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Health Professions

Daria Polyarskaya '18

Class Year


Area(s) of Study

Major in Biology Minor in Chemistry


Vernon Hills, IL

Graduate Study

PharmD - Doctor of Pharmacy

What do you think of the new Health Professions Program between Lake Forest College and Rosalind Franklin University?

In my opinion, the new Health Professions Program is an excellent idea, and I would encourage all students interested in pursuing healthcare professions to participate. This program would allow students who are certain of their path to gain hands-on experience and begin mastery of the field. I think this would help students feel more confident when they enter graduate school allowing them to excel and feel prepared for what awaits them.


What made you choose Lake Forest College?

There were a variety of factors that helped me in deciding to choose Lake Forest College. One of the factors was the small class size at Lake Forest College allowing for more interaction between students and professors. In a short amount of time, professors know their students by name, and I really appreciated that. In addition, the professors are very accessible, and I was able to come and ask them any questions at any time. Lake Forest College is a very diverse campus. Since I came from a foreign country, I am glad I had the chance to experience the diversity of cultures and the joy of interacting with people from all over the world at the College. Additionally, one of the biggest reasons, was the Lake Forest College Dual-Degree program for pharmacy school at Rosalind Franklin University. I was able to take all the required classes in three years at Lake Forest College instead of four. I was able to apply for the pharmacy school by the end of my third year.


How did a liberal arts education make a difference for you?

My liberal arts education allowed me to build interdisciplinary connections with my science major allowing me to expand my knowledge in multiple subjects. I was able to then think in unique ways to problem-solve and apply the skills I learned at Lake Forest College to pharmacy school.


What experiences outside of the classroom do you think helped prepare you for Pharmacy at Rosalind Franklin University?

During my time at Lake Forest, I was able to build upon one of the most important skills that I later used in pharmacy school at Rosalind Franklin University. This skill is time management. At Lake Forest College I was involved in a multitude of student clubs and organizations. Paired with the job that I worked in order to finance my education, I had to learn how to manage my time without losing focus. I had to learn self-discipline and how to prioritize. Thanks to this, I found myself implementing the things I learned at Lake Forest in pharmacy school.


How did your time at Lake Forest help you prepare to apply to Pharmacy programs?

Fortunately, because of my time at Lake Forest, I was able to identify and learn my strengths and weaknesses. I think it is very important for people to know themselves and to reflect on their abilities. During my time at Lake Forest, I was able to learn one of my strengths is my presentation abilities. Paired with the practice from the courses I took, my natural presentation skills were able to shine through. As a result, when applying to the pharmacy program, my skills in presenting helped me showcase my abilities and knowledge in a clear and organized manner. This not only helped me get into the program but also helped me work with other people.


What advice would you give a high school student looking to pursue pre-health and is considering Lake Forest College?


Although I am biased, I would recommend attending Lake Forest College. I absolutely love the opportunities Lake Forest College gives its students in finding the field that is the best fit for them. I found my interest in pharmacy thanks to Lake Forest College. However, it is important that as a high school student looking at pre-health you understand the responsibility that you will be taking on as a doctor, nurse, etc. Given the current COVID-19 situation, you can see the extent to which the medical field is integral for our well-being as a society. Find the meaning and value in what you do; and your future professors, co-workers, and patients will be able to see that. Make sure to be kind and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Take advantage of the learning experiences because you bright individuals are the future of our society. Best of luck!