Reflecting on her career from its earliest days, Sarah admits pharmacy wasn’t her first choice. She knew little about the profession when she first applied to university. But pharmacy was new to JCU, and while she wanted to work in a medical profession she knew she didn’t want to be a doctor.
What she found was a course that grabbed her attention and a learning environment in which she thrived, topping chemistry in her first year.
The University’s focus on placements was also highly beneficial, giving students the opportunity to experience the profession across a range of fields and locations, from metropolitan hospitals to rural communities and the outback.
And it was these placements that opened her eyes to the benefits of a rural lifestyle and career.
“It was really good to get a taste of what it is like in the real world, and what is it like living in an area where you would like to practice,” Sarah said.
“I found that job opportunities were better in rural areas, as was the pay. I had initially thought of moving to the city, but after spending time in a rural area I found the prospects and lifestyle were just better.”
- Sarah Hughes
Although it’s been more than twenty years since she took her first steps along the path to becoming a pharmacist, Sarah is still discovering the directions the role can take her in.
“I’m enjoying the diversity of the different experiences, branching out into different areas, and taking advantage of the opportunities available. It's nice to try a few different things. I'm just at the beginning of working out which direction I want to go in,” she said.
“I went into pharmacy straight from school. It was sort of by default. But I have really grown into it. It’s been the perfect career for me having children and being able to come and go from the workforce between having children,” she said.
“It’s a career that is always in demand. Every time I’ve been ready to come back to work there has been a job here for me.”