Q & A with University of Maryland School of Pharmacy Student Rabia Asjid

Rabia Asjid is a first-year student at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy. She graduated from UMD in 2023 with a degree in Public Health Science. 

Rabia Asjid
Rabia Asjid

Why Pharmacy?

I had always been drawn to the healthcare field, but I could never decide which profession to choose. During undergrad, I had the chance to shadow a pediatrician and saw how different healthcare professions collaborate as an interprofessional team to care for patients. During this experience, I noticed that I was most interested in learning about which different medications could be used when developing a patient's treatment plan. This was the turning point that led me to decide to pursue pharmacy school.

In addition to my interest in medications, I wanted a career that offered diverse career paths rather than being locked into a single role forever. Pharmacy stood out as one of the most diverse healthcare professions, and this flexibility gave me confidence in my decision to pursue it. It meant I would always have different career options available if I ever had a change of heart.


What extracurricular activities do you think best prepared you for pharmacy school?

The experience that has most effectively prepared me for pharmacy school was my role as a pharmacy technician throughout my undergraduate years. This invaluable position provided me with hands-on exposure and a comprehensive understanding of medications and the pharmacy profession. As a result, my transition into pharmacy school has been notably smooth compared to my peers who did not work in a pharmacy, as I already had a solid foundation in medication knowledge, proficiency in dosage calculations, and a practical understanding of the operations involved in preparing prescriptions within a simulated pharmacy setting.


What advice would you give your younger self?

If I could advise my younger self, I would say, do not get too obsessed with trying to be the perfect applicant. Instead, enjoy the journey and the experiences along the way. In undergrad, I was so fixated on becoming the ideal candidate for pharmacy school that I often forgot to appreciate the moments and experiences that came my way. Looking back, I wish I had spent more time doing things I loved with the people I cared about, rather than just concentrating on the goal of getting into pharmacy school. Once you reach that goal all the hard work and stress you put into getting there become less important compared to the memories and experiences you missed out on along the way.


What drew you to your particular pharmacy school?

There were several factors. First, it's a highly reputable institution known for its education. Second, its location is a significant advantage, as it is close to many other renowned institutions like Johns Hopkins, the VA, the FDA, and various pharmaceutical companies. The school’s proximity to these institutions provides excellent opportunities to gain diverse experiences in the various domains of pharmacy. Additionally, I chose to stay in-state for pharmacy school because it is more cost-effective than attending an out-of-state program.


What’s the most interesting interview question that you have been asked?

One that stands out is about how would I promote health equity in the field of pharmacy.