Student Spotlight: Thanh Nguyen, P3

In August, the Northwest Regional Campus welcomed Thanh (pronounced Theyn) and 20 of her fellow classmates as the inaugural class of junior pharmacy students.  We are glad she decided to come back to northwest Arkansas to complete her pharmacy education. 

VF:  Why do you want to be a pharmacist?

TN:  I want to be a pharmacist because it’s a really flexible career where you can do a lot of different things in different areas.  I really like that.  I like how you can help people doing our job and using your knowledge to help others. 

Where are you from?

Rogers.  Went to the U of A for two years, then UAMS for pharmacy school.

What was your first job, ever?

First job ever…  Does babysitting count?  That’s what I had to do to get extra money.   I worked at the Gap…tried to help the people find their clothes.

What did you learn about life?

I learned that I didn’t want to do it forever!  But it was fun and I enjoyed it.

What is something that other might not know about you?

People might be surprised to find out that I am kind of talkative.  Usually in class I don’t talk, I’m very quiet.   People don’t find that out until they get to know me. 

What book(s) are on your nightstand?

Okay, this is kind of embarrassing because people always make fun of me, but I love Harry Potter.  I’ve read it since 5th grade.

How long does it take you to get to class?

It depends.  With traffic on Tuesday mornings – about 15 – 20 minutes.  But normally about 10 minutes.

Do you watch any TV?

Yes! Favorite show is Modern Family – only seen season 1, just got season 2, but haven’t started it yet.

Favorite movie?

Any romantic comedy.  My movie collection is all romantic comedies.   27 Dresses, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, You’ve Got Mail, Sixteen Candles. 

Do you have a mentor in pharmacy?

 …Dr. Reinhardt.  She’s so sweet and has helped me when I had any questions.

Who inspires you?

I would say my dad inspires me.  He’s such a hard worker and I always try to live up to his standards.  He’s a jack of all trades – he’s a mechanic/technician.  He fixes machines, and just everything.  If I ever have a problem, I come home and he fixes it for me.

What organizations do you belong to?

ASP, Rho Chi, Phi Lambda Sigma, SSHP, and NCPA.  A lot of them!

What would you say to someone who’s not sure they should get involved in organizations on this campus?

I’d say that’s absolutely crazy.  You can get involved, it’s possible.  Even though we’re three hours away from Little Rock.  It’s really easy to get involved and I really like it. It’s a lot of fun.

What has been a challenge for you on this campus?

Yeah, I would say the biggest challenge is trying to keep in touch with everyone in Little Rock.  Because we don’t even get to see them on the screen.  So you kind of feel like you don’t get to interact with them as much.  You just have to try to make it to Little Rock for the social events.

What about the IVN world? How is that working out having class that way?

I really like it.  Some people say it would be hard for them to pay attention that way, but I think it’s perfectly equal.  We see the teacher on one screen; we see the slides on the other. 

Do you feel you have as much input?

Oh, I think so.  Especially with the speaker and cameras, and whenever we have a question, we just speak up; we can just hit it [the student microphone.] The teachers try to interact with us more.  Asking us if we have questions or pointing us out. 

That can be good or bad, huh?


Are you just as prepared?

I kind of feel like you have to be more prepared! There’s only 20 or so of us here and they’re always trying to single us out compared to 90 of them down there.

What have been some of the great things about this campus?

Okay, some of the great things are the break room that we have.  [It’s] awesome and always stocked with plates and cups and food and drinks and things like that.  That’s really nice to have.  Love the computer lab and library – easy access compared to the campus in Little Rock.  Everything was so far away.  But here it’s like if we need something, we just pull up and get it. 

Have you used your access badge after hours?

Yeah, I’ve come up to use the library and computers.

What would you say to a student from any college that was contemplating coming up here?

I would say that it’s really awesome and it’s a lot of fun.  And you get a lot closer to your classmates and faculty up here.  So it’s a really good experience and I enjoy it.

How do you relieve stress?

I relieve stress by going for a run. That really helps me clear my mind. After a nice run, I always feel so much better and more relaxed.

How do you like living in Fayetteville?

I love living in Fayetteville.  I’m from Rogers, which is only 30 minutes away. So it’s nice being close to home.  I like how everything is pretty close, so if I need to run an errand or go somewhere, it only takes me about 15 minutes to get there.    I like the atmosphere and just the town in general. 

Another positive – what is at the corner of North and North Highland Street?

Parking!!! Which is awesome.   It takes me 5 seconds to get from my car to class.  Especially with that good crosswalk!

Five years?

Well, hopefully, I’m done with my residency and have a job as a clinical pharmacist.  And hopefully I’ll be married by then.  Probably not starting a family yet – enjoying a life without kids first.  I’m 22. 

Anything to tell a P1 or pre-pharmacy student?

I would just say that pharmacy is a great profession – it has so many opportunities.  If you’re not interested in doing something like retail – there’s hospital, clinical, just so many opportunities.  I would encourage someone who’s interested to shadow a pharmacist to see if it’s something they’re interested in.  If they’re interested in coming here, I would say it’s great.  And I would encourage them to do it and not be scared. Even though it’s new, everything’s working out pretty well.

How are the screenings here?

Well, we haven’t gotten as many opportunities as in Little Rock, but the ones we have gotten like Bikes Blues and Barbeque and the Habitat for Humanity event have been really great. And the people up here really appreciate it, and they’re really surprised that pharmacists can do all that stuff.  It’s nice to show the community that we can do all that, that we can help them. ¤