Jaguar In The Wild


How to Wear a Dress as a Top_ Dress with Shorts_Adrienne Nguyen_Invictus

Can you believe it's already the last Monday in June? This summer is sure going by quick - I still have a ton of things to do before Fall yet I find myself constantly pushing all the mundane tasks (like packing) back. For those of you who haven't read my five previous posts on pharmacy, I will be starting pharmacy school (PharmD) this coming Fall. I have yet to reveal which school I ultimately chose and why but that will all be exposed in my White Coat Ceremony post. But I digress. I know procrastinating is frowned upon however, I'm just enjoying the freedom that coincides with summer while it lasts.

School commences at the end of September so I have until then to find a new place to call home. It's a sad reality to pack up my things and say goodbye to a place I've spent my entire life. But they say change is good, right? I recently read this quote somewhere and it stuck with me:

"If you're too comfortable, it's time to move on. Terrified of what's next? You're on the right track."

Well, change is definitely happening. The thought of leaving hasn't quite settled in yet but I can assure you that I will be overcome with nostalgia for all the memories associated with my abode. But enough about my life and onwards to my outfit! I recently acquired these pretty comfortable and chic side lace up shorts! Instead of going for a basic plain top, I paired these short shorts with my leopard dress ( tucked in to form a top - voilà! ). I then piled on layers of gold jewelry and finished my look off with a pop of orange! I hope you guys like this look and I will definitely be sharing more personal things in posts to come! Until next time!

California Fashion Blog_How to look classy in leopard_Adrienne Nguyen_Invictus_Orange County Blogger_Pharmacist
Leopard Dress_DOlce and Gabbana_fashion blogger_Adrienne Nguyen_Invictus
Adrienne Nguyen_INvictus_Fashion Week_What to Wear to a Lunch Date
How to Wear Shrots with Heels_How to look Classy in shorts with heels_Adrienne Nguyen_Invictus
jungle vibes_california_editorial_Adrienne Nguyen_Invictus


// ZAC ZAC POSEN MINI LOREN Crossbody // DIOR Sunglasses // SAM EDELMAN Nude Kitten Heels with Gold Block Heel // NORDSTROM Gold Fan Necklace // Lace Up Shorts //

XO,
Adrienne

California Pharmacy School Interviews

PART V. (See PART IV: MASTERING INTERVIEWS HERE)



You should have a basic notion of what to wear to interviews and what to do but now you're probably wondering, "How do I prepare?" Let me just tell you that there is no way to prepare for Multiple Mini Interviews. What's that you ask? Well, I'm glad you're questioning it! You don't want to be blind-sighted the day of.

Here's a breakdown of my interview experiences:

ONE ON ONE

This is your classic interview. You're sitting directly across one person who, most likely, has a doctorate in pharmacy or the likes.

School that had this:
Keck Graduate Institute (KGI)

TWO ON ONE (PANEL)

This is one up from the previous. You can probably predict what this entails... There may be two professors interviewing lonely ole you or a professor and a current pharmacy student. It's all a toss of a coin.

Schools that had this:
California Health Sciences University (CHSU)
University of California, San Diego (UCSD)
University of Southern California (USC)
Western University

GROUP INTERVIEW

You're in there with one or more students. Depending on where you interview, answers may be based on what another person says (i.e., you have to build or add on to what the previous person said). In my experience, we were asked completely random questions that WERE NOT contingent on what the previous person stated.

Schools that had this:
West Coast University
Touro University ( I declined my interview invitation )

MULTIPLE MINI INTERVIEW (MMI)

This was the most eye opening kind of interview - I honestly enjoyed the experience. I must admit that I was nervous since there is no way you can prepare for this. HONESTLY. You can come up with different scenarios or scavenge the internet for examples but it won't help. I tried studying for these but I found out that if I just stuck to basic instinct, I would have been more than fine.

So how does it work? You're given a situation/question/quote... etc.(on the door) before you enter. Read fast but efficiently since you're on the clock. You then knock and go into the room. What happens in the room depends on the question you were given. This really allows you to see how you do without preparation... which mirrors reality. You're not given a road map or study guide to life, you just have to use your best judgement to survive.

Schools that had this:
California Northstate University
University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)


Now, to the part you've all been waiting for. So what happens at these schools on the interview day?! I can't wait to share my thoughts with all you upcoming applicants. HOWEVER, I did sign a

NON-DISCLOSURE AGREEMENT
at Keck Graduate Institute (KGI) and the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). 

Due to that, I will be unable to share my experience at those two schools with you guys (*insert sad face with a tear drop emoji*). UCSF was one of my favorite interviews (BONUS POINTS BECAUSE THE LOCATION WAS SO AWESOME) but my lips are sealed!


