Student Testimonials

Julie Reddick, Pre-Med

Name: Julie Reddick
Major: Cell and Molecular Biology
HSPP Plan: Pre-Medicine
Hometown: Martin, TN
High school: Westview High School
UTM graduate: December 2013

 

Why did you choose Biology as a major?
I initially chose to major in biology because it was always my favorite subject in school. It was also the only subject that wasn't horribly boring for me. That worked out well, because it proved to be incredibly helpful, and in my opinion, the best major to choose when you will need to eventually take the MCAT.

 

What do you like to do in your free time?
In my free time, I mostly enjoy spending time with my immediate and extended family. Now that I have graduated, I finally have the chance to read books of my choosing, and I spend my mornings exercising.

 

Were you a member of any organizations at UTM? If yes, which organizations? Did you hold any important roles? If yes, what were they?
Because I spent so much time studying, I was not involved in school sanctioned activities outside of academics. I spent my last semester of college doing research for Dr. James Smart.

 

Where will you be going this fall?
James H. Quillen College of Medicine in Johnson City, TN.

 

What was the hardest part of the application process?
Waiting was easily the hardest part. Waiting the month for MCAT scores, waiting for the application to be processed, waiting for interviews, and definitely waiting for the final decision from the schools at which I interviewed.

 

How many schools did you apply to?
Seventeen

 

How did you choose the schools you applied to?
I knew for years that I wanted to go to Quillen. However, I was getting such low scores on my MCAT practice tests that I was worried about getting accepted anywhere. I initially applied to Tennessee schools, then chose schools with lower average MCAT scores that were relatively close to home.

 

What advice would you give to pre-medical students?
Put the large portion of your effort into academics and extra activities for your application. You cannot redo or erase anything that happens in the four years of undergrad. You have your entire life to do things you enjoy. Don't let parties or "college life" change the rest of your life by making you have to give up your dreams. I'm not saying you can't have fun, it just doesn't have to take up every second of your time, unless you want to choose a new career path.

 

The 2014-2015 application cycle will begin in May. What advice do you have for students who are applying?
Get everything you need for the application process done as quickly as possible, then relax. Dragging out stressful processes won't make anything easier, it will just make everything last longer.

 

How did you prepare for the MCAT?
Badly. I thought that if I took every science class I was required to take for my major, I would be fine. However, I found out very quickly that the MCAT is much more about learning how to take the test than it is about knowledge. The knowledge definitely helps, but you will not be successful with a college education alone. After I figured that out, I cancelled my May MCAT, bought every Princeton Review book, and studied for the next three months until I took my test and received a 32 (11B 10P 11V).

 

What advice do you have for students who are preparing for the MCAT?
Study all you can, but don't think you have to lock yourself in a room and do nothing else. I studied a maximum of 4 hours per day. I heard of many people saying they studied 12+ hours a day. I'm still not sure if that is possible without losing your mind. Also, don't study the day before the test and don't take a practice test right before either! At that point, studying will just make you worry about everything you still don't know rather than focusing on the fact that you've done your best to prepare and you should be pleased with that.

 

What other information do you think pre-med students should know?
I have always lived by the motto "if you have done your best, there is nothing to be ashamed of." Spend these four years putting in all your effort and you won't have to be burdened with any regrets, if your goal of becoming a doctor comes to fruition or not.

Rebecca Headden, Pre-Pharmacy

Name: Rebecca Headden
Major: Biology- Cell and Molecular Concentration
HSPP Plan: Pre-Pharmacy
Hometown: Lewisburg, TN
High school: Marshall County High School

 

Why did you choose Biology as a major?

I was originally a Chemistry major, but after freshman year I realized I really enjoyed biology and was more interested in the biology courses, especially the upper division biology courses like Genetics and Virology.

 

What do you like to do in your free time?
I play piano and guitar. I sing a little. Love to go kayaking with my brother and play soccer and ultimate Frisbee with my friends.

 

Were you a member of any organizations at UTM? If yes, which organizations? Did you hold any important roles? If yes, what were they?
SOAR Staff member, Student Ambassador, UTM Honors student, SGA Freshman Council- Student Affairs committee.

 

Where will you be going this fall?
Union University School of Pharmacy

 

What was the hardest part of the application process?
I don't think any one part of the application process was more difficult than any other. I think getting everything together like Ref Letters and transcripts was time consuming, but not super difficult. I guess overall, the hardest part of the process is the time it requires to apply while still being a full time student.

 

How many schools did you apply to?
Four

 

How did you choose the schools you applied to?
I did a lot of cold calling to schools and talking to as many people there as possible. Not just admissions people, but also students, alumni and a couple professors. I also talked to some pharmacists I know and got their opinions.

 

What advice would you give to pre-medical students?
Make good grades and get as much pharmacy experience as you can.

 

The 2014-2015 application cycle will begin in May. What advice do you have for students who are applying?
Don't procrastinate. Take the PCAT as soon as you can and fill out your PharmCAS early. Schools use rolling admissions so the earlier you get your application and material submitted, the better off you are. Also, try to get as much experience in pharmacy as you can, even if it's just shadowing for a couple hours; if you put in extra effort, the schools will recognize it.

 

How did you prepare for the PCAT?
Bought the prep book and read through it a couple of times and took as many practice tests as I could find online

 

What advice do you have for students who are preparing for the PCAT?
BE PREPARED! It is expensive and very important to pharmacy schools admissions councils, so take it seriously. Just because you can take it more than once, doesn't mean you should depend on that.

 

What other information do you think pre-med students should know?
Try not to stress. It's a big deal! I mean, it is your future, but you can't let it overwhelm you. Just apply yourself to every part of the application process and do as much as you can. If you do that, you won't need to stress.

Anna Coln, Pre-Pharmacy

Name: Anna Coln

Major: Cell and Molecular Biology

HSPP Plan: Pre-Pharmacy

Hometown: Selmer, TN

High School: McNairy Central

 

Why did you choose Biology as a major?

I choose cell and molecular because it provided the courses that I would need for pharmacy school, and I knew that it would be challenging enough to prepare me to further my education.

 

What do you like to do in your free time?

I enjoy exercising, reading, and socializing.

 

Were you a member of any organizations at UTM? If yes, which organizations? Did you hold any important roles? If yes, what were they?

I was a member of MED and Phi Kappa Phi.

 

Where will you be going this fall?

This fall I will be attending Union University’s School of Pharmacy.

 

What was the hardest part of the application process?

The hardest part was making sure I had everything on the application that I wanted and needed the schools to know. Double check your application, and even have other people check your application to make sure it is complete.

 

How many schools did you apply to?

I applied to four schools.

 

How did you choose the schools you applied to?

All of the schools I applied to were excellent pharmacy schools. Also, they were all in areas that I am interested in living and working in.

 

What advice would you give to pre-pharmacy students?

Stay on top of your studies, because applying to pharmacy school is very competitive. Don’t avoid the harder classes because they look good on your transcripts and they will prepare you for further education.

 

The 2014-2015 application cycle for pharmacy school will begin in June. What advice do you have for students who will be applying?

Start early, stay on top of things, and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

 

How did you prepare for the PCAT?

I took the PCAT in July. So, I used May and June to really study and prepare for taking the PCAT.

 

What advice do you have for students who are preparing for the PCAT?

Prior to taking the PCAT it would be really helpful to get a word of the day app on your phone or something of that sort, and stay on top of expanding your vocabulary. That will be extremely helpful in the verbal ability portion of the PCAT.

 

What other information do you think pre-pharmacy students should know?

Try not to stress out too much and enjoy the process.

 

 

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