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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 LFC and RFU?

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 in their path to gain hands-on experience and begin the mastery of this field. I think this would help students feel more confident when they do enter grad school allowing them to excel and feel prepared for what awaits them.

What made you choose Lake Forest College?

There were variety of factors that helped me in deciding to choose Lake Forest College (LFC). One of the factors was that LFC is a small school. As the result, classes are small which allows for more interaction between students and professor during the lecture. In a short amount of time, all 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. LFC is a very diverse campus. Since I came from a foreign country, I am glad to had a chance to experience the diversity of cultures and the joy of interacting with people from all over the world while being in college. One of the biggest reasons also was that the LFC offers Dual-Degree program for pharmacy school at Rosalind Franklin University where I was able to save a year and take all the required classes in three years at LFC instead of four and apply for the pharmacy school by the end of my third year.

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

The liberal arts education allowed me to build interdisciplinary connections with my science major and other subjects allowing me to expand my knowledge. I was able to think in a unique way in order to problem-solve and apply the skills learned while in pharmacy school.

What experiences outside of the classroom do you think helped prepare you for Pharmacy at RFU?

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 RFU. This skill is time management. At Lake Forest 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 how to prioritize certain things and self-discipline. 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 this is very important for people to know about themselves and to reflect on their abilities. During my time at Lake Forest, I was able to learn that one of my strengths is my presentation abilities. Paired with the practice from the courses I took, my natural presentations skills were able to shine through. As a result, when applying to pharmacy program, my skills in presenting helped me showcase my abilities and knowledge in a clear and organized manner which not only helped me get into this program, but also 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 still will definitely recommend attending Lake Forest College. I absolutely love the opportunities Lake Forest College gives its students in finding the field that is best fit for them. I found my interest in Pharmacy thank you to Lake Forest College. However, it is important that as 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 are able to see the extent to which the medical field is integral for our well-being as a society. Find 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!