INTERVIEW BREAKDOWN
(in order of interview date)



CALIFORNIA NORTHSTATE UNIVERSITY
Location: Elk Grove, CA
Interview Date: 9/17/15
Accepted: 10/1/15
Deposit: $250 

I embarked on a torturous journey from sunny, polluted Orange County to this isolated, serene location near Sacramento. Why was it so painful? I rented a car and drove myself on what should have been a 6.5 hour journey but ended up being a 12 hour disaster.... So what went wrong? I left the day before at 9AM in a cute midnight blue Jetta. As I was driving on the freeway, an old tire flew onto my windshield... I thought nothing of it and continued on my way. I had one hour left but I was hungry so I pulled over for some food and gas. Right before I exited, I drove into a giant tumbling tumbleweed... I was slowing down when I heard a weird screeching sound. I got out of the car and noticed the entire plastic part on the bottom of the car (protecting all the car shenanigans) flipped down and I was missing a headlight protector. I also realized a dead dragonfly spattered against the hood ):

It was nearing 5 so I panicked since AAA was closing however, I was fortunate enough to get a tow truck out! HOWEVER, he drove me back 2 hours to San Jose to pick up another car at Hertz (that location closed 10 minutes after I got there)! Close call! I hopped into my un-damaged Kia and drove like a mad woman to my hotel. I was a bit restless at night and slept all but 2 hours. I wasn't nervous but I just wasn't tired. Odd, right?

My hotel was a 2 minute drive from the school but I still got up bright and early to get ready. The email I received clearly stated not to arrive before 9:15AM. I took that way too literally. I should have known that being the competitive science majors we all are, everyone would already be there. Suffice to say, I was the last one in. After settling down, we were informed that this would be the first year the school would be doing MMIs. Immediate thought? There goes everything I just read on SDN...

TAKE WHAT YOU READ ON SDN WITH A GRAIN OF SALT!

We had introductions as well as a REALLY fast financial aid overview. Then came the TEAM BASED LEARNING (TBL). Both Northstate and CHSU follow this type of teaching. 

What is TBL?

Team based learning is just what it sounds like. On the interview day, you're placed in a group and given a test. DO NOT PANIC! It's not graded and no one actually walks around to assess what you're doing. It's just giving you a taste of how the school works. You talk amongst your group to reason through answers then you compare your answers to the class. Easy.

THE ESSAY
Definitely not what I was expecting. The prompt was about the DRESS CODE. I cannot recall the exact details but you had 20 minutes to write an essay. I had some free time to speak to the students there and I actually found out that the school has a dress code! It's business casual - smart dressing, I suppose. I love dressing up and showing my personal style but following a strict dress code? The week of midterms and finals is when I look like I joined a gang since I'm typically in all black + sneakers. So this was definitely a con about this school.

THE INTERVIEW
We were broken into three groups and of course I was placed in the last group. You can do whatever you want while you're waiting so I decided to leave the room to explore the school. Now the part I'm pretty sure you're all dying to know, the prompts. This school had only two stations for their MMI.

Station 1: Tell me about a time you were in focus and felt confident and successful.
  • My interviewer was like a rock. He barely blinked and didn't ask any questions related to what I was saying. It was as if he was following a script.
Station 2: You're Vice President of a club with a health fair coming up, you have 2 extra shifts and you have a final. What's your plan of action?

POST-INTERVIEW
FOOD! We were all starving so I was thrilled when I chomped into my burrito! We thought we were done but after we finished eating. The proctor said that we would be having ANOTHER interview but with a student and it was a very casual setting. The question? What do you think of TBL?

PERSONAL OPINION
The area seemed a bit deserted yet I actually liked it. There were so many vineyards and the weather, not to mention the AIR, was perfect. As I was driving back home, I got to see trucks carrying tomatoes for the first time! Housing is really cheap and if I chose to go there, I would have invested in a home. So why didn't I? Even though it's fully accredited, I did not like the teaching method and I could not find anything to do - I'm the type of person who likes going out a lot to explore new areas. I felt confident enough to decline my offer of admission for this school but I think this is best for anyone looking for a small class along with lots of group activities. I heard that you basically teach yourself everything though I may be wrong.


CALIFORNIA HEALTH SCIENCES UNIVERSITY (CHSU)
Location: Clovis, CA
Interview Date: 9/25/15
Accepted: 10/2/15
Deposit: $250

I booked my hotel late since I was trying to score a good deal and ended up in a hotel with an inflated price. Just my luck... It was right across from a terribly depressing gas station with just two pumps. I looked at it when the clock struck 12 and boy did it look like I was living in a horror movie; flickering lights and all that jazz. NOT MY CUP OF TEA. Unlike last time, I had time to check out the area and rest!

On the day of the interview, I got there a bit early so I chose to wait in my car. All the other candidates I saw just walked right in. I was surprised at the variety of people there - so many people from other states! After a few presentations, interviews started.

THE INTERVIEW
Guess what? I was the very first person to be called in for the interview (TWO ON ONE).

Why Pharmacy?
How do you prioritize things? Can you give us some examples?
What is your proudest accomplishment? Why?
What is a good decision you made? What other alternatives could you make?
Do you have any questions for me?

I was caught off guard with the two on one method. I kept on pacing my eyes back and forth. I think I lost track of what I was saying... I'm not quite sure... Have you guys seen that one scene in THE OFFICE:


"Sometimes I'll start a sentence and I don't even know where it's going. I just hope I find it along the way."

I might have had a brain fart but I got in so I guess it was really minor. The questions didn't make me anxious but the amount of material my two interviewers were jotting down made me a tad bit uncomfortable. Sometimes they wrote down so much they could barely fit anymore on the page. Other times, they barely touched the page.

