Griffith alumnus Georgina Morris shares her advice for students who hope to build a career in pharmacy and healthcare and her plans for the future.
Georgina is a graduate Indigenous student at Griffith University. She is currently completing her Bachelor of Pharmacy internship in Bowen (QLD) and hopes to enter a Doctor of Medicine after completing her internship year.
“I have a profound passion for health and a desire to see positive change in the well-being of the wider community,” Georgina says.
“After completing a Doctor of Medicine, I aspire to work with Aboriginal patients in rural and remote locations as a part of the Royal Flying Doctor Service.”
Georgina remembers back to her first days and weeks as a student as providing a base of support and stability for her subsequent study years. She recalls feeling comforted by the similarities between herself and other pharmacy students.
“My first day of studying at Griffith was extremely daunting yet very exciting, and I had a sense of accomplishment knowing that my hard work through high school had paid off,” she says.
“Having just turned 16 when I started, I was very young for my degree so there was some anguish surrounding the social expectations of a being a university student, however I quickly found that being in a cohort of students who were likeminded and had similar academic goals made it easier to relate to one another.
“Also, the lecturers and course conveners were lovely and eased us into the trimester really well. The more I interacted and engaged in class, the more I learnt and soon the lecturers knew me by name, which I never thought would be possible at a large university.”
Georgina’s advice for future pharmacy students is to have a real passion for people and healthcare, as both are a contributing factor to a career as a pharmacist or other health professional.
“It’s ok if you’re stumped by the overload of maths, chemistry and anatomy taught in first year of the degree, but if you can power through it, drug pathways, medication counselling and simulated patient interactions are just around the corner,” she explains.
“I also can’t stress enough the importance of discovering your learning style early, it’ll make understanding and remembering the content so much easier. The lecturers teach in their own style, and it’s important that you take that information and convert it into your own words and visuals that compliment how you study.
“As a very academic-focused student, I found it extremely important to find an outlet outside of class and study where I could focus my energy and release stress.
“It took me until my second year to discover that scheduling time for extracurricular activities didn’t take away from my grades, and that instead it would positively contribute to them by uplifting my mental health, improving my focus and reducing my stress. I wish I’d realised how important this was before I started my degree!”
Georgina also has advice for Indigenous students and students from other cultural backgrounds.
“I wish I knew about the wide range of scholarships that Griffith and their external partners offer to students of different backgrounds,” she says.
“Prior to my first trimester, I didn’t submit a scholarship application as I was under the assumption that I wouldn’t be eligible. After learning that there were multiple scholarships available regarding academics, healthcare related degrees and funding for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students I sent in an application and was awarded a scholarship that would fund the remaining years of my degree.
“I would encourage other Indigenous students, both those starting fresh and those continuing in second year and beyond, to apply for the range of scholarships through the University, as you never know how important your skills and experiences may be!”
If like Georgina you have a passion for giving back to your community, the Bachelor of Pharmacy program can be your first step into a career in pharmacy or healthcare.