Meet Ani Hambardzuyman, a fourth-year pharmacy student at West Coast University. Supported by her mother, Ani has worked hard to succeed in her pharmacy studies while integrating into a new country. Follow Ani’s path to achieving her PharmD and learn about her support along the way.
Why did you decide to pursue a career in pharmacy?
I decided to pursue a career in pharmacy because I always enjoyed the sciences growing up, including biology, chemistry, and biochemistry. I really enjoyed these topics and found myself excelling in them. I pursued a BS in biology and knew I wanted to continue my education in an area focused on science. Pharmacy incorporates all these topics in one. In pharmacy school, we take courses on topics such as biochemistry, principles of drug action, and pharmacokinetics. I love learning about these topics and their relation to medications.
What about your path to pharmacy school is unique?
I came to the United States from Armenia after high school and continued my education right away. I did not allow language to be a barrier for me, nor did I allow it to hinder my studies.
How did you choose your school of pharmacy?
I chose West Coast University because of its reputation in the healthcare field. They have
many graduates working as nurses, physical therapists, and physician assistants. When I found out the school had a pharmacy program, I knew I wanted to apply there and be a part of the West Coast family.
Did you have any mentors that helped you as you explored possible career paths?
My mother has been my biggest supporter and mentor along the way. She was a dentist in Armenia and had experience in the areas I was interested in pursuing. She would always advise me on how to deal with the pressures of balancing school and family. She also knew a lot about different disease states as she studied them during her own schooling and would help me whenever needed.
What is your favorite part of pharmacy school?
I really enjoy learning about patient care the most. I enjoy taking patients’ blood pressure, checking their blood glucose, and administering vaccines. The one-on-one patient interaction is my favorite part as I get to implement my clinical knowledge directly.
What do you find most challenging about pharmacy school?
Time management is definitely the most challenging part. I have three wonderful children, one whom I had during my time at pharmacy school, and managing my time was definitely important. I had to prioritize and be organized with my time in order to maximize my studying while also being present for my family.
What advice would you give to students interested in attending pharmacy school?
I advise students to do their research about what area of pharmacy they want to be involved in after graduation. There are so many options to choose from, and while pharmacy school will expose you to many of them, there are even more options out there. Make sure you do your research in order to maximize your experience. Being a pharmacist does not just entail working in retail. I enjoy the clinical part of pharmacy and hope to become a clinical pharmacist working in the hospital.
Want to read more student pharmacist stories?
Ani’s story about her pathway to pharmacy school is inspirational! If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy these student pharmacist stories: