pharmacy because of the paycheck, but rather, because of an interest of the pharmacology.

What has helped you the most to get where you are and to be successful in school?

My family helped get me to where I am and my colleagues within the school of pharmacy have helped me become successful in the school of pharmacy.

How has the small class size enhanced your education?

Small class size breaks the barrier of the student/teacher relationship. I have never been scared to meet with any of my teachers to ask them for additional help. Having a small class size allows for multiple leadership positions within student groups. I believe if I were at a larger university, I would not be in my current leadership positions. My leadership positions have added key assets to my skills as a pharmacist and have built up my confidence.

How have your classmates made a difference in your pharmacy school experience?

The study groups within my class have made a major difference in my education, also becoming friends with upper classman has been good mentorship.

What opportunities have you had while at the school (faculty mentorship, research, conferences/meetings, presentations)?

Working in Dr. Brown’s Drug Abuse research lab and potentially being published a couple times. I was very fortunate Dr. Brown took me to the Society for Neuroscience worldwide meeting where I was one of the few pharmacy students among the 30,000 neuroscientists.

What are your goals for the future following graduation?

My goals after graduation are to work for Indian Health Services and to start a family.

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Brandon Anderson, Pharm.D. Candidate, Class of 2015

Brandon Anderson, Pharm.D. Candidate, Class of 2015
"I wanted to be a pharmacist for as long as I can remember. I knew the profession of pharmacy was right for me when I first stepped foot into a pharmacy. I will never forget my first day in the pharmacy; it was an eight hour shift which seemed like it was only ten minutes. As I continued to work in the pharmacy during my undergrad years, it continued to solidify my being a pharmacist. I enjoyed having this role in the community; it seemed like I could make a positive difference in someone's day when they came into the pharmacy to fill their prescription."

Advice for Prospective Students

Brandon Anderson, Pharm.D. Candidate, Class of 2015
"Advice I would give incoming students is to not pursue pharmacy because of the paycheck, but rather, because of an interest of the pharmacology. UW offers many opportunities, which larger universities cannot offer. For example, I have always been interested in research; when I talked to my advisor about getting into a lab, the next day I met with a principle investigator and found myself performing research."

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