By: Dawn Hur, PharmD Candidate c/o 2017
While going through the rigorous six years of Doctor of Pharmacy program at St. John’s University College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions, we as students will continuously ask ourselves if Pharmacy is the “right” career choice. Because I had given up a normal college life of taking elective courses, changing majors countless times and transferring to another school, I felt very limited by the rigid curriculum of the program. It seemed as if there was only one straight road ahead of me. I constantly asked myself if I will be able to go through five more years of this. I was looking for someone to give me a firm statement that I had chosen the right path.
In order to find that person, I attended many career events and I was able to meet a number of professionals from different areas and learn their insights and passion for Pharmacy. Building Meaningful Career, for example, invited four alumni who are deeply involved with the industry to share their experiences. They were the pioneers who have taken a path that many people do not, such as fields of marketing and law. They inspired me to widen my perspective for other possibilities instead of being locked up to the usual career choices.
The most memorable event I attended was the Rho Chi Coffeehouse Chats because it definitely put an end to my doubts. Students and faculty came together and had conversations during the Coffeehouse Chat, sharing their experiences at St. John’s University. My favorite part of the night was when the facilitator asked us what we love the most about the College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions. There were many answers for this one question, but they were all directed to one point: the solid relationships among fellow students and faculty. I could relate to this personally because when I contacted professors that I had never met before about Pharmacy careers, they willingly met with me to answer my questions in-person. Although I am only a freshman and have not met a majority of the faculty, I realized that their passion for teaching and for students has largely influenced me already. I have met many wholehearted supporters here at St. John’s. Friends, faculty and my mentors all play crucial roles in my life and I truly appreciate the environment in which I am encouraged to venture and explore.
I ponder about my future at times but I am meeting inspirational people along the way, who motivate me to grow and learn. What I clearly realized was that the only thing that had limited my perspective of the Pharmacy program was myself. There are so many options available for me and I just need to stay open-minded. Now I am more concerned with choosing one career out of all the possibilities I have.
Some of my friends are struggling with the same question that I had, whether the pharmacy career is right for them or not. Six years is a long time, in which we can get easily lost; however, it will only be as great as the amount of time and effort we put into it. I had been limiting myself, not being able to see many possibilities that are open to me. I had expected someone else to tell me that I belong to this program and that I had made the right decision, but I finally realized that it is I, who determines this.