UCLan Graduate to Pharmacist, Boots Plc
Although Michelle had a solid career working in the retail sector both in England and in Greece, she wanted to move into a profession which involved working with and helping people. Although initially torn deciding between working in medicine, dentistry and pharmacy, Michelle jokes “the first two career paths involved blood and potentially gory situations so pharmacy won hands down!”
Pharmacy also provided Michelle with the opportunity to further develop her skills in a retail environment, which she had been working in since the age of 16, working for House of Fraser and a tourist boutique in Greece before remarkably purchasing the business herself and running it for several years.
“I had a friend in Greece who was a dentist and we had discussed going back home [to the UK] and studying dentistry. However, I just didn’t feel the passion for [dentistry] which they had when they talked about when they were at university so I knew it wasn’t for me.”
Michelle always considered pharmacy as a career option but it really became her number one preference to study when she walked into a pharmacy whilst in Greece and saw a young pharmacist stood in her white coat and glasses.
“I just knew I wanted to be her. She was chatting with the patients in her shop and you could see how much she loved her job. It sounds a bit cheesy but I just knew, you like when you meet ‘the one’ well it was like that for me when I chose to study pharmacy.”
When asked why she chose to study at UCLan, Michelle explains: “The University is modern and the labs are spectacular. I just felt comfortable, I felt like I was at home in Preston.”
Michelle made the most of UCLan campus’ amazing social scene. As she describes: “Many amazing things happened to me at UCLan...including, meeting my best friend who I turn to whenever I have any problems even though I live in the North East and she lives further down South.
“I also met my partner (now fiancée), he was studying a Masters in Biopharmaceutical Technology and we met in a room party in the student halls! I have made many friends who live all around the world, memories with these people will be everlasting.
“I will never forget the nights when deadlines were looming or exams were coming up. I would sit in the library or in my room studying away into the early hours of the morning so that I could achieve the best grade possible. I will always remember rolling out of bed in the mornings, throwing on a hoodie and jeans, going to lecture, having a chat with my friends then getting back to studying. They may not seem like amazing memories to some people, but they are things which stick in my mind and always make me smile and feel comforted when I sit and think about them.”
Michelle received an award on the day of my graduation for the student who showed the most professionalism throughout her 4th year.
“Graduation day was amazing! The atmosphere was electric, everyone was so happy and the room was full of pride oozing from the students and their friends and family.
“Without my degree I would not have been able to get the job I have today and without my University I wouldn’t have the social life I have today. My fiancée studied at UCLan and most of our mutual friends also studied at UCLan. I gained dispensing experience and knowledge of drugs and medical conditions which set me up ready for my pharmacy practice. It also helped my development as a healthcare assistant in my first 2 years of study, selling medicinal products to patients over the counter. UCLan also helped me develop my professional and communication skills and it enabled me to grow in confidence talking to patients about medicines.”
Michelle is now a pre-registration pharmacist, currently employed by Boots. Her duties include: dispensing prescriptions, handing out controlled drugs to patients, providing lifestyle and counselling advice, ensuring patients get their medications on time if they are not in stock and communicating with the local GP’s to ensure patient safety and medicines optimisation in obtained so all patients get the most from their treatments.
“My advice would be, if you have a passion for it don’t let anything get in your way of going for it. I went to back to college at the age of 25, after 7 years out of an academic environment, got the grades I needed and got into university on the course I wanted. Plus I got into my first choice university.
“Do not settle for second best, if you work hard enough you will always hit the top and get everything you want and need. Be prepared for hard work but keep the thought of graduation in your mind, sometimes the workload may seem unbearable, but the all-nighters and the blood, sweat and tears will all be worth it in the end!”
01 March 2018