The field of pharmacy has always held a tremendous interest for me - ever since I was a boy, I have wanted to understand how the world works. The way things react to each other on a chemical level helps me to comprehend a sense of order to our world - a step-by-step process by which something changes into something else. The organic chemistry that goes into understanding these reactions, and pharmacy in general, is a particular passion of mine; this had led to an ardent fascination with the field.
This need for order stems from a desire to understand not just chemical reactions, but sociological ones. My parents moved to America from Bangladesh in 1994 in order to give their children the opportunities that they did not have. Despite their difficulties with English and the hard work they had to put in, they never allowed themselves to give up or shirk any responsibility, both as parents and in their work. I was inspired by them to persevere no matter what life threw at me - when my father passed away from gastrointestinal cancer, it only inspired me to work harder in order to honor his sacrifices. This hard work enabled me to earn a place in the Montgomery Scholars Honors Program at Montgomery College, where I attended honors courses and learned the essentials of my education.
My path through education was not easy; dividing my time between attending college and helping my mother support us made focusing on my schoolwork difficult; I dropped some of my science courses as a result. After significant soul-searching and discipline, I recollected myself, and the next semester I conquered those courses that had stymied me the semester before. Even when this happened again in my third year of school, I persevered and tackled my Organic Chemistry and Physics courses with aplomb. Given my victories in these personal trials, I developed a confidence that through hard work comes success; I will forever be resolved to keep trying, even when circumstances are stacked against you.
In my time at MC, I found my true calling through two internships I worked at the Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research (IBBR), wherein I studied gene mutations and autosomal dominant diseases. It was here that my passion for pharmacy surfaced - finally I could study the biological order of things; how they worked, what caused mutations, why organisms adapt in that fundamental way to survive in new conditions, etc. Viewing 3D protein models provided me with a clearer picture of what I was working with, and how residues in different protein subunits interact to stabilize said protein. The absolute joy I felt at discovering new things about these building blocks of life gave me the passion to understand more about the world around us; I knew then that a career in pharmacy would help me indulge that passion.
Understanding organic chemistry myself was one thing; however, I knew I wanted to be able to share my knowledge with others. During my time at MC, I worked as a tutor in the Science Learning Center. While there, I answered questions about topics related to organic chemistry asked by students, as well as provided insight into the subjects of biology and physics. This experience helped me to understand not only how to comprehend these concepts in my head, but how to communicate them to others who do not share my experience. It was through this experience as a tutor that I understood how to synthesize common, plain-language ideas from complex scientific concepts and bring them to the layperson, a skill I believe will be quite useful in my career as a pharmacist.
I currently hold a job at CVS Pharmacy as a Pharmacy Service Associate; from here, I am gaining a wealth of experience in the practical work that goes into being a pharmacist. More than anything, I am understanding the importance of pharmacist-patient interactions, and how vital it is to allow the patient to know what exactly their medication is doing for them. Add to that my training to become a pharmacy technician, and I feel as though I am receiving an incredible amount of practical experience in my chosen field.
My current work, and my aspirations for pharmacy school, all lead me to the same overall goal: to become a clinical pharmacist. Throughout my life, I have wanted to help people; I have also wished to better understand the ways in which the world works, on a fundamental biological level. Through my pharmacy work, I can be granted the ability to study proteins and organic chemistry on a level that stimulates my intellectual curiosity about the universe. Conversely, I can also find ways to create and provide treatment to those who need it; my current work in community pharmacy has allowed me to do just that. By learning the entire process of the pharmacy profession - from synthesis of new drugs to distribution and dissemination to the patient - I can better serve both my community and the world of organic chemistry.