Teen’s-Eye View of CU Pharmacy

The building seemed more exquisite up close than it was from the long distance that I was used to seeing it. The many walls of glass were a vision of innovation, and the renaissance-like structures dotting the exterior landscape of the building paid a respect to tradition. I’d like to think that the University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences is innovative, yet values tradition.

Even before it was christened the CU Skaggs School of Pharmacy, I’ve lived near the building and Anschutz Medical Campus. Never did I imagine that I would be another person inside of it. This spring I got the opportunity of a lifetime, thanks to Kerry Smith from Pickens Technical College Executive Internship Program and Dana Brandorff with CU Pharmacy. I was able to intern, as a senior at Aurora West College Preparatory Academy, with CU Pharmacy’s marketing team.

When I walked through the doors of the school for the first time, I didn’t know what was awaiting me. At one point  I thought that I was going to be surrounded by stone-faced adults, but that is the opposite of what I discovered while interning as part of the marketing team for the school.  I have enjoyed being a new addition to their team because they have been nothing but welcoming. In just two weeks I have learned a lot from them. They have opened my eyes to the potential of a career in communications, as well as pharmacy. In my opinion, it is fast-paced, dynamic, and full of pleasurable moments. I have also learned that pharmacists do much more than sort white capsules into plastic orange bottles all day. They are equally as important as physicians. They are drug researchers, health consultants, and caregivers.

Helping out at CU Pharmacy’s booth during the Colorado HOSA State Leadership Conference

As well as the knowledge I have gained, I have also experienced new things. I was invited to help design a presentation for HOSA, an annual gathering and competition of high school students interested in healthcare careers. It was a great feeling to know that my opinion was valued, not one that many teenagers get a sense of. Together, Justin Rowe and I designed a fashion show to demonstrate what the multiple identities of a pharmaceutical career are. Our hope was to expose what pharmacists do in a way that would intrigue the generations of the Information Age.

In the next couple of weeks, I hope to be in a lab shadowing expert pharmacists conducting research and maybe even getting my hands into the research. And, we have already scheduled a shadowing opportunity to see what it’s like in the Seniors Clinic as a pharmacist at UC Health.

Before my internship, I knew I wanted to pursue a career that would allow me to develop medicine, but I wasn’t aware what it was called. I was left dumbfounded when I found out that pharmacists do this. I am excited that I will be able to learn from research I never knew existed. Like the research of Dr. LaBarbera on southwestern shrubs for the treatment of lethal infections. CU Pharmacy has inspired me to pursue my dream of researching plants for alternative medical treatments. Maybe one day I will be a student graduating from Skaggs School of Pharmacy. For the time being, I am going to enjoy helping the marketing team in their quest to change the image of pharmacy into a more accurate and vivacious one.

This post contributed by CU Pharmacy intern Gabriela Recinos

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