Meet Kaitlyn Thomas, a rising third-year student pharmacist in the Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program who will graduate in 2025. Kaitlyn is currently completing a Summer Executive Internship in Association Management at the Iowa Pharmacy Association.
Name: Kaitlyn Thomas
Hometown: Phoenix, Arizona
Degree Program: PharmD, May 2025
Internship: Executive Internship in Association Management at the Iowa Pharmacy Association
Every day is different at the association, but interns are typically assigned small tasks and longitudinal projects. These projects can be related to policy, social media analytics, strategic planning, and even pharmacology-related assignments.
The Drake PharmD program has equipped me with not only therapeutic/pharmacology knowledge and clinical experiences, but interpersonal skills, problem-solving abilities, and research/presentation skills. The combination of theoretical knowledge, practical experience, and soft skills that I have acquired during my time in Drake’s PharmD program have helped prepare me for success during this internship.
Photo: Kaitlyn Thomas pictured with fellow IPA Summer Executive Intern Stephen Presti from the University of Iowa.
I have truly enjoyed my time during this internship at Iowa Pharmacy Association. Throughout these past weeks, I have had the opportunity to delve into various aspects of pharmacy association research and development. One of the most enjoyable projects was developing a Hepatitis C Resource Guide for pharmacists in Iowa because it allowed me to use both my pharmacology knowledge as well as practical skills. IPA has also provided me with opportunities to work closely with experienced professionals who were willing to share their knowledge and expertise, and even offer guidance towards my goals outside of the internship.
The most significant lesson I’ve learned from this internship is the value of effective teamwork and collaboration. I had the opportunity to work on a variety of projects with different teams, but the project that stands out the most was analyzing IPA’s strategic planning data. Initially, I attempted this project independently, but I encountered several roadblocks and progress was slow. It wasn’t until I reached out to the team for input that I was able to make headway.
Photo: Kaitlyn Thomas pictured with U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley, staff from Bedford Drug and Penn Drug Company, and IPA staff where the group discussed access to healthcare, provider status legislation, PBM efforts at the state and federal levels, and the DIR cliff.
I decided to pursue a career in pharmacy because my ultimate goal is to give marginalized and disenfranchised groups access to better healthcare and make medications more affordable for all. I originally decided on Drake's program because of its size and reputation as one of the best private PharmD programs in the nation. During my time in the PharmD program, I've grown tremendously both personally and professionally. Despite personal struggles being so far away from home I have been able to foster relationships with professional faculty and staff, which has made the experience worthwhile. I truly believe that's what sets the Drake PharmD program apart from all others.
The biggest advantage that the Drake PharmD program offers to students is the ability to try everything. My biggest piece of advice would be to not take any opportunities for granted. Always be willing to step out of your comfort zone, and leave the door open to aspects of pharmacy you have not yet considered.
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