Emily Graves has known she wanted to be a pharmacist since middle school, but she's had to conquer self-doubt and fear of failure nearly every step of the way. As a pharmacy student at NEOMED, she's had opportunities to step outside of her comfort zone and discover her strengths.

Read on to learn more about Emily's journey to pharmacy school and how NEOMED has helped her feel confident about her future as a pharmacist.

Headshot [70]-1-11. What initially got you interested in pharmacy?

Growing up, I had always considered a career in healthcare. In middle school, I took a test that matched my interests to career options and being a pharmacist was at the top of the list. The more I looked into pharmacy and the more science classes I took, I knew being a pharmacist would be an excellent career.

2. Did you encounter any hesitations, obstacles or fears about pursuing a Pharm.D.?

I was initially hesitant to take any chemistry or biology classes in undergrad. I was told that they were nearly impossible to pass and that I wouldn't be able to get good grades in them. After overcoming that fear, I was afraid to apply to pharmacy school and I thought there is no way I would ever get in. Once I got into pharmacy school, I thought I would not be able to handle the course load. Even though I was hesitant and afraid during every step of getting to pharmacy school, I now realize that if I am passionate and work hard at something, I can do anything I put my mind to.

3. Why did you choose the pharmacy program at NEOMED? What’s your favorite part about it?

I chose NEOMED because it is close to home and I have always heard great things about their program. NEOMED is also more affordable than most pharmacy programs since it is a public school, and I was able to complete the prerequisites in 2 years at a public institution. My favorite part about NEOMED is the community setting. All the students and faculty know everyone, and it creates a great environment to learn in.

4. What resources do you feel set NEOMED apart from other Pharm.D. programs?

NEOMED has fantastic professors! I think it is unique that the majority are shared faculty and practice at a pharmacy in addition to teaching. NEOMED also provides every student with a faculty advisor that helps with any academic or career questions. I also think the interprofessional collaboration that NEOMED has is amazing. So far, I have done projects with medicine, nursing, and social work students. Interprofessional education is such a great way to learn about what other professions on a team are capable of and an excellent opportunity to educate them about what pharmacists can do.

5. What accomplishment are you most proud of from your years in pharmacy school?

My proudest accomplishment so far throughout pharmacy school is writing a policy proposal for NEOMED's chapter of the American Pharmacists Association (APhA). Before pharmacy school, I knew very little about pharmacy legislation. I love that pharmacy school has helped me advocate for my future profession. Before pharmacy school, I was not confident in my writing ability and never held any leadership positions. So to be able to write a policy proposal and then represent NEOMED's chapter of APhA at regional and national pharmacy events is a huge accomplishment for me.

6. What are your career dreams or plans? How has the Pharm.D. program at NEOMED helped prepare you for your future?

My dream career is to be a pharmacist that loves their job and makes a difference in patients' lives every day. I currently have strong interests in internal medicine and ambulatory care. NEOMED is helping me prepare for my future by providing me the best pharmacotherapy education possible. NEOMED has enabled me to join great student organizations such as the Student Society of Health-System Pharmacists (SSHP), American Pharmacists Association (APhA), and Student College of Clinical Pharmacy (SCCP). These groups have speakers from different areas of pharmacy to help expose me to as many career pathways as possible.

7. Is there any advice or wisdom you would pass along to a prospective student?

My advice for prospective students is that if you have a strong interest in pharmacy, don't be afraid to apply and start pharmacy school. Everyone at NEOMED is here to help you succeed. 

Discover How Pharmacy School Can Bring Out Your Best Self at NEOMED

Pharmacy school isn't for everyone. It takes confidence, passion and ingenuity to succeed on the path to earning a Pharm.D. If, like Emily, you're facing fears on the way to pharmacy, let your passion be your guide. NEOMED can not only help you discover strengths and abilities you never knew you had, but here you'll also find what it takes to be a successful pharmacist. Ready to get started? Schedule an admissions information session with us. Contact the the College of Pharmacy at or schedule a meeting



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About the author

Kelly Jeroski

Assistant Director of Admission