University of Minnesota Crookston senior Paige Pitlick truly embodies the University of Minnesota system tagline “Driven to Discover.” Pitlick’s passion for science and ongoing absorption of knowledge has molded her path and taken her on to become a future student of the College of Pharmacy at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities.
Pitlick, a UMN Crookston senior from Jordan, Minn., is a semester away from graduating with a degree in health sciences alongside two minors, one in chemistry and another in biology with an emphasis in pre-pharmacy. For Pitlick, pre-pharmacy lines up perfectly with her passion, chemistry.
Nonetheless, Pitlick did not know from a young age that chemistry and pharmacy were her passion. She grew up on a goat farm, and spent years partaking in 4-H activities. Given her connection to livestock and agricultural education, Pitlick automatically connected it to animal science and thought that could be something she would love to pursue. However, after taking chemistry classes in high school, Pitlick knew she had found her calling.
Pitlick recalls being recruited to play softball at UMN Crookston and how because of that, her journey to become a pharmacy student, started at UMN Crookston. During her time at UMN Crookston, Pilick kept herself motivated with one of her favorite quotes, “be where your feet are.”
“It is easy to get stressed with homework, sports, other obligations, and looking forward to the end of the week, so I remind myself to make sure I enjoy where I am right now” says Pitlick.
Aside from being a two sport athlete, including softball and cross country, and being a top student, Pitlick has job shadowed in the realm of pharmacy she hopes to one day work in. Pitlick loves the rush and the stakes of being in the emergency room working during ER rotations or being a clinical pharmacist. These pharmacists work one-on-one with patients by giving them their day-to-day medicines, checking that the medicine doesn’t cause a certain reaction, working with emergency medical technicians (EMT’s) as they arrive to the hospital to see what they have already given the patient and how to further stabilize them, and much more.
“This type of pharmacist is more hands on and works in a higher risk environment. It involves functioning in a more stressful and high pressure situation which I work well in,” Pitlick explains.
Pitlick knows she will encounter challengers and has much to learn before heading into the field. One of the aspects she is nervous about is having to know all of the facts and information regarding medicines, chemical components, and specific information right from memory. Pitlick finds reassurance in the fact that the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy is #2 in the nation and she will get the training she needs while having access to all of the right resources and a collaborative community of pharmacists, students, and faculty around her always willing to help.
Pitlick mentioned, “It is definitely nerve-wracking, but I am thrilled to always be learning and growing.”
Pitlick will be attending the U of M College of Pharmacy in fall 2020. As she looks forward to her bright future, she takes a moment to let students know to take advantage of all of the opportunities offered because all of the hard work will pay off and help in any career path.
Pitlick is grateful for all of the people that helped her along the way. She made lifelong friends through softball and became close with athletes in other teams as well. Everyone she met and all of the experiences Pitlick went through rounded out her experience at UMN Crookston.