Recent graduate, Karina Rauenhorst, shares her perspective on what it is like to be a Pharmacy student at CUW.

What it is like to be a pharmacy student told by a recent grad

Concordia University Wisconsin’s School of Pharmacy makes it a priority to help students gain different experiences throughout the program. The goal is for students to practice in different settings with diverse populations. During the program, graduate Karina Rauenhorst, was given that chance and it has helped her determine her future career path.

What was the best part of being a pharmacy student at Concordia?

My favorite part was feeling part of the family immediately on day one. The welcoming, inclusive atmosphere at Concordia is unmatched and assured me that I was truly where I was meant to be. Coming from out of state and not knowing anyone nearby, I found comfort in the warm smiles and genuine greetings from everyone on campus. This encouraged my learning by providing a safe environment for me to ask questions and the ability to get to know my professors on a more personal level.

What experiences made the biggest impact on your growth at Concordia?

Joining campus organizations had the biggest impact on my growth as a student, leader, and future pharmacist. The opportunities offered through Kappa Psi, SNPhA, and ACCP pushed me to take on additional projects and responsibilities I never would have found otherwise.

This not only boosted my confidence in my ability to achieve goals, lead my peers, and manage time in a tight schedule but also helped connect me to numerous incredible pharmacists across the country. Pharmacy is a small world, so I found building this network early on in pharmacy school to be very helpful.

I was intrigued about how much knowledge a pharmacist needs and the impact they constantly make on lives.

What are some of your career goals, and what’s next for you?

My biggest goal is to work in an underserved community at a primary care clinic meanwhile teaching at a pharmacy school. I have volunteered throughout pharmacy school at local charity clinics and completed rotations in underserved areas. Caring for these patient populations has given me more joy and a sense of servant leadership than any other experience. As a result, I am confident that this is my true calling.

I have also enjoyed teaching fellow students while at Concordia as a teaching assistant and guest lecturer. I am incredibly lucky to be continuing both of these passions as a PGY1 Pharmacy Resident at Concordia. For the next two years, I will be teaching on campus, doing clinic work at Progressive Community Health Centers, and completing my master’s of education.

What has been the most memorable moment of your time in pharmacy school at Concordia?

My most memorable moments were the little things that happened in my quick four years here. One of my favorite memories was the late nights in breakout rooms with my study group trying to figure out how pharmacology works via Kahoot. Another was the lunch breaks with classmates on APPE rotations reminiscing about times on campus.

The events off campus with classmates and faculty were where genuine relationships are formed. At the start of P1 year, it all seems so overwhelming, but at the end of the day, it really is the small moments that make such a big impact.

Why did you decide to become a pharmacist?

I decided to become a pharmacist at a young age. When I was in 8th grade, a pharmacist prevented my dad from taking two interacting medications. I was intrigued by how much knowledge a pharmacist needs and the impact they constantly make on lives.

I had always been interested in the medical profession. But, after hearing my dad explain what a pharmacist was, I was set on the dream of becoming one. Now I continue to learn more about the pharmacy field and all the areas you can serve. As time goes on my desire to be a pharmacist grows even stronger.

What advice do you have for future students considering attending pharmacy school at Concordia?

Go for it! Pharmacy is an incredible profession full of amazing and supportive people. There are endless amounts of career paths you can take with your PharmD. Concordia is one of the best places for you to explore those options.

Concordia has a variety of practice sites the faculty work at, in addition to its network of alumni and pharmacists around the country. There is no limit to the types of experiences you can have as a student at Concordia. Everyone is there to help you be the best pharmacist you can be and are willing to individualize to the best of their ability how you can achieve that goal.

Do you want to know more?

If you want to learn more about Concordia University Wisconsin’s School of Pharmacy, visit us here.

— This story is written by Maddie Schueller, content marketing lead for Concordia University Wisconsin and Ann Arbor. She may be reached at madison.schueller@cuw.edu.

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