THE ESSAY
Highly CONTROVERSIAL topics. You're given a list of potential topics so I sat there for a good two minutes trying to pick one that wouldn't cause too much of a fuss. Even though you might have a strong stance on something, your fate lies in the hands of a hopefully unbiased essay reader. I only remember these two prompts:

Should a student caught cheating be given a second chance?
Should all students be tested for HIV/AIDS?

I actually chose the cheating one and I said that they shouldn't be given retribution. All the other candidates thought I was insane but I'm positive I made an impression with my argument.

PERSONAL OPINION
The area is very similar to Irvine, California. The housing is very affordable however, this school also runs on the TBL method like Northstate. One of the reasons I declined my offer of admission is also due to the pre-candidate accreditation. Thanks to the Hawaii debacle, I'd stay steer clear of schools that have yet to be fully accredited. 


KECK GRADUATE INSTITUTE (KGI)
Location: Claremont, CA
Interview Date: 10/2/15
Accepted: 10/8/15
Deposit: $1000

Unfortunately, I cannot share what happened during the interview day since I signed a non-disclosure. All I will say is that it was my longest interview : 8AM-4PM. You're given a tiny lunch so bring snacks if you must. I really liked the school and I loved the people I interviewed with. The questions are your basic ones that you can easily find from any pharmacy school interview questions study guide. The school has a great mission and an amazing feature of giving it's students an additional certificate upon graduation. The interview, the people I met and the school's curriculum were enough to get me to accept my offer of admission even though it's not fully accredited (it is only pre-candidate). Shout out to Dr. Fared Daneshvar and Dr. Ken Wong - if you guys get them as your interviewers, know that you're in good hands!


WEST COAST UNIVERSITY
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Interview Date: 10/9/15
Accepted: 10/16/15
Deposit: $500 

TRAFFIC IS HORRIBLE. To all my OC commuters - go early! I woke up at 4:45AM and left at 5:57AM. The 101 is horrible especially on weekdays. Anyways, once everyone signs in, you walk into a classroom. The school is very sleek and modern. As opposed to Northstate and CHSU, this school had lots of color to it and it has a security guard along with a gated parking lot. Don't get any fancy ideas about it... Based on my own impression of the area, those things are all there to PROTECT everyone in the school. The area is beyond ghetto and I wouldn't feel comfortable living there.

THE INTERVIEW
I didn't see this coming but it was a GROUP INTERVIEW. I was one of the first to go in. You're in front of two professors along with another student. Each person takes turns answering questions that are not related to each other. The interview went by way so fast... I couldn't mentally memorize the questions and formulate answers at the same time. Here's what I remember:

A pharmacists does drugs without a prescription, what do you do?
How do you get a team to work together?
What qualities should pharmacists have?

THE ESSAY
You have one hour to complete this which I believe is way too much time. There were a couple topics floating around so no two essays were alike. My topic was: DOES MONEY EQUATE TO HAPPINESS?

PERSONAL OPINION
Main reason I turned down my offer? The area! I love Los Angeles since there's so much life, museums, great food and culture but this was in a horrible area. Sure, you can see the Hollywood Sign from the third floor but I wouldn't risk my life for that view. The roads are uneven, the houses are beat down, there's a lot of police cars going up and down the street and way too much suspicious activity for my comfort. The people at this school were incredibly nice but not enough for me to accept.


UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA (USC)
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Interview Date: 10/16/15
Accepted: 10/30/15
Deposit: $500

I got there about half an hour early and there were tons of people waiting outside - around 60. We signed in a bit off schedule but it gave us time to meet other applicants. Most were from Southern California. Since the interview day started around noon, we were given a very hearty lunch. Each person is given a schedule to indicate what group you're in. I had my interview first, YES!

THE INTERVIEW
I had a TWO ON ONE interview with Dr. Ian Haworth and a P2 student. We started off talking about life and then he was going through a list of questions until he got to research. Oh, F.Y.I., this is an OPEN FILE INTERVIEW meaning your interviewers have your resume and personal statement right in front of them. KNOW YOUR FILE! Surprisingly enough, Dr. Haworth is keen on research and the Class of 2020 will be required to have a research project. Let's just say the interview went BEYOND WELL.

Describe a time when you worked in a group. Was there a person who was uncooperative?
What is your greatest accomplishment in school?
How do you deal with change?
Why pharmacy?
What do you see in the pharmacy profession? Where is it going?
Describe your research experience.
Do you have any pharmacy experience?
How do you deal with conflict?
Hoe do you manage your time?
How do you deal with criticism and failure? What do you do about it?

THE ESSAY
WOW. The essay here was quite a punch in the face since it dealt with ethics. It was pretty much the only medically related essay I got at these interviews.

A Chinese man has a cerebral hemorrhage. The family doesn't speak English except for the son who is a physician. The family has the option of stopping aggressive treatment for comfort care but is ill informed. A translator tells them. They request that the body remain untouched for 8 hours to let the soul escape (they're Buddhist). The man dies and they cannot move him out of ICU. Another patient comes in with acute to severe GI bleed. They need a bed in ICU but it is occupied by the dead patient. What should you do with the Chinese man's body?

I remembered the prompt because it was just so different from my others!

