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Pharmacy Board Topnotcher, Engineering was her First Choice


Following her victory in the November 2021 pharmacist licensure examination, Nicola Christine Rivera of the University of the Philippines in Manila offered some advice to those preparing for the board exams in her field.

“As early as now, build a healthy mindset. Kasi ang kalaban mo sa board exam mostly is fear and anxiety. ’Yun ay ’yung takot ka mag-take kasi nakakatakot bumagsak,” Rivera said. 
“Hindi mo pa nalalaman na kaya mo naman pala, pero kaya mo naman talaga. You just have to enter the room and take the exam. 
“For future pharmacists, everything you do is for your future patients and for the practice of pharmacy profession here in the Philippines and abroad.”

Rivera initially planned to pursue a career in engineering, but her mother persuaded her and her sisters to pursue careers in medicine.

“(Being a pharmacist) isn’t my first dream. Nu’ng first year gusto ko nang mag-shift kasi hindi ko alam kung gusto ko,” she said.

However, her third and fourth years of college experiences aided her in determining her career path.

“Pharmacy as a profession, it is a very diverse and versatile career. Masyado siyang maraming opportunities for direct and indirect interactions . . . Kasi mahaba ’yung process ng drug discovery and development, up to provisions ng medications to patients.”

Rivera, who got the highest score of 93.90 percent out of 1,207 candidates, said her friends were the first to hear the good news.

“It was overwhelming, pero hindi ko siya mapaniwalaan kasi hindi ko siya nakikita,” she said, adding she wasn’t expecting to top the exams as she wasn’t confident in her scores after she took the test. 

She also mentioned that taking board exams during the COVID-19 pandemic was different.

“Ngayon kasi, during the pandemic, there’s additional fear and anxiety for your personal safety na mag-positive ka few days before exam, or may mangyari sa loved ones mo,” Rivera said.
Encouraging all exam takers, she said: "They should not beat themselves up, and don't let failures define their hard work."

Rivera graduated from UP Manila with a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Pharmacy in 2019.

The Professional Regulation Commission released the results on Friday night, with 1,207 out of 2,371 takers passing. With a passing rate of 98.18 percent, UP Manila was the best performing school.

For pharmacy board topnotcher, engineering was her first choice|ABS-CBN News

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