Nikunj Thakrar

  • Current role: Pharmacy Manager and Visiting Lecturer
  • Year of graduation: 2009
  • Degree course: Pharmacy

Nikunj ThakrarI can count my time at university as one of the main contributing factors to my success. They even gave me the opportunity to become a visiting lecturer. It’s true what they say, friends you meet at university are friends for life.

We asked Nikunj...

What is your current role and how did you get to this point in your career?

I am a Pharmacy Manager for Tesco. I have been with Tesco since pre-reg and worked my way up to my current position. In addition to this I also champion our Flu jab service for West Midlands and Wales. I have also been very fortunate to have been a visiting lecturer with University of Hertfordshire since 2011. I was offered a chance to return to the UH in a teaching capacity and I haven't looked back since.

How did your studies at the University of Hertfordshire help shape your career?

The University had, and still has, a massive impact on how my career has progressed. The teaching, support and resources at the UH were excellent and helped me to develop into the pharmacist I am today.

I can count my time at university as one of the main contributing factors to my success. They even gave me the opportunity to become a visiting lecturer. Furthermore, my experiences as a visiting lecturer has helped me to successfully train three pharmacists as a pre-reg tutor.

What made you decide to study at this University?

After coming to an open day I felt University of Hertfordshire was the one for me. I could see the investment of time and resources going into the course and the University as a whole. The fantastic de Havilland campus was also a major factor in my decision to come to the University.

What was the best or most useful thing about your course?

I feel that the preparation we were given for the real world was extremely useful in helping me settle as a pharmacist. We spent much time in the mock pharmacy and dispensing suites which were the closest thing to an actual pharmacy. And although daunting, OSCE examinations were a extremely effective way of mimicking real life scenarios a pharmacist may encounter and ultimately testing your knowledge.

What is your stand out memory from your time at the University?

Wednesday nights at the student union!! I have so many great memories but the standout one was winning the UH pharmacy football tournament (beating the lecturers on the way) followed closely by graduation week.

Are you still in contact with friends you met at the University of Hertfordshire?

Absolutely. I still have regular contact with all my old house mates. I am also in regular contact with an old course friend, who also works for Tesco, in a professional and social capacity. It’s true what they say, friends you meet at university are friends for life.

What advice would you give your younger self if you were starting at the University tomorrow?

Remember to focus on your long term goals and spread your work over the year to manage your workload. No cramming!!

Do you have any advice for University of Hertfordshire graduates who are considering a career in your industry?

My advice to any prospective pharmacists is to gain experience alongside your degree as it makes the world of difference once you’ve qualified. As a student be driven and ambitious. Set yourself goals to work towards and never lose sight of them.

What are your future career plans/ ambitions?

I am currently very happy with my roles at Tesco and University of Hertfordshire, however, in the future I plan on helping out with more central and operational projects within the company and increase my time spent in academia.

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