We all know the drill. A Levels, Pharmacy Degree, MPharm, Pre-Reg year, Pharmacy job, and that’s it…
However, not everyone takes the traditional route into pharmacy. Some try other careers first, some become quite entrepreneurial. Others pursue their personal dreams while still committing to their professional career. Some people need more than a 9:00 - 6:00 job.
Take for instance, one of our Locum pharmacists, Rebecca Maguire. You may have seen Rebecca on your television screen or on the side of various beauty products, but for all her celebrity, she’s still committed to her career as a pharmacist.
“I have one very proud moment in my life, which is the day that I (eventually) graduated from Queen’s University. This seems quite a normal event in some people’s lives, and could possibly mundane. However, behind the scenes I didn't experience the cliché student life. My journey was a little different.
During the second year of my studies, I entered the Miss Ireland competition, thinking that I had nothing to lose and that I’d have some fun along the way. I didn’t take it too seriously, and I wasn’t aware of what potential doors that the event could open for me. I suppose that was the most exciting part, not knowing what could happen next!
Beyond my expectations, I ended up winning Miss Ireland, which saw me go from normal everyday student, to the Miss World pageant! I remember the day after I won, after the whirl wind of press and photos thinking one thing; ‘how the hell am I going to tell Professor Jones that I need to go to the Miss World event in the middle of term? This is hardly pharmacy related!’
After a lot of thought, I decided to take the year out from my pharmacy course. However, I always knew that it was very important to return to my degree. I travelled with the Miss World Organisation all over China and Mongolia to compete and represent Ireland on the world stage. From West Belfast to appearing in Vogue, eh?
I knew that I had to finish my pharmacy studies, and I knew that it was not going to be easy.
After winning Miss Ireland, I had a lot of travelling to undertake. I spent my year-out travelling the world. I had experiences that I simply wouldn’t have had if I had pursued my pharmacy career in the traditional fashion. Pardon the pun. Most of my peers on the modelling scene are committed to solely pursuing that career, but I love how I’d married the two.
While studying, I remember having to run to class in the morning, sweating and wearing last night’s makeup, with mad hair!
I got asked about pharmacy all the time on my travels, and still do. I’m happy to talk about my career in the dispensary! It may not be as glamorous, but I get a different type of satisfaction from dealing with patients every day.
I’m proud of how I could juggle an international modelling career with arriving to class on time and submitting assignments on time. Well, most if the time!
I'm also very proud to be both a Queen’s graduate and a representative for the pharmacy profession. Also, it's an ice breaker sometimes showing up to locum to find yourself on a poster in the window...yes that’s me on that bottle of tan!
Pharmacy, as we all know is a very demanding degree, but juggling my studies with a full time modelling career prepared me for my current career as a pharmacist;
Time management, communication, punctuality and organisation are extremely important aspects of being an ambassador for your county, as well as having to deal with some divas now and again!
Sometimes I wonder, ‘how the hell did I manage all that?’
Another proud moment, which book-ended my time spent travelling and studying, was when Queen’s University asked me to be the poster girl for Summer Graduation in 2015; at last, something I was good at!
Since graduating, I have worked in various locations through Locate a Locum. Locum work has given me the flexibility to still model from time to time, while still being wholly committed to my pharmacy career.
I feel very lucky to have experienced what I have in the past couple of years, but I'm also glad I have such a good degree to stand by me. That’s the thing, if you feel the need to pursue something else, if you have other dreams that may take up a great deal of your time, pharmacy will always be here for you.
Don’t turn down opportunities to be happy. I didn’t give up on my dreams and it’s all turned out great!”
If, like Rebecca, you’re interested in locum work, sign up to our Locum platform. We add 1,200+ shifts every week!
We’re also currently recruiting for permanent roles on our Careers Portal, let's kick-start your pharmacy career! or get in touch with our Recruitment Manager, Thomas, to find out more! firstname.lastname@example.org
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