Peter Balogun: Class of 2018

Peter BalogunPeter Balogun
Class of 2018
Campus: Twin Cities 

Tell us about your leadership role of the AMCP student chapter.

I'm very proud of my time as president of our Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP) chapter during my third year of pharmacy school. While president, my leadership team and I started a new regional conference focused on managed care topics and their impact on patient care. We created another new initiative where we led a group of our AMCP members on a field trip to Chicago to tour AbbVie and CVS/Caremark. Lastly, we implemented bi-weekly speaker event meetings which drew on leaders from managed care, pharmaceutical industry and other unique areas of healthcare to expose students to the vast opportunities for pharmacists that are not usually talked about at our school. I’m also proud to see how the initiatives we implemented during my presidency have progressed and been built upon.

What did you learn? 

At the core of my experience as president, the biggest lesson I learned is: it’s all about people. No matter which area of pharmacy you end up in, your ability to interact with people and your professional network will define your career. This understanding, along with my knowledge of managed care, helped position me well for the next phase of my career. 

How will you apply what you learned to your career after you graduate? 

After graduation, I’m moving to New Jersey. I accepted the One Trade/Access Services Fellowship with Sanofi and will be working with the trade, channel distribution and payer teams across their drug portfolio. I’m excited to start this role and am looking forward to the new experiences.

Why did you choose pharmacy as a career?

It may sound cliché, but I think pharmacy chose me because I hated taking medicine up to about the age of 15. However, at the core of my career choice is my background. I was born in Ibadan, Nigeria, with the typical rough upbringing of many African immigrants. However, I always saw my upbringing as a positive in character-building and the reason why I’m where I am today. Like the U.S, there are huge gaps in care and access to healthcare in Nigeria. This is a problem I want to help solve or improve from a system level, so I've always known I would end up in the healthcare field, I just was not sure exactly where.

In 11th grade, I did a career test activity and pharmacy was ranked second on my list. A couple months later, during a conversation with my dad, he suggested pharmacy as a career with no prior knowledge of my career test activity results. These events caused me to start considering pharmacy as a potential career.

After accepting my pharmacy school offer to the U of M in early 2014, my mom shared that her dream job as a child was to be a pharmacist, but couldn't during those times in Nigeria, so her story only further validated that pharmacy was a career I was meant for. During my time in pharmacy school, I’m happy to have found the area of pharmacy that I truly love and I’m looking forward to starting my career.

What interested you in managed care pharmacy?

The big picture approach of managed care is what I’ve always been drawn to. During my first year of pharmacy school, I quickly learned that managed care was at the center of all the different sectors of pharmacy. So, if I could understand it, I would understand the different perspectives of the key players in the healthcare system and therefore have a more holistic approach to the problems our healthcare system faces.

Why did you choose the U of M College of Pharmacy?

As many of my peers know, I am a UW-Madison alumnus and a huge Badger fan. However, I chose to attend Minnesota over Madison for pharmacy school simply for one reason: opportunity. I knew Minnesota would provide a broader range of career exposure and I also had a gut feeling that Minnesota was where I needed to go to reach a higher potential for myself. Best decision I’ve ever made. Go Gophers!