Meet Alena Jomon, a dual-degree Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) and Master of Business Administration (MBA) student who will graduate in 2025. Alena was selected for and participated in the 2023 Pharmacy Ownership and Leadership Academy (POLA) through the NCPA Foundation and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS). Alena spent a week at the UAMS campus with student pharmacists from across the country to learn the fundamentals of pharmacy ownership, leadership, and self-awareness. The POLA curriculum is specifically designed to help prepare students and equip them with the tools they need to be successful independent pharmacy owners.
Name: Alena Jomon
Hometown: Northbrook, Illinois
Degree Program: PharmD/MBA, 2025
Summer experience: NCPA Foundation and UAMS Pharmacy Ownership and Leadership Academy
Academy site location: University of Arkansas College for Medical Sciences
POLA was truly a one-of-a-kind experience that I thoroughly enjoyed! For a week, we focused on the fundamentals of pharmacy ownership, leadership, and self-awareness. We were equipped with the skills and tools needed to be successful independent pharmacy owners. At the end of the program, we prepared an NCPA Student Business Plan. We also did activities like zip-lining and team building.
My favorite part of the experience was the networking opportunities. I was able to meet pharmacy students from all over the states! I also got to meet many pharmacy owners who shared their experiences and advice.
The most valuable thing I learned was that owning your own pharmacy is a LOT of work, but if you have the resilience to do it you can make it happen.
Drake introduced me to the POLA opportunity. With the classes I've taken for my MBA dual degree, I was able to understand the financial component of owning a pharmacy more than my peers at POLA who weren’t pursuing an MBA.
My long-term career goal is to own my own pharmacy and POLA’s curriculum and Drake's dual PharmD/MBA program has helped me work toward that goal.
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