From Electrical Engineer to Pharmacist: New Adult Graduate Finds Calling

Jones Rogan

CHICAGO–(ENEWSPF)–May 21, 2015.  When Adriene Jones-Rogan, 52, lost her job six years ago as an electrical engineer, she took steps to change careers, following a calling to become a pharmacist.

On Thursday, May 21, she will realize her dream as she receives a doctoral degree in Pharmacy from Roosevelt University.

Jones-Rogan first became interested in pharmacy while on the job in Cleveland, Ohio, writing proposals for electrical engineering contracts with pharmaceutical companies. “At the time it struck me that pharmacy was a growing field and I had this desire to become a pharmacist,” she said.

 The opportunity to change careers presented itself when Jones-Rogan was laid off from her job in 2009. She then enrolled in a pharmacy technician program at Cleveland State University. “It was intimidating going back to school, but I felt compelled to follow my dream,” she said.

As she took prerequisite courses like chemistry and biology, Jones-Rogan’s interest in the field of pharmacy began to grow, particularly after her mother was released from the hospital with 11 different kinds of medication to combat asthma and related illnesses.

“I remember thinking, ‘How do elderly people deal with all these different medications? They need an advocate,’” said Jones-Rogan, who chose Roosevelt because of its message of inclusion and its diversity.

In researching the field, she met with many pharmacists, but few were African Americans. “While African Americans are underrepresented in the profession, we make up a large segment of the medically underserved. Now I’ve got an opportunity to use a cultural connection to highlight the importance of better health,” she said.

Shaun Keating, director of enrollment and student services for the College of Pharmacy, said the University’s PharmD program, with its fast-track, three-year format,  is often a good choice for adult career changers.

“The three-year program offers adult students who are returning to school for the first time after raising a family and changing careers to pursue their goal of becoming advocates and compassionate caregivers,” said Keating.

“Students like Adrienne bring a whole different perspective to a learning community that is typically coming right out of college. Her life experience, previous career and maturity benefit our younger students, whose average age is 24,” he said.

Upon graduation, Jones-Rogan will return to Cleveland to prepare for the licensing exam and begin her job search in earnest.  “There are a lot of options out there and with my background I want to find the right niche for me,” she said.