Rachel Gilmore is a current PY3 (c/o 2021) on our Chapel Hill campus. From Princeton, NJ she completed her undergraduate studies at Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) and earned her BS in Chemistry. If you have ever wondered about what it is like to scuba dive with sharks, Rachel is the one to ask! Today, Sit with Senate’s Vera Pervitsky interviewed Rachel Gilmore.
What motivated you to pursue pharmacy? Why did you choose to attend the Eshelman School of Pharmacy (ESOP)?
I went to Georgia Tech and had to declare my major going in so I declared chemistry because I like science. With more involvement in extracurriculars, I could not picture myself in a lab and realized that I was really passionate about serving people. I found pharmacy through pharmacy mentors and learned how much of a marriage pharmacy is between science and serving others, so it seemed like a great career path accounting for my dual interests.
I applied to UNC because I knew I liked the area and the school’s reputation, so it was my reach school. When I got the interview, I knew I could never turn it down. When I got on campus, what stuck with me after Candidate’s Day was that the current students and prospective students were the most driven, interesting, and impressive people out of any other school I interviewed at. I realized that surrounding myself with these kinds of people would help me become the best possible pharmacist after these four years.
What field of pharmacy are you interested in and why?
Patient care has always been central to the reason why I am in pharmacy so I have always been called to clinical pharmacy. Specific areas that I am interested in include pediatrics and oncology because I think there is such a strong role of pharmacists in those areas. Through my internship and the kinds of pharmacy I have been exposed to, I think I am specifically interested in ambulatory care pharmacy because I want to develop strong relationships with patients and their families.
What activities/self-care measures do you participate in outside of school?
I love to hang out with my friends and explore different restaurants and coffee shops. I like to work out and bake as well. I really like volunteering with little kids and undergrads through my church here—this is always the highlight of my week!
What is the best advice you have ever received?
The best advice I have ever received is to keep everything in perspective. I am naturally a perfectionist and people pleaser, so I get stressed out over details and things that might not warrant such a high level of stress. I try to keep things in the frame of what is important and focus on the big picture.
Can you describe what the Pharmacy Student Senate is at ESOP?
It is the student-led government body that serves the students and acts as a bridge between students, faculty, and staff. Senate is responsible for identifying needs and creating opportunities that add value to the pharmacy experience.
Why did you decide to run for Senate President?
I have been involved in Senate related activities since my first year. I really loved the opportunity to give back to the school and get to know people both in my class and other classes and form relationships with faculty and staff at the school. Through these experiences, I became really invested in initiatives that Senate was taking on. I really care about what the Senate stands for and what it can accomplish, so I wanted to largely contribute to these efforts.
What activities or roles did you partake in before applying for Senate President?
As a PY1, I was the Class Secretary/Treasurer and was involved in the Recruitment Ambassadors program (RAP). During my PY2 year, I was Senate Secretary, Lead Ambassador for RAP, and Special Projects Co-chair for Carolina Association of Pharmacy Students (CAPS). Now I am the Senate President and the Leadership Development Co-chair for Phi Lambda Sigma (PLS).
To provide more information to those who may be considering to apply for a position in Pharmacy Student Senate, can you talk about your responsibilities as Senate President?
I oversee the activities of all the branches of Senate (including an 11 person executive board, Asheville Executive Committee (AEC), 6 committees, and the class officers). I run monthly Class Officer meetings, Senate Counsel meetings with students leaders from all organizations, and Senate Executive Committee meetings. I work closely with the Dean and the Office of Students and Curricular Affairs (OSCA) to enhance student voice and advance initiatives that are important to students. I get to work with the Pharmacy Alumni Association and Foundation to bring student perspective to alumni relations.
What has been the most rewarding aspect of being Senate President for you? Most challenging?
I love the school and the people at school a lot. Having the opportunity to even just indirectly invest in the success of all of these future world leaders in pharmacy means a lot to me and is humbling. It just makes everything feel really worth it.
I think that the most challenging thing is managing time effectively to get all of my Student Senate obligations completed, but also leaving enough time for school and personal wellness.
What characteristics/traits are important for one to possess as Senate President?
I think that the important characteristics are a real love for the school, enthusiasm, and dedication to be Senate President because if you don’t have the drive, then it is easy to burn out. Another important trait is having the ability to identify needs, collaborate, and motivate others to innovate solutions. it is also important to be adaptable, think quickly on your feet, and have good time management skills.
How do you and Jenna work together?
Jenna and I work through open communication where we both recognize and vocalize the challenges behind finding cohesion between the two campuses. In order to effectively communicate, we find solutions to restructure meetings and check-in with each other on a regular basis.