Concordia University Wisconsin dual-degree graduate Dr. John Akers shares where his degree is leading him. The field of pharmacy has many different career opportunities, and Akers is headed toward law and regulation.
Dr. John Akers is one of Concordia University Wisconsin’s Dual Degree students, earning a PharmD and MBA. It’s no easy task, but Akers has recently accepted a position that will draw on skills learned in both degree programs. Dr. Akers graduated from the School of Pharmacy in the spring of 2020 with a doctorate degree in Pharmacy, and will be graduating again in December with his MBA. Akers recently accepted a new position and is preparing for his new role.
Dr. Akers will be working with Merz Aesthetics. There, he will be a Medical Affairs Manager, European Union Medical Device Regulation Specialist. Dr. Akers is just starting training, but his role is learning about the recently passed EU MDR law and assisting his company with achieving compliance with this new regulation. Akers will be assisting with analysis of clinical information, studies, and post market clinical follow up information to facilitate regulatory compliance for products within his company’s pharmaceutical portfolio.
After completing the dual-degree program, Dr. Akers is looking forward to a role where his coursework aligns with on-the-job duties. “My Med Lit classes will really come in handy. They were really impressed with my PharmD/MBA at Concordia and all the experiences I had during my APPE year.” said Akers, “I’m really glad Concordia started their dual degree program, and I’ve learned a lot while working toward both of these degrees!”
Like many School of Pharmacy graduates, Akers keeps in touch with CUW School of Pharmacy faculty members. At Concordia, graduates will often email or call previous professors to update them on job changes or life updates. When interim Dean Dr. Mike Brown heard from the recent grad, he was excited for Akers and his new role. “I am so glad to hear about Dr. Akers’ new opportunity,” said interim Pharmacy Dean Dr. Mike Brown, “I am glad the PharmD and MLE course are assets to our graduates.”
Dr. John Akers shares a glimpse into how he ended up at Concordia, and where he sees pharmacy headed:
How did you choose Concordia University Wisconsin for Pharmacy school?
Being from Alaska meant I had to move out of state for pharmacy school, so I started looking basically everywhere across the country. My dad had attended Concordia University Portland and brought Concordia University Wisconsin to my attention during this search. My interview with Concordia University Wisconsin School of Pharmacy really blew me away. I instantly had the sense that this was a school that would provide me a top notch clinical education while continually adapting to the fast paced world of pharmacy. The availability and support of professors and the dedication of the school to listening to and incorporating student feedback into their curriculum really stood out to me. Driving to the airport after my interview was finished, I already knew this was the pharmacy school I wanted to attend.
Why did you choose the field of pharmacy?
I have always been interested in the science disciplines, but a deciding factor in choosing to pursue a career in pharmacy was seeing the lifechanging, positive impact pharmaceuticals and pharmacists had on those near to me.
How did you find out about, and why did you pursue pharmacy dual degree?
The dual degree path has been one of my best career decisions. I attended a presentation about the program when I first became interested, and during this talk, the power of combining science and business was mentioned. The impact one can have when understanding and utilizing both of these disciplines is nearly limitless. My experience within this program has been great. The flexibility of having online and in class course options, the variety of classes available, and the number of concentrations offered within the program allowed me to tailor my MBA to align with my specific goals and passions.
What was a dual degree program highlight?
One of my best experiences within the program was the International Study Abroad course where I attended business seminars hosted at the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria. I have memories of that trip through Germany and Austria I will never forget and made lasting friendships and connections with people from around the world.
Are there any additional notes you’d like to mention to someone considering pharmacy?
My advice to anyone considering pharmacy would be to do as much research as you can about this career path. Pharmacy is a fast paced field and is changing continually. Don’t mentally lock yourself into any specific focus within pharmacy right away and try to gain experience in as many areas as you can. Become involved in a variety of organizations and look into signing up for diverse experiences during rotations such as specialty pharmacy, managed care, industry, or administration. There are countless career paths within pharmacy. Try to explore as many of them as possible during your 4 years of school!
If you are interested in learning more, check out Concordia’s Dual Degree program.
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