PERSONAL OPINION
I love Los Angeles but DTLA? Pretty dangerous. Housing is pretty expensive not to mention the SKY HIGH tuition costs. Why'd I accept? The school is well established and has a lot of funding for research. Downside? A very large class size. I also heard that some professors re-use old tests so it is key to join certain clubs to excel in classes. This is what happened during undergrad. This is something I wanted to avoid. However, the research incentive got me.


WESTERN UNIVERSITY
Location: Pomona, CA
Interview Date: 11/14/15
Accepted: 11/20/15
Deposit: $500 

The downtown area looked amazing. I loved the Gothic architecture of the churches and it was completely deserted in the morning. There was no traffic getting there since my interview was on a Saturday but I heard from current students that the area is dangerous.

THE INTERVIEW
I had a TWO ON ONE interview with Dr. Fadi and a P2 student. Dr. Fadi was one of the nicest and most humble people I have yet to meet! During the, "do you have any further questions" portion, I actually asked him if I could sit in one of the lectures. He surprisingly said yes with the dean's permission! I wanted to see what it was like to learn in a hexagonal room so I came a week later to sit in one of his lectures!

Why pharmacy?
Why Western?
What are your extracurriculars?
If someone in your group doesn't cooperate, what do you do?
Where is the field of pharmacy going?
What do you do for fun?
What was the last book you read?
A doctor gives a prescription for an expensive medication what do you do?

THE ESSAY
You're given 45 minutes to answer the question: IS A LEADER BORN OR MADE?

PERSONAL OPINION
I painfully declined my offer of admission since I do not think it would allow me to work in an area I envisioned myself. Sure, they say rotations change your mind about what you want to pursue however, it seemed as if many of the students here wanted to go into community pharmacy. I'm more into industry. I did love the small class size, how the professors knew each students' name and the picturesque buildings in the area!


UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SAN DIEGO (UCSD)
Location: La Jolla, CA
Interview Date: 1/23/16
Accepted: 2/25/15
Deposit: $100 

A one hour orientation was given prior to the start of the day. We were broken up into groups. If you didn't go with the first group, you started on your essay.

THE INTERVIEW
I had a TWO ON ONE interview with a professor and pharmacy student. They were very relatable and made me feel comfortable. We interviewed in a lab with no table separating us.

Why pharmacy?
When do you demonstrate leadership?
Why UCSD?
What are your hobbies?
How do you deal with time management?

THE ESSAY
You're given the entire interview day (minus the time you go in for your interview) to finish the essay - WAY TOO MUCH TIME. If you didn't finish your essay but had to run to your interview, you could just take it with you or leave it at your desk. The prompt was about bridge.

You play bridge with a team. Your partner lacks experience and is the reason you're behind 100 points. He keeps apologizing after every bad mistake. What do you say to him and why?

I went a bit crazy and added scramblers, robot birds, ear pieces... I went all 007 on them. Apparently, the person who read my essay liked it enough to accept me into the school!

PERSONAL OPINION
The area is beautiful and it is very diverse. Each student is required to do research and I love the small classroom size. The school also runs on P/NP. I am a bit indifferent on this. I bet you know what the pros are but there are cons too. If there aren't any grades, how will you appear to future employers? However, whatever school I choose, I will do my best to excel and graduate with the best grades possible! I accepted my offer of admissions to UCSD!

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SAN FRANCISCO (UCSF)
Location: San Francisco, CA
Interview Date: 1/29/16
Accepted: 4/1/15
Deposit: $100

I flew in a day earlier and my hotel allowed me to check in early. Afterwards, I went out and about to explore the city. I stayed at The Sheraton at Fisherman's Wharf. Yes, I am fully aware that it is far from UCSF but I wanted to explore the city. It was my second big solo trip and I had my walking shoes on! I grabbed lunch and ventured to Lombard Street, Gihradelli Square, a lot of Pier's (Pier 39!), and Fisherman's Wharf. I was exhausted when I got back to the hotel at night but it was SOOO worth it! I was burnt out from all my interviews and I knew that there was no use studying for the MMI. A NOTE! If your'e staying near Fisherman's Wharf, be ready to be abruptly woken up by the sound of fog horns!

Since I signed a non-disclosure for UCSF, I cannot say what happened but it's your basic essay and not so basic interview. I know it's a bit cliche but be yourself.

I will talk about timing yourself though. If you're travelling by plane, take the SUPER SHUTTLE to your hotel. I believe it's the cheapest option out there. Plus, you get a free tour of the city! Lots of opportunities for pictures since traffic is beyond slow. To get to and fro from my hotel to my interview and back, I used UBER. 

Sign up with UBER and use my personal code: adriennen210ue to get your first ride FREE.
(Up to $20)

A lot of people have reservations about UBER. I've heard some really wild creeper stories but I had a great time with my drivers. I asked them about the city and they said only the SUPER SUPER RICH can live in SAN FRANCISCO. Preaching to the choir!

Anyways, my interview ended at 4PM and traffic was horrible. My UBER dropped me off at the hotel and I quickly got my luggage from hold and jumped into my shuttle. My flight was at 7:45PM and I was picked up from SUPER SHUTTLE at 4:41PM. Unfortunately, after getting to the airport, checking in and passing through international security at SFO, I missed my flight by a mere 10 minutes. Word of advice, don't take the SUPER SHUTTLE ride to the airport since you'll have to pick up other passengers - just stick with UBER. But I'm a glass half full kind of gal. I got to see all of the international and domestic terminals at San Francisco Airport and I spent the night at SFO all by myself! I felt like Tom Hanks in THE TERMINAL. There were so many art installations that I was able to keep myself amused and awake until my 7AM flight back to LAX.

