Hometown: West Bloomfield, MI
Name of Undergraduate Institution: Michigan State University
Major(s)/Minor(s) in College: Nutritional Science Major, Minor in Music
Name of Graduate Institution: Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, GA Campus
Major(s)/Minor(s) in Graduate School: Biomedical Sciences, Concentration in Organizational & Developmental Leadership
Name of Pharmacy School: Howard University College of Pharmacy
Favorite Quote: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.”
Contact Info: Brownc75@gmail.com
Facebook: Chanae Ashlan
Where are you currently at in your career path and why did you decide to pursue this career path?
I’m currently in my second semester of Pharmacy school. While I was obtaining my Master’s, I was indecisive about which career field in medicine I wanted to pursue. My graduate school introduced me to the field of Pharmacy and the many opportunities within the field that you could explore. I had no idea that Pharmacy was more than just working behind the counter at CVS and I felt my professional goals aligned with the profession of Pharmacy.
If you could go back and have a chat with your naïve college freshman self, what would you tell her?
I would say care more about your GPA so that you won’t have to take the long route to achieve your goals.
What advice would you give to someone looking to pursue a similar path as yours?
Maintain an overall and science GPA of a 3.2+ or higher, get some work experience in the pharmacy realm (pharmacy tech), talk to people within the profession to make sure this is what you really want to do, and network, network, network!
What is a major challenge you have had to overcome and how did you do so?
I finished undergrad with a less than stellar GPA. It was a challenge getting to where I’m at, where most would have given up by now. Most graduate programs would not accept me with my GPA, so I did a post-bacc program for a year to raise my science and overall GPA. After that, I decided to get a Master’s to increase my chances of acceptance. Now at 28, my hard work post-undergrad has paid off and I’m in my second semester of PharmD school.
What is your favorite thing about your Pharmacy school?
I would say that Howard University has a feeling of “togetherness” within its students that I have not received at other universities. Everyone comes from different backgrounds and is willing to help each other out to make sure everyone succeeds.
Do you have another professional degree? If so, how has it impacted you?
My Master’s degree has definitely helped me in more ways than one. From an academic standpoint, I feel that I understand the material more since I have already learned it more in depth. It also taught me time management skills and how to be mentally prepared for Pharmacy school.
What advice would you give to someone getting ready to start their application process to Pharmacy schools?
Contact the advisors of the school that you wish to attend to express your interest. Most advisors are very helpful and will look over your application to see if you have met the requirements. If you don’t meet their requirements, they will go over with you what you need to do so that you will be a good candidate for their program. Also, getting your name out there will only help to increase your chances of acceptance.
In preparation for the PCAT, I would suggest to take 2-3 months of hard studying. I used Kaplan and Dr. Collins self-study books.
Make sure that the professors/pharmacists/other professionals that you ask to write your letters know you well enough to write exceptional letters.
Turn your application in early! The earlier the better to increase your chances of acceptance.
Did you take some time off before Pharmacy school? If so, what did you do during that time?
Yes, after undergrad I took two years off and worked as a Physical Therapist aide and also as an aide in a Nurse Practitioner Clinic.
Do you have any passions outside of school? If so, what are they?
I am passionate about sports; I grew up playing basketball (yes I still got it!) and love still playing and watching/going to sports events. I’m also passionate about music. I was classically trained in piano and received scholarship money in college to play. In my free time, I play for relaxation.
What do you like to do for fun?
Play sports, work out, shop, travel, repeat
What do you feel is the most challenging part of Pharmacy school? The easiest part?
The most challenging part is balancing your time between schoolwork and extracurriculars. Sometimes you might have a test on Monday but also have to go out of town for a conference that following weekend. Also, another challenging part is making time for yourself. Health and fitness are a big part of my life and there are times where I have to sacrifice going to the gym or eating healthy because of my schedule.
How have you been able to deal with your romantic relationship and Pharmacy school at the same time?
I am single!
In regards to dating, what kind of qualities are you looking for in someone?
I think dating while in professional school, it’s always best to find someone that’s understanding. You won’t have time to go out on dates every weekend, or see that person often (might not even have enough time to talk to them on the phone a lot!) so dating someone that understands that you are trying to reach your goals is a big thing for me.
What did you do during the summer before you started Pharmacy school?
After I received my Master’s in June, I received a job offer in D.C to teach at a science summer camp for young scholars across the nation. In this program, scholars were taught about the various healthcare professions, were able to travel to different medical schools and talk to professionals and students, and had some hands-on simulations through the programs at these schools.
What do you do to get through the stressful nature of Pharmacy school?
I stay physically active and make sure to workout 3-4 times a week.
What extra-curricular activities are you involved in at your school?
I am P1 class chair of AphA (American Pharmacist Association) and also I am involved in IphO.
What is it like attending school in your city?
D.C is an amazing city to go to school in! Howard University is the only pharmacy program in the city and the professional connections are great. When you do have time to go out, D.C is known for its food!
What were some of your involvements in college? Have those involvements helped you in any way in Pharmacy school?
I was Vice-President of Successful Black Women, an organization that was founded during the years of my involvement and now is a top organization at Michigan State’s campus. This taught me leadership, which has carried on with me throughout my graduate and professional schooling.
Who are some of your favorite musicians? Favorite books? Shows? Movies?
I listen to all kinds of music, so I can’t say that I have a favorite!
My favorite book is “The Alchemist”
TV shows – Real Housewives of ATL, Married to Medicine, House Hunters on HGTV, Game of Thrones, How To Get Away With Murder
Movies – Lord of the Rings, any kind of scary movie (big fan of horror films)
Awesome! Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experiences with us Chanae and for giving us all of this fantastic advice! You have an important perspective of healthcare, and I'm really glad that you decided to share some of your insight with us! Best of luck to you as you keep grinding towards your PharmD!
Posted on March 19th, 2018