by Michelle Lam
Do you have what it takes to be admitted to pharmacy school?
USC School of Pharmacy second-year Tadeh Vartanian can help you become a competitive applicant through his new business Priclarus, an application-help service for pre-pharmacy students faced with the task of applying to graduate school.
Priclarus offers one-on-one meetings for pre-pharmacy students which focus on any or all of the following subjects: interview preparation, resume building, and personal statement critiquing. Pre-medical and pre-dental students are also welcome to take part.
The name of the company is derived from the Latin word “praeclarus,” meaning excellence. Vartanian’s idea for providing these services to pre-pharmacy undergraduates originates from his days as president of the UCLA Pre-Pharmacy Society, during which he organized several such workshops.
It came from his realization that “many students were able to take classes [and] get that A…or do a rotation or internship, but had trouble putting all that on paper,” Vartanian said.
After applying to and being accepted into several pharmacy schools in California, Vartanian learned during his first year at the USC School of Pharmacy that “pharmacy is very entrepreneurial-oriented” and created Priclarus in his spring semester.
Mock interview sessions offered through Priclarus are about an hour long. Half the time is spent interviewing the student with practice questions, while the other half involves putting the student in the interviewer’s position and having him or her ask the questions. Afterwards, commentary as well as an audio recording of the mock interview is shared with the student.
“When you put yourself in the interviewer’s shoes, you get into that mentality of predicting the next question, or understanding where the interviewer comes from,” Vartanian said.
Resume building sessions involve brainstorming about the student’s accomplishments over the course of his or her undergraduate career, then advising the student on how to compose good bullet point statements and descriptions.
For the personal statement, the resume is largely used as a tool for brainstorming concepts and a suitable approach.
“Chances are, we would get a lot of ideas from your resume. If you have a good resume, your personal statement should not be too gruesome,” Vartanian said.
Once the main ideas and strategy are devised, the student writes a personal statement that is then proofread by Priclarus.
Each service offered by Priclarus can be purchased separately, but multi-session packages are offered at discounted rates. Prices start at around $40 per session. Vartanian is currently working alone, but a number of his classmates have also expressed interest in joining Priclarus. The company’s growth depends on undergraduate interest.
“With good interview preparation skills and the ability to speak eloquently and think logistically, it will bring [students] a long way,” Vartanian said.
According to Vartanian, at the end of the day, health care will always be a human-oriented profession, and students need to acquire a personal touch to health care. While his particular business may not be pharmacy related directly, it requires inspiration, hard work, and an entrepreneurial spirit, which he believes are important skills to have in the field of pharmacy.
“With anything in life, you always need to create your own opportunities, to get involved and come up with new ideas,” Vartanian said.
Priclarus is his creative outlet, one that he hopes will give prospective pharmacy students a leg up in getting into the school of their dreams.
Students interested in Priclarus can find more information at http://www.priclarus.com/.