Anyways, I hope this post help shed some light into interviews. But this concludes my series of pharmacy related shenanigans. My next post pertaining to pharmacy will be my WHITE COAT CEREMONY! I accepted my offer of admissions to more than one school. Curious as to what school I committed to and why? Stay tuned!

PART III: Supplementals

XO,
Adrienne


A Flare for You


What to Wear to Coachella_What to Wear to anoutdoors music festival_bohemian_boho style_anthropologie_free people_adrienne Nguyen_Invictus
Stretchy, roomy, flowy, flare shorts in a bold print? Yes, please! These FREE PEOPLE short shorts would make a great travel companion since it's both comfortable and versatile. To stick with a semi-bohemian theme, I wore a simple bib peasant top with delicate ruffles and buttons. I wore this for a casual shopping day so I stuck with heels to add some height to my frame. However, paired with flats, I'd be set to wander and explore the city! It's getting really hot in Southern California so be prepared for some summery outfits!

DKNY white peasant top with bib and lace ruffle details_free people green flare shorts_adrienne Nguyen_Invictus_california fashion blogger

california fashion blogger_adrienne Nguyen_invictus_boho_free people summer fashion

boho_wavy hairstyle_bohemian fashion blogger_adrienne Nguyen_invictus

what i wore_boho fashion blog_free people mint shorts_stagecoach style_invictus_adrienne nguyen

adrienne nguyen_invictus_fashion blogger_boho style_bohemian style tips

adrienne nguyen_fashion blogger at invictus_california fashion blog_orange county fashion blogger

adrienne nguyen_boho bold prints_summer fashion _summer style

adrienne nguyen_fashion blog_invictus



// DKNY Peasant Top // FREE PEOPLE Mint and Orange Print Flare Shorts // JESSICA SIMPSON Brown Strappy Buckle Heels // REED KRAKOFF Boxer Tote // CARA NEW YORK Bracelets // CHANEL Sunglasses //

XO,
Adrienne

The Art of Pharmacy School Interviews

PART IV. (See PART III: SUPPLEMENTAL QUESTIONS HERE)

Humans are pretty superficial - they say don't judge a book by it's cover but aren't interviews just that? We immediately form opinions based on appearances so how you present yourself definitely matters. What do you wear?  Before I go into the nitty gritty details of each school I interviewed at [i.e., what to expect and ACTUAL questions they asked (Yes, I kept a handy dandy journal detailing all my interviews)], I'll give you basic interview tips which apply to anyone preparing for an interview, regardless of the field.

GUYS

You guys definitely have it easy. There's really no way you could possibly screw up! Here's a quick list of what you'll need:


SUITS USA_Harvey Specter_Mike Ross_Jessica Pearson_Rachel Zane_Louis Litt_You just got litt up

(Via: DaveTV - SUITS)


  1. A dapper looking tailored sports coat or blazer. Make sure this fits well - most wear black but don't be afraid of wearing navy blue, charcoal or tan!
  2. A good pair of trousers - most of the guys I saw wore a suit. Of course, you can mix and match... just don't get too wild! Oh, don't be the guy with crumpled fabric on both legs - get them tailored!
  3. A good looking button down with collar stays! Make sure the collars are crisp. I didn't see any guys accessorize with cuff links but I don't see why not!
  4. A tie - skinny or regular depending on your physique. No one wore any bold prints or a tie clip. If you want to play it on the safe side, go for subtle patterns.
  5. Leather Dress Shoes in brown or black. Invest in a good pair because chances are, you'll wear them often!
what to wear to an interview_what to wear to a medical school interview
(Via SUITS USA)

Guys, I know it's difficult but use an iron. You're trying to make a good impression as a potential student so make sure your suit isn't wrinkled! If I were interviewing someone, I'd like to see a little personality (a red tie with chill peppers, why not?!) but with the health sciences, most of your interviewers are of the conservative type - you've been warned!


GIRLS

There are so many possibilities! If you've been following my blog for a while, you know my outfits aren't exactly what you would call appropriate for the workplace let alone in the sciences. When I went on my quest for an interview outfit, I had to decide if I wanted to wear a dress, pencil skirt or trousers. For work appropriate dresses, I like body-conscious dresses and pencil skirts. I didn't want to leave a negative impression with my interviews and the admissions committee so I decided to wear a blazer and trousers. But here are some helpful tips:


If you decide to wear a dress or pencil skirt:



(Via SUITS USA)


  1. Make sure that what you're wearing doesn't ride up too high above your knees when you're sitting down! You're not going to a club! Not only will you look a bit out of place, some of the interviews are face to face without a table in between. You don't want to be pulling your skirt down the entire time or sitting there with your hands stiffly clasped together on your lap. 
  2. I love wearing colorful things but there's a time and place for that and unfortunately, a pharmacy school interview isn't it. Go for the basics: neutrals, black or navy blue. 
  3. Make sure it fits well. If you're wearing a dress, make sure the waist doesn't drop too low and if you're wearing a skirt, make sure it hugs your body... just not too tight!
  4. Make sure your shirt isn't too busy. It's best to go with a simple button down or a good dress top. Oh, make sure your cleavage isn't showing. You want your interviewers focused on your pretty face!
  5. Since you'll be at your interview for around 5 hours, give or take, wear comfortable shoes! I wore heels to all my interviews because they made me look more professional. However, a majority of the girls wore flats. Just make sure they're not open-toed shoes! 


