This section will spotlight a student who has come through the Health Professions Advising office at CSUF on their journey to professional school, and wishes to share his or her experiences and advice with current and future students.
Janine Dang - Pharmacy
My college career did not start great. I started my education at Cypress College and stayed there for three long years without much direction. I barely passed my classes, and even failed some. At the end of this semester, it will have taken me five years to earn my bachelors degree in health science. My interest in pharmacy started when I took a basic Chemistry 100 class.
Pursing any health professions career will come with many trials and tribulations. There are so many battles that you have to fight and sacrifices that have to be made. In my pursuit to pharmacy school, I took my academics very seriously. I ensured that I did my best in all prerequisites because I knew that I had to do well to compete. In addition, I passed the PTCB test and got licensed to be a pharmacy technician. I called over 20 pharmacies before I found a pharmacist who was willing to let me volunteer (independent pharmacy’s will usually accept volunteers). Experience is always an advantage because schools want to see that you have an understanding for this profession. If you lack in academics, experience is going to be your best friend.
As far as the application process goes, apply early! Get your personal statements looked at by Dr. Goode so she can tell you what to fix to make yourself more appealing. It’s always hard to write about yourself, but really make the statement personal and from the heart. Prepare for the interviews and do your research on the school. For example, see if they do individual or group interviews; is it open or closed interview; what about this school appeals to you. Student Doctor network is great because it provides typical interview questions and feedback from other students who already interviewed. During the interview, try not to be nervous because they just want to see what kind of student you are.
My biggest advice to future health professions is to always keep your eye on the prize. It is difficult being young and taking hard science classes when all you want to do is go have some fun, but what makes it bearable is reminding yourself of why you are pursuing this career. It is also beneficial to be extremely organized with your time and constantly stay on top of your studies so you can earn top notch grades. Sacrifice the sleep, the dates, and outings with friends so you can earn good grades in all your science prerequisites. You have to remember that you are competing with so many students from all over the country for limited spaces. In the beginning it was hard to sacrifice my fun time to study, but when I saw that acceptance letter the pain was all worth it. Remember work hard now so you can play harder later.