Thus the journey begins…

by Transpharmers

Hello everyone!

As my sister Kim has already introduced me, my name is Phat Tran, and I am the older brother.  Many people have approached us and ask how is it that a pair of brother and sister enters the same pharmacy school, same pharmacy class, and the same campus together?  Are you guys supper smart or something like that?  To those who asked that question, I always say, “Maybe my sister, but for me…Heck nah!”  I truly believe that our case is a miracle!  (Talk to me in person and I will give you my testimony about it, way too long to post on here).  Someone upstairs (aka GOD) must have been watching and know how much I would struggle if I was to enter in pharmacy school by myself, and so he sent my sister along to help 🙂 My whole journey with pharmacy was quite different from many and it was last weekend at my first professional pharmacy meeting, MSHP Conference in Brooklyn Center that I reflected upon this journey again.

Throughout high school and early college years, many careers caught my interest.  Perhaps my future would include being a Priest, a teacher, a caretaker, or even a pharmacist.  No matter what I chose, one consistent theme was present – I wanted a career that would allow me to have a positive impact on the lives of others.

Through volunteering at my church, one of the youth group leaders, who had 4 pharmacists and one pharmacy technician in their family, introduced me to work at Walgreens.  And so on April 17, 2007, I started work as a pharmacy technician. To my surprise, I felt right at home and thus begin my pursuit at a career in the pharmacy.  My sister got her acceptance letter in March of 2010 and one month later, I also got mine!  Woohoo!!  After 3 years of community college and being rejected once from the U of MN, I finally got into pharmacy school!  And better yet, we are in it together!  Let the new journey begin.

-Phat Tran

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9 Comments to “Thus the journey begins…”

  1. Hi Phat- love your story! Did not know that you have a sister in your class. Very very cool . The pictures of you, your siste and your big amazing family are very endearing. Makes me emotional to see them. I admire you for putting yourself out there in this forum as well as MC’ing one of our meetings:)
    Keep it up and next time I see you, I am going to make sure to stop and chat. Glad to have you in our pharmacy program.

    • Thank you Geeta. I heard through the grapevine about you and your family in the health profession as well 🙂 Would love to chat with you one of these days about it! And thank you for following our blog.
      -Phat

  2. Hi,
    Thanks for sharing your story. I am looking for pharmD as my new major. I have been in school on and off for quite a long time. At first i thought nursing is a good career choice because i know that i will never be jobless with an increase demand for nursing and also I have worked as a nursing assistant for couple of years. However now that I am in nursing school..I kind of feel like this is not for me. I mean I love working with patients but i have always wanted to get do pharmacy. With my nursing generals I know I have completed few of the pharmD prerequisites. I know I have the potential. I am also little familiar with pharmacology interms of nursing. I really wanted to know what do you think. I wanted to know how is pharmacy school has been for you so far? Can you work through pharmD school? What do you recommend for my situation? I would really appreciate ur help?

    • Hello!
      Actually I thought about nursing when I was attending North Hennepin Community College because that was one of the major emphasis at the school. Also at that time, I was in the similar boat as you attending school on and off so I did not think I would ever make it into Pharmacy school. However, after talking to some nurses and friends that are in the pharmacy profession, they convinced me to keep on trying to see if I can get into pharmacy school. They also helped me to get my first pharmacy job and that further inflamed my passion for pharmacy 🙂 The first year of pharmacy school was not too bad. The materials were quite similar to the prerequisites so I was able to work around 18-24 hours and volunteer for ~10 hours per week. Since second year started I only work 8 hours a week and still kept up with my volunteering work. It is quite difficult so far so I am trying to cut down a little bit more to focus on school. I would recommend coming to one of our preview days here at the College of Pharmacy and see if pharmacy is a good fit for you. Check out the link to the College of Pharmacy on the side panel and then you can also register your email and get monthly updates and suggestions from our pharmacy advisers about registration, PCAT, preview days, and other events. I would also recommend applying for a pharmacy technician job at a local community pharmacy to get some experience. At the end of the day, if pharmacy is your passion, don’t give up and keep on trying to get in. I got rejected once and that was devastating to me at that time but if you keep on persevering, you never know that outcome and perhaps you will join us soon 🙂 Good luck and if you have any other questions, feel free to let us know.
      -Best Regards,
      Phat

  3. wanted to do pharamacy**. Oh!! And I am 24 years old.

  4. Thank you so much.

  5. I will wait for your educational journey blog. I love reading your blog. I know you siblings are super busy with school..so whenever you get time. Thank you again. Good luck:)

  6. Phat,
    Will you be at preview day this November?! I would really love to hear your testimony! =]

    • Unfortunately I will not be able to come to Preview Day but I will be on the student panel for pharmacy school interviews the Friday before. It’s always so humbling and exciting to meet ‘future pharmacists’. I hope to see you there one of these days 🙂 If you have any questions, feel free post it on here or email me at tranx270@umn.edu. I usually cannot come to preview days since I volunteer every Saturday at my church as a youth group leader. I will try my best to start typing up my lengthy testimony and post it on here, hopefully I can do it soon so check back often.
      -Best,
      Phat

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