If you decide to wear trousers:

(Via GOOGLE Images- Victoria Beckham)

  1. Wear trousers that sit at the hips and end right at your ankles. Make sure they're not too tight - no camel toes, please! Go for basic work colors!
  2. Make sure your blazer fits well [i.e. shoulders aren't big and sleeves aren't long (you'll be shaking a lot of hands on the day of your interview)]!
  3. For your shirt, I'd say you have a lot of room for creative freedom. You could go the traditional route with a simple button down or you can spice up your look with a sophisticated yet edgy top.
I wish interviewers had an "open mind" about our attire. Yes, I understand that we're preparing for a life as a professional in the field of sciences but we should be able to have a little fun with what we wear, no? Don't get me wrong, some of your interviewers will be really chill and down to earth - I had an interviewer wearing a rubber ducky bow tie! But my advice would be to wear something on the conservative side just to be safe!


WHAT I WORE

If you're wondering what I wore, my ensemble was very similar to the one Victoria Beckham is wearing above. Well, my top was sheer but my v-neck didn't have that deep of a plunge! I'm pretty petite so I had to shop around for my attire. I chose to buy everything separately - I bought my blazer at Zara, my top at some random fashion store and my trousers in the petite section in Ann Taylor. I found the perfect look at J.Crew but the blazer sleeves were way too short on me. Give yourself time to find the perfect outfit!



ADDITIONAL TIPS

GROOMING & MAKEUP

Messy hair might be cute on any other day but not for your interview. If you must, force yourself to wake up earlier. Ladies (and gentlemen), make sure your hair isn't in your face - you don't want to be flipping your hair during the interview. I used a ton of hairspray to tame all my loose strands along with some bobby pins! As for MA K E U P, I've read so many articles on how girls should go to these interviews sans makeup. I didn't want to go bare so I put on what I usually do each morning - winged cat eyeliner, black eyeshadow, mascara, colored in my brows, and concealer! I say wear what makes you C O N F I D E N T  - just make yourself look clean and approachable!



ACCESSORIES

Keep them to a bare minimum and do not be too bold. You want your interviewers focused on you, not your fashion statement. Guys, I'd say a tie clip and watch are all you need. Ladies, a dainty necklace, satchel, and watch are good. Oh, I also brought a L E A T H E R   P O R T F O L I O (displaying my undergraduate institution's emblem) to my interview. Why? It's a great way to take notes since some school's do not provide writing materials or pamphlets. It's also a good place to store any business cards you pick up along the way.


TO SPRAY OR NOT TO SPRAY

While this has nothing to do with aesthetics, scent is a very important element of an interview. Perfume and cologne make you memorable and well, makes you smell good but STOP! What if your interviewer happens to be allergic to an ingredient in your scent? Definitely no bueno. Rare? Yes. Has it happened? According to SDN, it has! If you must wear something, just make sure you spray lightly!



COLOR SCHEME

Some safe, conservative colors you can choose from are the ones you already know : blue, black and grey. There was a girl at two of my interviews who chose to wear a tomato red blazerscrunchie (Ariana Grande Style), and Tom's. I have no idea whether or not she received an acceptance to those schools but don't be that girl. Red screams power and represents luck in Asian cultures but seriously... just chill on the superstitions.
DO YOUR HOMEWORK

If you have an interview, or interviewS because you're just so awesome, you should really do research on the school beforehand. I'll be going into more detail in later posts (i.e. what specific schools asked and a list of questions to use as a guide) but you should really re-read your personal statement, resume, and the school's mission. Practice your answers aloud to questions such as:

 "Tell me about yourself"

“Why Pharmacy?"

"Why this school?"

"What is your greatest strength?” or “What is your greatest weakness?”

In my experience, these were the most commonly asked questions! Practice in front of a mirror. Might sound weird but it was a technique I used for my public speaking class and it actually helped. Note all your facial expressions and hand movements - are they appropriate?

Although you're trying to sell yourself to the school, it's also a G R E A T time to demonstrate your knowledge about the school. If they're big on research and you're fortunate enough to have some experience with it. Bring up your presentations and/or publications along with the IRB. I got a lot of brownie points for it from big research institutions like UCSD and USC!

QUESTIONS? CONCERNS?


Yeah, you better have some. Interviewers typically leave time for you to ask questions about the program, student organizations, life or anything that comes to your mind. At some of my interviews, I went over the maximum allotted time since I was really engaged. Even though the schools run on a schedule, most of my interviewers let me stay back a bit to ask questions. Let me tell you this upfront, I had A BUNCH! Not the BS ones like those people who always raise their hand in class to ask the most ridiculous questions. Real, intellectual, well thought out questions that I prepared beforehand or generated throughout the day. 

