Meet Our Students
Student Spotlight - Jamie Kraemer (Pharmacy)
Where are you going to Pharmacy School: University of Cincinnati, James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy
Hometown: Louisville, KY
Why did you choose UK? I am a Governor Scholar, so I was given some scholarship money that could be applied towards any in-state school, but could not be transferred to a different school once I started as a freshman. I was originally thinking of doing either engineering or pharmacy, and UK offered both of those. Also, UK is far enough away from home that I was able to learn to be on my own, but also close enough that I can go home for a day and not be stuck driving in the car for hours.
When did you start the HUNU major? Fall of my freshman year
Why did you choose HUNU? HUNU offers many things, but some of the biggest reasons for me are the following: the program is set-up so that the required classes pretty much coincide with the pre-requisites for pharmacy school; I really enjoy eating food and was extremely active in sports in high school so I thought this major sounded interesting and would provide classes that were applicable to everyday life; this major is in the College of Ag, which has a student to faculty ration of 14:1, which really allowed me to get to know my professors on a more personal level; and the College of Agriculture gives away about $650,000 in scholarships every year and freshmen, transfer, and returning students are able to apply for the scholarships. Since my parent's had three children in college at the same time, I was really looking for ways to help pay for my school. On a side note, even though the scholarship money was and is important, once I decided on the HUNU major many, many opportunities came my way that would not have if I was in any other major. It is much easier to get involved with extracurricular activities in the College of Ag and the School of Human Environmental Sciences when your professors or fellow classmates ask you personally to join instead of just seeing a flyer hanging on a door.
What was/were the hardest classes you had at UK? The hardest classes for me have been calculus I (MA 113), because our professor did not let us use calculators; organic II (CHE 232), because that class is just hard no matter how you look at it; and physics I and II (PHY 211, 213), because I have trouble visualizing how forces and other things that you can't physically see actually effect something. A lot of the science based classes you will see as a pre-pharmacy and HUNU student are designed as weed-out classes. I will never forget when I got back an organic II test and saw a 34% circled in red pen on the top of my test. I've never seen that much red pen on a test before in my life, but when I was told that the class average was a 41%, it made the pain not seem as bad. So, the best advice that I have is to stick it out, because if you are passionate about HUNU and pharmacy (or whichever professional school you are planning on applying to) then somehow your career dreams will come true, you just have to persevere through the hard stuff.
How do you think a HUNU degree will help you in your professional endeavors? I strongly believe that what a person eats and their level of physically activity correlates to their overall health. That being said, I think that the HUNU classes I have been in at UK have given me a strong foundation that will help me once I am a pharmacist to not only help people with their prescription management but also with life-style changes that may eventually help them get off their medications (i.e. medications for high blood pressure, type II diabetes, etc.)
What advice do you have for students new to the HUNU major? Get involved with the UK Student Dietetic Association (UK SDA). This was the first club I became a member of and through that I was given some amazing opportunities in leadership and volunteering. This club is open to both HUNU and dietetic majors, so it gives you the opportunity to meet new people and get involved with both UK and the Lexington community. UK SDA was truly the foundation of all of my other extracurricular activities, for instance I was the College of Agriculture Student Council Representative for UK SDA which got me more involved with the College of Ag and through that eventually got me involved with other Ag groups and helped me become an Ambassador for the College of Ag.
What advice do you have for pre-pharmacy students? Why do you think you were successful in getting admitted to pharmacy school after 3 years? As I said before, persevering through the hard classes and even some lousy test grades is extremely hard, but if you don't let yourself give up then you are going to succeed no matter what. Also, getting involved is extremely important and is what I believe made me stick out to the admissions committee. In the pre-pharmacy world I am an average student and my PCAT score fell in the average percentile for many colleges, but I had pharmacy tech experience, volunteer experience in a hospital pharmacy, had held about four major leadership positions during my 3 years at UK, and was involved with a variety of clubs. WARNING: Do not join clubs just to be able to put them on your resume, because in every interview (and I had 4) they asked me to talk about some of my college experiences I listed on my PharmCas application and how those will help shape me into the best pharmacist possible. That being said, make sure the clubs you get involved with are ones that you enjoy going to because you don't want to waste your time and others by going to the meetings but never actually doing anything with the organization.
You are an Ambassador for the College of Agriculture - What did you learn through that experience? How has it impacted your future? Being an Ambassador for the College of Ag has been one of the best opportunities I have had at UK. Even though it can be a somewhat time consuming position to hold, I would not trade it for anything in the world. Being an Ambassador requires you to visit high schools and give presentation about the College of Ag, help host alumni events, give prospective student tours, and basically anything the College of Ag hosts that they need help with (like the World Equestrian Games this past fall). The biggest thing that I have learned through Ambassadors is how to relate to and communicate with people of all ages, races, ethnicities, etc. Talking to an alumni that graduated from UK in the 1950's is much different than talking to a prospective high school junior/senior student. I was a little timid about interviewing to be an Ambassador because coming from Louisville I have no agriculture background and being in the School of Human Environmental Sciences is much different than the "traditional" College of Ag majors. Being an Ambassador has placed me out of my comfort zone more times than I can count and although some of those instances were uncomfortable they helped me grow and have shaped me into a more outgoing person. Being placed out of your comfort zone and learning how to deal with different situations will definitely help me in the future and already helped me feel more confident during my pharmacy interviews.