Bill Huynh once pulled his car over to help a fellow motorist change a flat tire, even though he knew it would make him late for work. “I’d rather help somebody else than help myself. That’s something that I live by,” he said. As a student in Roosevelt’s new College of Pharmacy, he’s well on his way to helping many more people.
While attending high school in Sacramento, California, Huynh, whose parents are from Cambodia, began thinking about a career in health care. As a biology major at a California State University, he interned as a physical therapy assistant, but found that he wanted to interact with more people. He later took a job as a pharmacy technician, and loved it. Before long, he was applying to pharmacy schools.
Huynh decided he wanted to attend a school with a three-year accelerated course schedule, of which there are only a handful in the country. “I knew that finishing earlier would be better financially. That’s one extra year of working, so it was definitely desirable.” Having come from a smaller high school, Huynh also knew that small class sizes were a priority for him.
Huynh was accepted to a handful of pharmacy schools, but chose Roosevelt after interviewing with Dr. David Fuentes. “Dr. Fuentes had taught and lived in northern California, in Stockton, about 30 minutes from Sacramento, so we was able to make comparisons between Schaumburg and Sacramento. “There are a lot more similarities than you might think,” he said.
In March of 2012, Huynh represented Roosevelt’s pharmacy program at the American Pharmacy Association National Meeting in New Orleans. He competed in the National Patient Counseling Competition where contestants counsel a patient with regard to drug interactions.
Huynh has enjoyed taking an active role in the College of Pharmacy and is a member of the student advisory council. “We needed people to step up and take initiative. I think it’s important to let people know that we are here and that we have a passion for the field.”
Bill also enjoys the school’s classroom setting, where students are organized into small groups. “In the pharmacy field, you have to work as a team. You work with doctors and nurses and specialists to make decisions for patients. So learning the social aspect of the job is important, because you have to know how to get your point across to others.”
In addition to his studies, Huynh is a member of the Roosevelt Lakers men’s tennis team. “It can be tough finding the time for both my studies and tennis, but the drive is definitely still there.”
In the end, it’s the people who set Roosevelt apart, Huynh says. “The thing I’ve enjoyed most is the classmates that I have. All of us came here not knowing anybody, and we’ve all been a big comfort for one another. I know the entire faculty, and I know the dean and he knows me. There are not a lot of schools where that’s the case.”
After graduation, Huynh will likely choose a career as a retail pharmacist, in a drug store environment where patient interaction is frequent. This year, he also hopes to organize community involvement programs to reach out to the Schaumburg area.. He’s not sure if he’ll stay in Illinois or head back west, but either way, he’s got big plans.
“I’m having a blast.”
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