Iqra - My typical day
My typical day
My day usually starts off at around 06:30, when I get up to pray. After praying, if I have a 09:00 I try to not go back to sleep as that usually makes me very lazy, so instead, I make breakfast and start to get ready for university. I live on de Havilland Campus, but I study on College Lane, so I usually catch the bus at 08:30, to make sure I have enough time to get to my lecture room, and in case anything happened on the bus, I would have enough time to walk.
Majority of my lectures last two hours and I usually have at least three lectures a day (sometimes less, sometimes more). During the lectures, I tend to scribble down important information and sometimes lectures get recorded so you can go over anything covered. This helps me to understand what they are saying about each slide.
Depending on the time the lectures finish, and the time gap I have between the next one, I go to the library and start to write up my notes as I hate falling behind. Listening to the lecture takes time so I like to start as soon as possible so I can finish them quickly.
Once all my lectures have finished (mostly around 17:00-18:00), I go back to my accommodation and relax for an hour, where I watch Netflix and catch up with my family and friends. After this, I usually have a shower and have dinner. If I know, I have an early start the next day, I try to get to go to sleep around 23:00 so ensure I get enough sleep, but I have a day off I sometimes stay up slightly longer.
This is then repeated throughout the week
Iqra - Why I love Pharmacy
What I love about my course
Hello, I’m Iqra and here is why I love studying pharmacy.
I love studying pharmacy, as I have always wanted to become a pharmacist and I find it interesting.
The things I love are the modules and the information we learn. First-year is a build-up from A levels (I studied Biology, Chemistry and Maths) so the knowledge learnt in those years will help. We learn about how medicines work, what we can give to patients for different conditions such as heartburn, diarrhoea etc... and different drug interactions which is fascinating. The information that is taught is very interesting and it follows on and links to facts within other modules which makes it easier to understand.
Furthermore, I also love studying pharmacy, as we carry out practical lessons in the labs which helps with engaging with other people within the course. Also, in semester B, you start dispensing which is awesome! You have your own dispensing coat, and you get to practise writing prescriptions and labels which is fun. In addition, during some dispensing classes, you spend time in the mock pharmacy which really helps with understanding how real-life pharmacies look and operate. The workshops are brilliant. I found them especially useful in the first year as they helped reinforce the knowledge I learnt during the lectures. Pharmacy is an intense, yet fun course to study. All the lecturers are extremely helpful and are always willing to help with anything you don’t understand which is useful.
At the end of semester B, or even before, if you haven’t already, I would definitely recommend working part-time in a pharmacy! I started working at the beginning of March. Working in a pharmacy has improved my knowledge of all the content learnt in the first year and helps with interacting with customers. Also, recommending a product for the minor ailments learnt during the pharmacist module has enhanced my understanding further.
Iqra - Why I chose Herts
Why I chose Herts
Hi, I’m Iqra and I have just finished my first year studying Pharmacy at the University of Hertfordshire. Here is the reason why I chose to study at Hertfordshire University
I come from a small town just outside of London, so the location of this Uni is very convenient. However, it still far for me to commute daily, especially how I would have to travel on the M25 where there is always a ridiculous amount of traffic!
At first, living in the accommodation was difficult as I had no experience living away from family. However, after settling in and making friends with my flatmates, I do not regret this decision at all. Living in the accommodation meant I was able to focus on work and get my notes done without any distractions (from family), but also have fun with my flatmates. Furthermore, living alone has allowed me to become independent as I would have to cook and clean for myself and has helped me grow confidence! Furthermore, living on campus is helpful, as the Learning Resource Centre (LRC) is open throughout the day and night, and are situated next to the accommodations. This is useful when it comes to exam season and you need to study quietly and also if you urgently needed to use the computer/print something off.
The initial attraction for me to come to the University of Hertfordshire was the newly built science building, the vast amount of resources found within the library on both campuses, the variety of sports activities the university offers and the free shuttle that runs between the campuses (they come every 10 minutes!). From attending these sports clubs, I was able to make friends from different courses which allowed me to grow as an individual and become more confident. The shuttle bus is particularly useful when travelling between campuses. For instance, if you have forgotten something, you can easily go back and grab it without having to pay.
