Balancing a Pharmacy Degree and Motherhood

Alumna Kendra White graduates in first Springfield-based UMKC Pharmacy cohort
Kendra White in her UMKC lab coat

UMKC Grads are Everywhere.

Our students graduate with much more than a diploma. They leave UMKC with the practical knowledge, real-world experience and skills that help them land jobs they love.

Kendra White ‘18

UMKC major: Doctor of Pharmacy, inaugural UMKC School of Pharmacy class in Springfield, Missouri
Current job: Pharmacist

Why did you choose pharmacy?

I had been a pharmacy technician for a long time but was limited in the health-care services I could provide to the community.

I have realized what I am capable of and the impact I can have in patient lives and the healthcare field. It’s inspiring when patients compliment and thank you for your part in helping them with their pharmaceutical needs and healthcare goals.

Before having kids, why was attending school in the southwest Missouri area important to you?

I love this area and its landscape and outdoor activities. I also didn’t want to be far from family. I received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in photography from Missouri State University.

“I didn’t have to uproot my family to pursue my goals.”

What did you most appreciate about UMKC?

I appreciated that UMKC was open to nontraditional students. If it wasn’t for UMKC I may not have been accepted to a pharmacy school. Other schools I looked into had more strict acceptance criteria. Thanks to UMKC accepting me into their professional program I was able to prove my abilities and determination to succeed. The professors that I interacted with at the Springfield Pharmacy School campus were eager to challenge us and push us to be our best. I credit them for the skills I learned to pass my boards and the confidence I gained to practice pharmacy today.

If you had an internship during college, how did it help prepare you for your first job?

As an intern pharmacist I was able to perform actions above that of a pharmacy technician while at work. It prepared me by giving me experience with immunizations, patient counseling, and pharmacist responsibilities

“Be confident in your abilities.”

Best career advice you’ve received?

The best advise I have been given is “you know this, you’ve got this.” I tell myself this often when I may lack confidence. As a pharmacist, you are thrown into a position of authority, as well as becoming a reference to patients and healthcare providers. Being confident in your ability to answer questions and interact with providers is vital in pharmacy. You have to know when and how to intervene to find, solve, and prevent medication related issues.

What advice do you have for students entering your field/profession?

Be confident in your abilities. Questions will come up that you don’t know the answer to. Use your resources and the schooling that you have received to confidently answer questions, support recommendations, and question orders. Don’t let questions from Patients and Providers intimidate you, they look to you as a source of information because you have the most knowledge and education when it comes to difficult medication inquiries. Approach each patient as if they were a member of your family, don’t be afraid to speak up and identify issues, because every patient deserves to have the pharmacist on their side preventing errors, providing them with the best possible pharmaceutical outcomes.

Published: Mar 8, 2019