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Austin Koelker

Austin Koelker

Undergraduate Institution: University of Tennessee-Knoxville

Why did you choose UTHSC College of Pharmacy? 

UTHSC College of Pharmacy stood out to me as my number one choice for several reasons outside of it being the highest ranked institution in the state of Tennessee. When I arrived for my interview, the staff were very welcoming and immediately made me feel at home. Once I was accepted, I knew the opportunities I would have after my graduation would be far more than I ever imagined for myself. With such reputable faculty, I was confident in the education I’d be receiving and the decision from there was the easiest and the best I’ve made thus far.

Tell us a little bit about your experience in pharmacy school.

Since enrolling in UTHSC College of Pharmacy, I have thoroughly enjoyed getting involved in the student organizations. APhA-ASP, SNPhA, and Kappa Psi Pharmaceutical Fraternity are a few of the organizations I’ve particularly shown a great interest in. The most rewarding position I’ve held is that on the Admissions Committee. As a member, I am able to sit in on interviews of prospective students. It is incredibly rewarding to be on the other side of an interview and get to know these bright candidates from all different backgrounds. In addition to my involvement in organizations, I have shown a special interest in Pharmacy Compounding since I’ve gotten to UTHSC. As of right now, I hope to teach compounding courses while working in a compounding pharmacy that intends to specialize in hormone replacement therapy, veterinary compounds, sterile preparations, etc.

What advice do you have for prospective students?

The best advice I can give to a prospective student would be to keep an open mind while you are in school and remember that part of your learning experience at any institution is to learn more about what the profession has to offer. Keep in mind that the career choice you have in mind now may change tomorrow, or at your first rotation in pharmacy school. As long as you stay focused on what interests you, you are much more likely to enjoy the career path that you take.

If you received a scholarship, what does that scholarship mean to you and to your education?

To me, a scholarship is more than a check with my name on it. It is a certificate of someone or some business expressing that they believe in me. It is an investment in my future and goes beyond the appreciation that I could express in words. I’d hope to prove my appreciation in using that money to better myself as a student pharmacist and advance in the profession in ways that I may not have been able to without the scholarship. We all know that school is expensive, so a scholarship would also allow for a decreased burden of student loan payments in my future, while practicing.

Last Published: Nov 7, 2017