Jillian Aquino is a fourth-year student pharmacist in the Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy.

Jillian AquinoBased at the School of Pharmacy’s campus in Shady Grove, Jillian received her bachelor’s degree in microbiology from the University of Maryland, College Park. She is the recipient of an intramural research training award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), where she currently works as an intern. A member of the American Pharmacists Association–Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP), the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP), and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), Jillian hopes to work as a pharmacist assisting with clinical trials in a university or hospital setting.

What inspired your interest in the pharmacy profession?

Throughout my life, I have always had a strong desire to make a difference. Having the opportunity to conduct research under the supervision of a clinical pharmacist at the NIH showed me the multitude of ways in which pharmacists can make an impact on patients’ lives – not only by making decisions in the clinic, but also by improving upon those decisions through the development of new clinical guidelines and publications. That experience really inspired me to pursue my Doctor of Pharmacy degree.

What interested you most about the PharmD program at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy?

The University of Maryland School of Pharmacy first attracted my interest with its outstanding curriculum, clinical programs, and wide range of partnerships with local and national organizations. Its close proximity to the University of Maryland Medical Center and Johns Hopkins Hospital allows students the opportunity to participate in a wide range of unique training opportunities and required rotations.

I also like that the School offers different pathways that students can pursue to help expand our educational opportunities and develop knowledge and skills in an area of particular interest. Combine that with the diverse student population and urban environment, and I knew it was the institution best suited for me.

How would you describe your experience since being admitted to the program?

Being part of the PharmD program at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy has been a phenomenal experience for me. The curriculum is very challenging and advanced, but faculty truly value student input and feedback so they can continue to adapt their teachings.

The School’s administration also listens to students and is happy to assist with any need that we might have. As I enter my second year in the program, I feel encouraged to continue to perform well and become actively involved in the profession. I feel confident in my studies and in full control of my education with the strong support of the School.

What is your advice to prospective students who might be considering whether or not to apply to this program?

The PharmD program at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy provides a number of great opportunities for students who are willing to take full advantage of the resources and guidance available. Because the curriculum can be challenging, some students might be hesitant to apply for fear that they will not excel.  However, if you embrace all of the different networking and extracurricular programs available at the School, you are sure to be successful and earn your degree.