This biology major and bioethics minor trained as a pharmacy technician to bolster her graduate school applications.

Rx or MD?

Entering her senior year at Elms, Madeline Jordan ’18 was at a crossroads: pharmacy school or medical school? Knowing that this decision would affect her future career, she did what any ambitious biology major would do: she ran some tests.

Photo of biology grad Madeline Jordan '18

Rather than rushing to the lab, though, Madeline decided to venture out into the real world to see where her passion for science led her. When she learned from a friend that pharmacy technician training programs could be completed in 10 months, she enrolled, took a Massachusetts state certification exam, and started working full-time at a CVS pharmacy down the road from campus. After seeing this type of patient care in action, she had an epiphany: she would earn her doctoral degree to become a community pharmacist.

“I submitted applications on a Sunday, and I got calls the following Monday from all the schools I applied to,” she said. One four-hour interview and writing sample later, Madeline found herself saying “yes” to a spot in her No. 1 choice for doctoral programs: the Pharm.D. program at Western New England University.

STEM Success

Reflecting on her time at Elms, the Lopez Island, WA, native said that she didn’t always see herself as one of the top students in her major. Even though she was heavily involved in enriching campus life–acting as class president for three years and entertainment director for the student activities board for two years–it took time for her success to register. That self-perception began to change, however, when she realized she was advancing her skills in a challenging STEM field.

“Knowing that I didn’t need to depend on anyone to get myself where I am today is empowering for me,” she said.

‘Learning more about the context, and not just the facts, of biology has been incredibly helpful.’

Looking to her future as a pharmacist, Madeline plans on utilizing her knowledge of bioethics to enhance her care of patients.

“Learning more about the context, and not just the facts, of biology has been incredibly helpful,” she explained. “I’m planning on using ethics to do what’s right for the patient.

“I want to be the type of pharmacist who fills prescriptions and answers any questions that my patients might have. I want to counsel my patients and put them first.”

Biology majors at Elms get to do it all — perform experiments in high-tech classes and labs, present scientific research at conferences,  and even co-author articles with faculty and fellow students. Our graduates go on to work in research labs, higher ed institutions, government agencies, and a range of other health- and medicine-related settings. Contact us or schedule a campus visit to learn more.