Read, read, read the school's website! If you're interested in a certain aspect ask them to expand on it or if you have questions about their programs, bring it up! Just remember, this is still part of the interview so maintain your professionalism!

FOLLOW UP


WHEW! You finished the hard part. Now that the interview is over, you have the option of following up with your interviewers. To email or not to email, that is the question.... I kept a journal documenting everything that happened during the interview day: activities, questions, names of people I met, etc. With the niffy thing we call the internet, we can look up emails so easily! I wrote emails to my interviewers at the first two schools I interviewed at but then I stopped. GASP! I realized that interviewers must be bombarded with academic emails daily so I just decided to stop writing emails. (For a job interview, DO write personalized emails, accounting detailed conversations from the interview, within a day's period!). 

There are so many aspects that go into choosing whether or not an applicant is accepted to the school. You already showed your interviewers what a great person you are with your interview, essay and application. Just chill on the cyber stalking. Celebrate the fact that you were chosen to be interviewed and the rest will all fall into place!

* MOST PICTURES ARE FROM SUITS - MY FAVORITE TV SHOW! *


PART III: Supplementals
XO,
Adrienne

IVY PASHLI


Adrienne Nguyen_Invictus_California Fashion Blogger_Duster Coat_Mini Ivy 3.1 Phillip Lim Pashli

Everything is just better when it's pint-sized, don't you agree? If you've been reading my blog, you must know by now that I am in love with my 3.1 Phillip Lim Medium Black Pashli Satchel. As I was out shopping (a.k.a. damaging my bank account), my eyes caught this 3.1 Phillip Lim Mini Ivy Pashli Satchel at Nordstrom. I tried it on and put it back down numerous times but I finally succumbed to my desires...

I paired this mini satchel with an outfit I'd wear to school. Fun fact: I actually wore these boots to school once! I must say it was extremely difficult venturing up and down the lecture halls and running around campus but it was interesting to see everyone's reaction to them. But I digress. This satchel fits all my basic necessities and the color was just too hard to pass up! Are you guys into mini bags?

Adrienne Nguyen_Invictus_fashion Blogger_OOTD_Lookbook
What to Wear to Work_Duster Coat and Peter Pan Collar Top with Mini Crossbody


// ZARA White Peter Pan Collar Grey Top // Sleeveless Duster Coat // Quilted Leather Skater Skirt // MESSECA Charmene Ankle Boots // CHANEL Sunglasses // 3.1 PHILLIP LIM Mini Pashli Crossbody (IVY) //

SUPPLEMENTALS

PART III. (See PART II: GLORIOUS LETTERS AND EXTRACURRICULARS HERE)


Applying to Pharmacy School in the United States_California Pharmacy School_Pharmacy School Blog_SDN_Pharmacist_Pharm Blog_Adrienne Nguyen_Invictus

Now that you've completed the actual PharmCAS application, it's time to get down and dirty with school specific questions! According to school websites and SDN, you THEORETICALLY shouldn't copy and paste answers from one school to the next... but the questions are gosh-darn similar! I suppose the main reason for this conjecture is for the applicant's benefit. Sometimes we get so used to seeing the same thing (like an essay) over and over again that we skip over minor details... like copying paragraph A into school #2 but forgetting to change the name of the school from #1 to #2. Those kinds of mistakes can really hurt your application.

REREAD your answers before submitting.

Yes, I understand that you're under pressure and a possible time crunch but it's better to send in a pristine application rather than one full of mistakes. When should you send in your supplementals? It's entirely up to you. Since I had no guidance during the application process, I just sent off my supplementals as I completed them. If I may be bold, I can honestly say I had a strong application. If I were to redo this process, I wouldn't have sent in my finished applications so early. Why? I ended up spending a lot of money on cars, hotels and plane tickets to schools I didn't want to attend. I actually cancelled my interview to Touro since I had acceptances rolling in however, I lost the money I put down for my airline ticket.

Know the risks you're taking when you're making a payment! 

Contrary to airlines, most hotels give a full or partial refund. Anyways, my first interview was in September and then I had one about every other week (most of the schools I applied to were on a rolling basis). I noticed how random and out of place some school locations were, so I used my earlier interviews as preparation for schools I actually wanted to attend. Use your money wisely since it will all add up! Though truth be told, if I were to actually apply again, I might just do the same thing and send all my apps in early... I guess it's just the OCD in me coming out!


THE SUPPLEMENTAL QUESTIONS
Now onwards to the good stuff! The questions on Supplementals! Below are the schools I applied to, and their respective supplemental questions, in alphabetical order! Please note that the questions may change each application cycle as well as the fees. I am putting these up to help you guys get a gist of what to expect.


* NOTE: I only applied to California schools *


CALIFORNIA HEALTH SCIENCES UNIVERSITY

No Supplemental. No fee. All schools should be like this, don't you think?!?!


CALIFORNIA NORTHSTATE UNIVERSITY

Fill out the form and re-enter (that's right... RE-ENTER) your college courses. $50 fee.


KGI (KECK GRADUATE INSTITUTE)

Answer the question: Why KGI? $60 fee.


TOURO UNIVERSITY

Responses to the following should be limited to 250 words or less. $50 fee.

