How Emilie from Quebec Learned to Thrive at MCPHS

Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in Boston welcomed Emilie with open arms. Here's her story.

How Emilie from Qu?bec Learned to Thrive at MCPHS

Emilie Imbeault is a third-year student from Québec, now pursuing a doctor of pharmacy degree at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS). MCPHS staff sat down with her for a short Q&A to learn more about her experiences as a Canadian student pursuing her pharmacy education in the United States. (This interview has been edited for clarity and concision.)

Q) How did you decide to go to the US to get your PharmD?

A) I've been interested in becoming a hospital pharmacist for the longest time. I applied to the best pharmacy school back home in Québec, but I was waitlisted.

I heard about Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences on social media and decided to explore further. I thought I would never get into the second-oldest pharmacy school in the US, but I was so excited when I did.

Studying at the heart of medical research in the US

I knew MCPHS was located in the Longwood Medical Area, surrounded by famous institutions like Boston Children's Hospital and the Dana Farber Cancer Research Institute. I'm also interested in the field of pharmaceutical biotechnology, for which Boston is a great place to be, with companies like Novartis, Pfizer, and Moderna located here.

Back in Québec, where I'm from, we don't have a lot of biotech companies. We don't make many drugs just because we don't have the resources that the US has. So I really thought the US was a great place to be — especially Boston.

Q) How has MCPHS helped you succeed?

A) Coming from Québec, I was not used to speaking English outside of my English classes in high school. However, I never felt stressed or scared at MCPHS because of the support provided by the admissions teams. Before coming to the US, they helped me a lot, from procuring scholarships to getting a room in the residence hall.

The atmosphere in the residence halls helped me stay positive throughout the whole process of adjusting to a new country, speaking a new language, and making new friends. I highly recommend international students live in residence halls. That experience helped me create a valuable network with many new people. I'm really close to my roommates and I always reach out to them when I need support and someone to talk to.

When it comes to academics, MCPHS offers a lot of support as well. In our Pharmacy lab, we get to practice counselling real patients. I learned a lot about helping make the patient feel comfortable. What to say, how to say it, and when not to say certain things are valuable skills to have as a pharmacist.

Dedicated support from your MAC team

We also have something called a MAC team, where each student is assigned a faculty mentor and academic coach. Faculty mentors help with goal-setting and planning for your career. Your academic coach helps with issues like a conflicting schedule.

For example, I would like to work for a biotech company, but I don't know where to start. I can always go to my faculty mentor, who is also a pharmacist, and get their advice on how to accomplish my goal.

Q) What advice would you give to a Canadian student interested in MCPHS?

A) I highly recommend MCPHS because it's an inclusive school: we have students from all around the world, including Canada. In the PharmD program, several faculty members and pharmacists work in the hospitals and research centres located around MCPHS, so you get to build a network.

Recently, one of the faculty members was kind enough to offer me an opportunity to work at Boston Children's Hospital, one of the top hospitals in the country. The support you'll get from your instructors and peers at MCPHS is unrivalled.

Curious to start your own adventure at MCPHS? Learn more about admissions on the MCPHS website.

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