Margaret Rios shows great resilience in earning her pharmacy degree.

Margaret Rios overcomes obstacles to earn her pharmacy degree

Recent PharmD graduate Margaret Rios embodies what it means to be a Concordian. She serves community and family, shows determination, and works hard toward her career calling.

Rios’s resiliently paved her uncommon path toward becoming a pharmacist through a variety of commitments during her 8-year journey. She is now Concordia University School of Pharmacy graduate, Margaret Rios, PharmD. Rios is ready for the next chapter, but rightfully looks back on her journey with a strong sense of personal achievement and hard-earned success.

Roughly eight years ago, Rios was one semester into her undergraduate college experience. During this time, she unexpectedly learned she was pregnant with her first child. Over the next few years, Rios balanced work, classes, homework, and life as a single mom. This meant starting her day with a 4:30 a.m. shift at Starbucks, and then hustling over to campus to get to classes and labs. Afterwards, she’d spend time in the library studying or picking up extra hours at work. “I wanted to quit lots of times,” Rios said, “but I knew that wasn’t an option for me.”

Margaret Rios, PharmD, and her son at graduation.

Now, Rios is married with two kids. She’s currently expecting her third child, and she has a bright future as a pharmacist ahead of her. Rios stated: “It’s been hard work and was really tough, but I’ve proven to myself that I can do anything.”

Resilience and determination during the pandemic

Rios and her husband are expecting a baby girl.

Rios worked on the front lines during the COVID-19 pandemic. “In the beginning, it felt really good to be on the front line,” she said. “Of course, I was also worried about bringing COVID home to my family.” While pregnant with her third child, Rios interned at Froedert and CVS, where she administered vaccines and helped take care of patients. She looks forward to starting her job at Walgreens next.


Rios’s six-year-old daughter was able to watch her mom graduate from pharmacy school. “I hope [my daughter] looks back on this one day, and I hope to show my other kids, too, where resilience and determination can get you,” Rios said.


Why now is the best time to earn your pharmacy degree

Rios knew she wanted to find meaningful work that provided a good life for herself and her family; pharmacy accomplishes this for her. Have you ever thought about becoming a pharmacist? With the demand of pharmacists increasing, now is a great time to pursue a career in pharmacy. Plus, there are so many different ways to work as a pharmacist. Recent Graduate Erin McGurty, PharmD, is a clinical ambulatory oncology pharmacist. If you’d like to learn more about Concordia University’s School of Pharmacy, you can click here.


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