1. Have you ever attended another college or pharmacy, even for just a few days? If yes, (just explain).

2. Are you a re-applicant who has previously interviewed? If yes, what was the result of the interview and what changes have you made?

3. Please list your favorite extra-curricular activities and non-academic pursuits.

4. Within the last three years, please provide the name of previous employers, your occupation(2), and the duration(s) of your employment.

5. Within the last three years, have you been engaged in any volunteer experiences? Please include the type of experience, duration and position.

6. Within the last five years, what awards or recognition(s) have you received?

7. Please explain why you have chosen to apply to our College of Pharmacy?

8. What do you believe is the most difficult challenge pharmacists will face in the coming years? What would you do to overcome this challenge?

Response to the following should be limited to 500 words or less:

The Admissions and Standards Committee reviews applications from many applicants with strong academic backgrounds and experiences. Without considering skills and accomplishments, please describe those personal characteristics you feel make you stand out as an individual.


USC (UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA)

Responses are limited to 2500 Characters. No fee.

1. Why USC? 

2. What unique, personal qualities and/or life experiences will you bring to the program? You can also include information why your college transcript or resume do not portray an accurate depiction of your past performances. 



UCSD (UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SAN DIEGO)

Answer Sections about specific topics. Character limit of 750. $90 fee.

1. Community Service : describe any community service related activities for which you have volunteered, and highlight any accomplishments.

2. Outside and/or Intellectual Interests : Describe hobbies, recreational interests, or other personally rewarding activities in which you participate and elaborate on their importance to you.

3. Other Information (Optional): You may use the space to tell else anything.

4. Professional Vision : UCSD Strives to create pharmacists who will lead the profession in innovative and integrated health care environments. How have your past experiences and your career interests prepared you to become an innovator in the profession and to excel in integrated models of healthcare delivery.

5. Leadership Talent : Select one of your activities listed in the "Extracurricular and Personal Activities" section and expand upon the leadership skills you developed through participation in this activity. How do you plan to develop your leadership abilities and use these skills to positively impact the profession of pharmacy?



UCSF (UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SAN FRANCISCO)

Character limit varies however, as you can tell the question are much more intense. $100 fee.

1. What personal characteristics will make you stand out as an individual? How will these characteristics contribute to the UCSF community?

  • In contrast to your PharmCAS application and statement, which asks you to describe your skills, accomplishments and future goals, we ask that you write a second essay that addresses your personal uniqueness (4000 Characters)
2. Why UCSF?
  • Please tell us what specifically attracts you to UCSF. How will the education and training you receive from UCSF help you achieve your professional goals (2000)
3. Explain how your educational, employment or other extracurricular experiences have provided you an opportunity to actively address issues of diversity or health disparities. How will these experiences help you to succeed in our UCSF program?
  • An increasingly diverse society in America has significant implications for the future practice of pharmacy. At UCSF, addressing issues of diversity and health disparities are values we hold close. Use examples from your own experiences in addressing these issues and how they will help you succeed in our program and in the profession (2000)
4. PERSONAL PERSPECTIVE: How have your personal experiences informed your understanding of the human condition?
  • Summarize what you believe you have learned about the nature of humanity and how that will impact your tenure as a student at UCSF and your future as a pharmacist. (2000)
5. OTHER: Tell us anything us you want us to know (2000)

6. SOCIAL/CULTURAL FACTORS: Tell us about nay unique circumstances involving your family and the community in which you were raised, and how these social and cultural factors might have adversely affected the pursuit of your education (2000)

7. ECONOMIC FACTORS: Economic factors, such as the need to work, dependent car, family etc, can often seriously impede an individual's academic progress. Use the space below to elaborate on any economic issues that affected your schooling. (2000)

8. EDUCATIONAL DISADVANTAGES: The availability and types of schooling offered, as well as the history of education in one's family might vary significantly. Comment below on any educational disadvantages you feel you might have had to overcome (2000)

9. OTHER FACTORS / DISADVANTAGES: Are there now, or have there been in the past, any other factors or barriers that might have adversely affected your academic performance? If so, elaborate (2000)


WEST COAST UNIVERSITY

No supplemental. $75 fee.



WESTERN UNIVERSITY

Character Limit of 1200 or 200 words. $65 fee.

1. Explain what you have done to prepare yourself for a career in pharmacy?

2. Identify one social problem in the US that is concern to you. What do you believe is a possible solution?

3. Name an individual whom you admire greatly. Why?

4. What are your strongest and weakest personal characteristics? How have these characteristics affected you in the achievement of your goals?

5. Describe one extra-curricular activity that had a significant impact in your life. If you have not participated, why?

6. Describe an adversity you have faced in your life and how you have addressed it.

7. Have you had any academic difficulties that may appear on your transcripts that you would like to explain.

8. Please use this space to make any additional personal comments that you think will strengthen your application. If you are a re-applicant, eplain what you have done in the past year to enhance your application.


Whew, after answering those questions, all you can do now is refresh your email every 5 seconds in hopes for an interview invite. I don't even remember how many times I checked... I went mad... Anyways, I know you guys will probably want to kick back but I'd say use your time wisely and learn some interview tactics. My next post will be purely dedicated on interviews - not the specific interview questions per se (those will come in a later post) but rather how to dress and act. Stay tuned!

PART III: Supplementals

XO,
Adrienne

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