Zoe Robinson didn’t plan on becoming a pharmacist, but her passion for helping people sparked a career switch.
When you think of a pharmacist, you may picture someone behind the counter at your local chemist. That’s a really important job, of course, but did you know pharmacists work in lots of other places too?
Zoe is an intern pharmacist in a hospital. She says there are numerous jobs in the pharmaceutical field – such as pharmacists in specialised areas, helping design programs to improve public health, working alongside other clinicians in a hospital, or even working with vaccines. “Throughout the pandemic, pharmacists have been manufacturing and administering COVID-19 vaccines – a role which would not have been anticipated only a few years ago,” she says.
Jump in a new direction
Zoe didn’t plan on a career in STEM – she originally went to university to study a business degree. That changed when, after working in a small suburban pharmacy, she realised she was passionate about helping others. “I found my passion for the pharmaceutical field after working for an independent community pharmacy who showed great pride and passion for their patients.”
It’s a career change that’s worked out: Zoe has now successfully completed her Bachelor of Pharmacy at QUT and even won National Pharmacy Student of the Year in 2021. Another highlight for her was one of her clinical placements where she helped check chemotherapy orders and ensure they were being delivered correctly at a hospital.
Zoe’s currently gaining real-world experience as an intern pharmacist at a hospital. She shadows other pharmacists to develop her knowledge and make sure she’s prepared for her board exams to become a registered pharmacist. Zoe says her goal as an intern “is to learn as much as possible” so next year she can work within the hospital team helping patients.
Zoe’s advice to future uni students is to take STEM subjects in high-school – even if you’re not sure about your career goals. “If you are passionate about STEM, pursuing a career in any of these fields will be fulfilling – so believe in yourself and dream big!”
Zoe’s study and career path
- Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours), QUT
- National Pharmacy Student of the Year
- Hospital Pharmacy intern within Queensland Health