Hemali Patel, MPharm 2004
Pharmacist at Walgreens
The five years I spent at Bradford were life-changing, the course was so well structured, and the lecturers were amazing. I became not just a student but a friend to a few.
I was a student at the University of Bradford from 1999 to 2004. I had decided to pursue pharmacy and had looked into many university's that offered pharmacy degrees.
What I loved most about Bradford was that it was the only one of two universities that offered a sandwich course, and not just a year out at that, but two six-month placements which enabled me to experience two different sides to pharmacy.
It was great to also know I was following in my dad's footsteps by going to the same university he had gone to, to study Chemical Engineering.
I remember clearly being asked where I had studied when I walked into a small independent pharmacy chain, and when I told them it was the University of Bradford, they were so happy to have me on board. They told me that the best pharmacists they had seen had been from the University of Bradford.
After graduation I was given a job at Boots. I stepped in as a temporary Pharmacy Manager while a Pharmacist was on maternity leave, but not so long afterwards I realised my passion for becoming a Relief Pharmacist and travelling to various stores, working with different teams and different types of people. Around that time I was also interested in moving to the USA and decided to apply for the Foreign Pharmacist Equivalency Exam which I sat in Dec 2005. Two years later I was presented with an amazing opportunity to work for Walgreens Pharmacy. I have been in the USA since 2007 and still work for Walgreens. Walgreens now owns Boots and is one of the largest pharmacy chains worldwide.
I remember my university days like they were yesterday. I first lived at Shearbridge halls, on campus, and then returned there again in my third year. In my other years I lived right across the road above, ironically, the pharmacy on the corner of Great Horton Road. I remember having lectures on the N floor of the Richmond building and walking up all those flights of stairs, sometimes for the work out and sometimes because the lifts were so packed with hundreds of students trying to get to labs or lectures themselves - it was often quicker to walk than wait!
I still remember going to Shimlas and the Mumtaz Restaurant for amazing Indian food. There was a great Italian place called Angelo's, also on Great Horton Road, not far from the Alhambra theatre.
I'm sure Bradford has changed a lot since I was last there in 2004. I look back at my university days and wish I could do it all over again. I met two of my best friends there and it holds so many good memories that have changed my life forever. I hope everyone enjoys their experience at Bradford as much as I did.
Hemali Patel – Pharmacist at Walgreens
Published April 2016