Written by Charlotte St Louis, P2 student.
I first became interested in pharmacy during my time in high school. I knew that I wanted to pursue a career in the health professions, but had no idea what career in particular. After lots of consideration, I decided that pharmacy was right for me due to the variety of career paths you can pursue with a pharmacy degree. You can become a community pharmacist, which is what most people picture when they think of a pharmacist, you can specialize in a particular area you are interested in, you can be involved in research, work in a hospital, and so much more. Any of these paths provides the opportunity to make a difference in patient’s lives. Right now, community pharmacy is the career path that I am working toward. My experience working in the pharmacy at a local grocery store chain has taught me the important role that community pharmacists play in the health of the community. I think a lot of people underestimate the impact that a community pharmacist has on health. In my experience working in a local pharmacy, I have seen how often patients come in to the pharmacy to ask general health questions or to see if they can treat something on their own without going to a doctor.
Experience at UNE
My experience at UNE has been a positive one right from the start. Of course, pharmacy school doesn’t come without challenges, but one of the best parts about UNE’s College of Pharmacy is that when you’re here, you are part of a family. The faculty are always available for students, and the students really care about one another. It is an environment where everyone wants you to succeed, and having this support system is so important when dealing with the stresses that come with pharmacy school.
The typical day of a pharmacy student starts early in the morning with classes, followed by a lunch hour from noon to 1pm. This time that everyone has off is when many of the organizations have meetings. Then, afternoon classes begin at 1pm. Some days you may get out earlier than others depending on what your class schedule looks like. Every night involves some amount of studying or homework, but it is important to make sure you have time to relax and do things that you enjoy. Some students also choose to work at local pharmacies on afternoons when classes end early, or on days there aren’t classes.
There is so much to do in and around Portland. I have spent my whole life just 30 minutes from Portland and still have not done so many of the things available to do around here. There are so many great restaurants, and there really is something for everyone. One of my favorite things to do is go to concerts. There are multiple venues in the area, like the Maine State Pier, Cross Insurance Arena, Aura, and the Maine Savings Pavilion. I also love to walk on the local beaches.