Pharm.D. Candidate, Class of 2014
Prior to pharmacy school, I earned a bachelor's degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of California, Irvine in 2010.
What inspired you to become a pharmacist?
Like most high school students, I didn’t know where I wanted my life to lead. Luckily, I had an amazing older sister to follow. My sister and my mom encouraged me to try pharmacy. My sister is pursuing a Doctor of Medicine degree and my mom thought I had the “right personality” to be a pharmacist. My sister and I ended up going to the same undergraduate university and began as biology majors. I quickly immersed myself into the profession as soon as I could by working in a retail chain pharmacy, volunteering in a hospital pharmacy, and working on research in a pharmacy lab. I began to develop a passion for pharmacy and making difference in my patient’s lives. I used this passion to help others decide if pharmacy was right for them by becoming president of the pre-pharmacy organization on campus. Pharmacy is my life and I couldn’t be happier.
Why did you want to attend the UW School of Pharmacy?
I decided to attend the UW School of Pharmacy because I fell in love with the town when I came here for my interview. I loved the snow and the people. I also thought UW was becoming a bigger and better campus. Furthermore, the professors in the School of Pharmacy show their passion for teaching and for the students to become reputable pharmacists. The students have a large presence in the representation of the School of Pharmacy, which means the staff and faculty really listen and care to what we have to say about the school.
I am currently the Worthy Chief Counselor (president) of Phi Delta Chi (PDC), Business Plan Coordinator for National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA), and Historian of American Pharmacist Association-Academy of Student Pharmacist (APhA-ASP). I think it’s important to participate and to be actively involved in student pharmacist organizations because it builds character and provides the opportunity to use our education through hands-on patient care and practice. Furthermore, I have learned innumerable things from being Worthy Chief Counselor of PDC, for example, organizational skills, decision making, delegating and motivating leaders in the group, and developing brotherhood. Most of all, I have learned that through all the hard work, we will get out what we put in. PDC is a one of my passions and I am excited to see how much it has grown in numbers and in quality. I hope our Alpha Mu Chapter at the UW School of Pharmacy continues to grow and excel in the following years.
Trips to conferences and meetings:
I have been to two NCPA annual conventions, one PDC regional meeting, and one APhA annual meeting. I have felt so lucky to be able to travel and attend these national pharmacy organizations. Like being involved at the local level on campus, I would recommend attending at least one national meeting during your student pharmacy career. It’s great to see things on a larger level and to be able to network with other student pharmacists and pharmacists around the nation. After attending these meetings, you build additional leadership skills, networking skills, and in some cases, presentation skills. Also, you’re able to bring back ideas for the organization and the School of Pharmacy. Furthermore, I think unlike other colleges, the UW Student Government and School of Pharmacy greatly support our attendance at these meetings. They offer to reimburse some of our registration cost to these meetings.
About the School:
I think there are benefits of having a small class size when it comes to student organizations because when you’re involved, you make a difference in the organization and in healthcare. There are a lot of opportunities for leadership and teamwork, which is beneficial when applying for jobs or residencies after pharmacy school. On a state level, we have the opportunity to work with Mary Walker, the director of the Wyoming State Board of Pharmacy, during didactic courses and on rotations. Therefore, there is a real opportunity to make a change in the practice of pharmacy.
Advice for prospective students considering the UW School of Pharmacy:
My advice would definitely be to get involved and start early. It’s great to be a good student with good grades, but student pharmacist organizations can teach you things that a classroom lecture can’t teach you. There are opportunities like scholarships, hands-on experience with patients, and leadership. I’m not saying you need to be involved with every organization, but at least one for the duration of your student pharmacy career. Another piece of advice is to be passionate about what you do. Things might not always turn out the way you want it to, but don’t let that get you down. If you work hard, people will see it and you will get back in return the effort that you put in.
About life in Laramie and the Rocky Mountain area:
Being born and raised in California, I unnaturally love cold weather, so that was part of why I chose to go to UW School of Pharmacy. It’s a different atmosphere because I’m from a very populated area, with a different place to go out for dinner every night and Laramie is a quiet town. It was easy to adjust to because the people are very nice and welcoming.