A: Since January 2010, I have been working as a lab technician for a company which manufactures a variety of dietary supplements. This position requires me to measure Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) contents in oil and gelatin supplements by using Gas Chromatography. Since working as a lab technician, my interest in pharmacy has evolved into a passionate desire. My job as a lab technician inspired me to attend the Western Univ. of Pharmacy and make a contribution to the field of Pharmacy.
A: My current job requires me to test for chemicals in various dietary supplements. Working as a lab technician has enabled me to understand the various components of the dietary supplements and their various interactions with the human body. The background knowledge I have of chemicals has been greatly enhanced due to my experience in the field of pharmacy. This experience will be a very good foundation for my learning, so that education can supplement it and provide the necessary expertise for me to become a pharmacist.
Q. Aside from becoming a pharmacist, what other professional and personal goals do you have? How do you plan to achieve them?
A: One my primary goals is to become a professional pharmacologist; every day I work to get closer to this goal. I don’t want to be a pharmacologist who deals only with pharmaceuticals, distancing myself from patients; this is why I wish to study pharmacology. I wholeheartedly believe that only those people who successfully work as pharmacists can be real professionals in pharmacology. This is the key to becoming the best at this profession, and so this is my goal.
Studying at the school of pharmacy will give me a lot of useful knowledge and will show me how to deal with real patients. In this way, I will have a strong foundation to continue my education and become a pharmacologist. I am sure that, without this important stage, I will not reach the level of professionalism I want. Therefore, I am asking for this unique chance to enter your institution and do the best I can to become a valuable member of the student body. I also want to develop the qualities that are necessary for becoming a great pharmacist. These skills will eventually help me achieve my main goal - become a pharmacologist with strong experiential foundation.
Q. Identify one social problem in the United States that is of concern to you. What do you believe are some possible solutions?
A: A rapidly aging population is one of the issues that concerns me – if the population is to maintain a steady rate, measures must be taken. The power of this great country rests on the ability to have a new generation of strong individuals that can be raised to be good leaders and members of the community. However, given the falling birthrates due to hesitation to have children, the next generation is in danger of having too few people to sustain the rapidly aging population of our country. Reasons for this low birthrate include a lowered desire to have children, as well as the economic pressure that having a child in a recession can put on a family. I suggest that the government establishes a special committee to look into the problem and budget into a nationwide campaign against a low birthrate. Campaigns and outreach programs can be created that will create incentives for people to have children within acceptable margins, making it feasible again to have children.
Q. Name an individual whom you admire greatly. Why?
A: Dr. William E. Evans, the famed pharmacologist - he is a role model for all research pharmacists today. From his pharmacy school education, Dr. Evans received his doctoral degree (Pharm.D) from the University of Tennessee, and became a pharmacist in the field of studying pharmacogenomics. His humble beginnings in pharmacy school paved the way for a great and influential career in pharmacology.
Dr. Evans' research is primarily the pharmacodynamics and pharmacogenomics of anticancer agents in children, exploring genetic and biochemical mechanisms underlying differences in drug effects among children. He made an outstanding contribution to the genomic basis of childhood cancers and to develop individualized approaches to cancer treatment through translation of pharmacogenomic discoveries into innovative treatment protocols of childhood cancers. Dr. Evans shows me the direction I wish to pursue to become a research pharmacist.
Q. What are your strongest and weakest personal characteristics? How have these strength(s) and weakness(s) helped or hindered you in the achievement of your goals?
A: Personally and academically, I love learning and I like to work together with classmates in order to achieve the goal. I have a great deal of dedication and determination, and I excel when I work in a group. Thankfully, my volunteer experience provides me how I can learn from interacting with others. I am sure that the three important factors in achieving the goal are essential component.
In terms of weaknesses, I am often meticulous in my work to a fault. Double checking my work and the work of others can often get to the point where it will slow the work down and make the finishing date slower. However, this comes from a place of perfectionism, where I do not want to present inferior work that could have negative consequences over time. While it can often lower efficiency and expediency in my work, it does increase its accuracy and quality.
Q. Have you worked during the school year? If so, how many hours per week? If admitted, do you plan or need to work while attending the School of Pharmacy? If so, how many hours per week?
A: Yes, I worked 40 hours a week during the school year because of my father's illness, requiring me to contribute more to the family income. However, I have no plan to work while attending the School of Pharmacy.
Q. Describe your participation in extra-curricular activities (campus and/or community) - that you feel may enhance your application. Include all offices and other leadership positions held. If you have not participated, indicate why.
A: I am part of a volunteer organization called HGME in Northridge which provides support and services for children with autism. My father had surgery from stomach cancer and stayed in the hospital for a while. I understand the difficulty a family can endure when a family member is in pain. Therefore, I wanted to help families who are experiencing problems, regardless of the condition. Particularly, the rest of the family experiences pressure to exert patience and selfless dedication, as they cannot expect great short term changes from their autistic child. Based on my experience, I would like to help them to make feel at ease with their children for as long as I can.
Q. Describe some of your non-academic interests (e.g., recreational or athletic activities, hobbies, club participation etc.)
A: One of my biggest hobbies is exercise. At the gym, I usually mix strength training with cardio exercise to boost my metabolism and fat loss. I try to do at least 40 minutes of cardio exercise three or four times a week. In my mind, if I am not physically strong, whatever intelligence or passion I have to become a pharmacist will be useless.
Q. Have you had any academic difficulties that may appear on your transcripts that you would like to explain?
A: At community college, I struggled because my father’s stomach cancer got worse, and required surgery. I was very concerned about him, which left little time to my studies. His incapacitation left me to work hard and support our family, working at my father's tire shop every day. Thankfully, my father’s condition improved, and I could concentrate more on my grades at my junior and senior level. This was because he was able to come back to work, leaving me with more time to study, though I still continued to help out at the shop every Sunday.
This experience taught me one of the most important lessons of my life: family is more important than anything else. While my GPA suffered as a result of my hardships, I do not regret my decision to help my family, as it brought us all closer together. My life is enriched because of their presence and love, and their support for my efforts.
Q. Please use this space to make any additional personal comments that you think will strengthen your application.
A: Given my experience with the field of pharmacy, my level of dedication to my work, and the personal beliefs I hold about my abilities, I sincerely hope my desire to attend your institution is clear. Nothing would please me more than to contribute to the body of work contained in pharmacology, and I wish to offer patients the ability to address their various conditions and improve their quality of life. My commitment to my chosen field is absolute, and I wish to work as hard as I can if given the opportunity to attend your institution.