A Minnesota girl through and through, Jessica Raines hopes her experiences at the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy will help her lead a long successful career at a rural community hospital somewhere in the state.
Raines grew up in Northfield, Minnesota, where her favorite things were hanging out with friends and family, playing Euchre, watching Minnesota sports, watching Harry Potter or Marvel movies, playing piano, and singing with her grandmother. The idea of working in pharmacy as a career first came to her when she was in the 10th grade. She took a career test and it said she was good at math and science, so she would be good at pharmacy. This was enough for Raines to go to college with the idea that she would become a pharmacist.
Raines attended Concordia College in Moorehead, Minnesota, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and graduated in 2015.
“I went into undergrad with the idea I would be a pharmacist, but when I got to my senior year, I realized I didn’t really know what pharmacists did,” Raines said. “So, I took a gap year and worked in a pharmacy. It was there I was able to see how pharmacists used their clinical knowledge and helped patients.”
With her interest in pharmacy reaffirmed, Raines followed up her gap year by attending the University of Minnesota’s College of Pharmacy. She intends to graduate in May 2020 with a dual degree, PharmD/MPH. She selected the University of Minnesota because of its high ranking and its focus on patient-centered care, not to mention its proximity to her hometown. Raines has not been disappointed with her decision.
During her time at the college, Raines has been a member of many groups. She is a member of the pharmacy fraternity, Phi Delta Chi; the pharmacy leadership society, Phi Lambda Sigma; and the Minnesota Pharmacy Student Association. She has also participated in the Leadership Emphasis Area, which is a series of 16 credits that focuses on leadership development and leading change. All of these organizations have enhanced her skills as a leader and a pharmacist.
Raines has also gained some work experience while attending the College of Pharmacy. During the school year, she worked at the Essentia 3rd Street Outpatient Pharmacy in Duluth doing discharge education at St. Mary’s Hospital. In the summers, she has worked with Sterling Drug, an independent chain of pharmacies. These experiences have taught her about medication indications and side effects, as well as improved her leadership, communication, and advocacy skills.
“These experiences have helped me become a better leader, team member, and communicator, which will be helpful when working in a pharmacy,” Raines said. “I also think that learning how to balance school, organizations, and work has taught me how to manage my time well and to develop resiliency, which I will also need when I become a pharmacist.”
In addition to the increased knowledge and experience, Raines received from participating in her extra curricular activities, she was also formally recognized. She received the Peters Achievement Scholarship, an award given to those who have financial need and are involved in extracurricular activities.
“This award meant a lot to me because it was a formal recognition of the work that I put into organizations at the College of Pharmacy,” Raines said. “Besides the recognition, it has helped with some of the cost burden that fourth year can bring.”
Raines is approaching the end of her time at the College of Pharmacy, and is excited for what lies ahead. She plans on doing PGY-1 residency in acute care and then working at a rural community hospital in Minnesota. No matter what her future holds, one thing will always be certain, Raines is happy to have attended the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy.
“I have loved my time at the College of Pharmacy,” Raines said. “While it sometimes has been stressful, I have had incredible professors who have become mentors and friends who have become family. I’m eternally grateful for my pharmily.”