Meet Nikunj Thakrar who has built a successful career as a Pharmacist since graduating in 2009. He currently works for Tesco as a Pharmacy Manager and has returned to the University as a visiting lecturer.Read more stories Find out more about this course
|Current job role||Pharmacy Manager|
|Year of graduation||2009|
|Course of study||MPharm Pharmacy|
Nikunj has been working at Tesco since he was a pre-reg Pharmacist and has worked his way up to the position he is now in. He speaks highly of the University, crediting us with helping him succeed in his career. Through the University's resources, facilities and exceptional Pharmacy degree, Nikunj had the opportunity to train three pharmacists as a pre-reg tutor. This hands-on practical experience helped him when entering employment and gave him tangible skills to take into his career.
He says, 'The University had, and still has, a massive impact on how my career has progressed. The teaching, support and resources were excellent and helped me develop into the pharmacist I am today. I count my time at university as one of the main contributing factors to my success.'
Real world skills
Nikunj's experience and career demonstrates how the University gives students the skills to succeed, delivering fully skilled, work ready graduates to the professional world, equipped with unique experience and knowledge. Nikunj says, 'I feel that the preparation we were given for the real world was extremely useful in helping me settle as a pharmacist. We spent a lot of time in the mock pharmacy and dispensing suites which were the closest thing to an actual pharmacy. And although daunting, OSCE examinations were an extremely effective way of mimicking real-life scenarios a pharmacist may encounter, ultimately testing our knowledge.'
Aspirations for the future
As a visiting lecturer, the University recognised Nikunj's talent and was able to facilitate his passion for the subject. He is continually developing new skills that he can incorporate into his professional role, in addition to help nurture the pharmacists of tomorrow. He encourages prospective pharmacists to gain experience alongside their degree as it will be invaluable when qualified. He adds, 'Set yourself goals to work towards and never lose sight of them.'
Looking ahead to the future, Nikunj says, 'I am currently very happy with my roles at Tesco and the University of Hertfordshire. However, in the future, I plan on helping out with more central and operational projects within the company and to increase my time spent in academia.'
Meet Amira Guirguis discovered her passion and retrained as a pharmacist. She is currently studying towards a PhD in Pharmacy.Read more stories Find out more about this course
|Current job role||Pharmacist|
|Year of graduation||2012|
|Course of study||MPharm Pharmacy|
A move into pharmacy
Amira Guirguis’ career path into pharmacy did not begin in the most traditional way. Initially, Amira trained as an accountant, but always had an interest in people and languages, speaking three fluently. After subsequently working in interpretation and translation, she then decided to retrain as a pharmacist.
One of the benefits that Amira saw with pharmacy was the broad opportunities it offered, including being able to work in the community, hospitals, industry or research. Given this, she advises making the most of all opportunities available. She says, ‘Be proactive and learn from the different expertise of lecturers and researchers. Pharmacy is not just about passing an exam but about developing the skills and competences which would enable you to be a successful pharmacist or researcher.’
Focusing on research
After completing her pre-registration year at Ealing Hospital, Amira decided to undertake a PhD having spent the summers of her MPharm working in research. ‘I am very interested in research and keen in pursuing a career in pharmaceutical research, aiming at finding out new methods to improve patient safety and raise our profile as pharmacists.’
Her PhD focuses on using different spectroscopic methods and computational modelling which could be used to identify novel psychoactive substances (NPS) or ‘legal highs’. Currently, Amira is reviewing the existing research and literature, and plans to start in the lab shortly.
Even though her focus is very much on pharmaceutical research and her PhD, Amira is keen to retain her skills as a pharmacist and is currently working to gain the necessary accreditations to be able to undertake locum opportunities at community pharmacies. ‘As I’m hospital trained, I would need to undertake some mandatory and other optional courses related to enhanced and advanced services in community pharmacy, although still hope to also locum in hospitals.’
Longer term, her focus remains on research alongside helping future pharmacists. ‘In the future, I want to work in research and contribute into pharmaceutical discoveries. My ambitions are also to develop a course for pre-registration pharmacists that would assist them towards their pre-registration training and pre-reg. exam.’