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 California State University, Fullerton

Jared Okerson

Jared Okerson

About me:

This is my final year at CSUF after 5 years working toward my B.S. in Biochemistry and I was recently admitted to pharmacy school at Oregon State class of 2013. I have had many sources of inspiration in choosing pharmacy as a career. Some came from being brought up in a household with parents working as health professionals. But what solidified the decision for me was the key stone class for my major, Biochemistry. Dr. Goode did an excellent job at showing us how metabolic pathways interacted and how small tweaks to chemical ligands or to the protein can be used as a drug target. For me, half of the fun of the profession is being presented with the information and putting the pieces together to solve the puzzle.

For those that are considering applying to a health profession in the near future, plan as far ahead as possible. I made a few mistakes in class choices that made finishing pre-requisites difficult. Take your MCAT, DAT, OAT, PCAT, etc before the end of spring semester of your 2nd to last year. But above all else, apply early. Make sure you know the date that your application system begins accepting applicants and apply as close as possible to that date. I had my application submitted at the same time as early acceptance applicants during the Oregon State interview they mentioned they were rewarding us partially for applying early by inviting us to the first interview session. Many students work very hard to maintain astoundingly high GPA’s and often use it as an excuse to push back applications and in the end, barely make the deadline and don’t get offered interviews. Grades are important, but try to think in terms of 10 years in the future. You are rewarded by schools by giving them a temporary boost in priority over school. In the end, enjoy your time in undergrad. Grades and experience are important, but set aside leisure time. Not only will it help you keep your sanity and make connections for the future but it will make you a better rounded candidate in fields other than school and health profession experience which helps you stand out as a unique applicant.