This past month, the Washington D.C. PILs organization network hosted its annual “ABCs of Pharmacy” Workshop. This mini boot camp allowed pre-pharmacy students the opportunity to learn and develop into the most standout candidate for pharmacy school applications. The workshop was held on the evening of February 16, 2016, and it focused on some of the critical components of applications including PCAT preparation, personal statements, and interviewing skills. One of the highlights of the workshop was an interactive panel of current Howard University College of Pharmacy (HUCOP) students as they provided an insight on some of the challenges they experienced during their own process.
The workshop began with a PCAT presentation conducted by, Enaefe Ziregbe, a second year pharmacy student at HUCOP. She educated students on each component of the exam, provided sample questions and test taking skills. The students were also provided with links and suggestions of various types of study preparation such as, Dr. Collins PCAT Prep and the free online test provided by Kaplan. Enaefe emphasized the importance of preparation in order to be a competitive candidate during their application process.
The workshop continued with a student panel of first and second year students from HUCOP. The students spoke about their application process, their leadership on campus, and why they love the profession of pharmacy. Students asked questions about the program at HUCOP and the various options in the profession of pharmacy. The pre-pharmacy students were able to create connections with the current students, and they truly appreciated this networking opportunity.
Lastly the workshop concluded with a presentation by our own Workshop and Development Coordinator, Shantel Gooden, on personal statements and interviewing skills. Students were provided sample personal statements and tips on how to create their personal statement. The importance of beginning their construction early and constant reviewing was stressed. The last activity included the pre-pharmacy students being paired with a current pharmacy student to practice their interview skills. Students were allowed three minutes to answers sample interview questions and were provided individual feedback after each question. This allowed the students to pinpoint their strengths and weaknesses. Overall the workshop was a success and PILs looks forward to another dynamic workshop next semester!
by: Bryan Sackey, PharmD, BCPS, AAHIVP. Dr. Sackey is the founder of PILs and a staff writer for The Package Insert.