Written by: Sydney Root
Alanine transaminase converts alanine to pyruvate using the coenzyme pyridoxial phosphate. If you had told me I would understand what this (or anything else relevant to chemistry, for that matter) meant four years ago, I would have laughed right in your face. But somewhere along the road of college, I found myself in a dorky love-hate relationship with chemistry, specifically pertaining to pharmaceuticals. I was intrigued by the industry, particularly because I feel like there are so many flaws in the field, and I would like to see it go in a new direction.
I spent the past year slinging beers at Tractor Brewery by night, while studying chemical formulas by day in order to pursue a career in pharmacy. I also spent much time scratching my head wondering if I was smart enough to actually pull off getting into pharmacy school. But the support I received from the Tractor community, from both coworkers and the awesome customers I now call friends, helped me get to where I am now.
My experience at Tractor helped me in my pursuit of getting into pharmacy school more than I could have ever thought. Working at the taproom opened a whole new community of people for me to interact with, and I learned that I could find commonalities with people of all kinds of different interests, which will be very important in my career as a pharmacist. I met a fellow named Patrick who often sipped on the Sod Buster at Tractor, and ended up allowing me to work with him at the Menaul Compounding Pharmacy where I got to personally help prepare medications specially crafted for individuals in Albuquerque. I also met some current UNM pharmacy students who frequented the taproom to drink a beer or two while studying (now, that’s talent!), and these friendly boys gave me suggestions to deal with interviews and how to handle school in the future. Some of the best support came from some of the wonderful Tractor regulars who would ask me how the whole process was going and would assure me that they knew I could do it (You know who you are. *cough* Justin, J Moe, Dawson, Jill, Marvin, Rachel *cough*).
This was probably one of the most taxing years of my life; working on my lengthy applications, taking standardized tests, traveling to multiple pharmacy schools across the country to interview and studying for my biochemistry exams on airplanes, stalking the mailman for conformation of acceptance or denial. But five interviews later and countless hours of studying paid off, and I landed up (that was for Lauren Poole hehe) getting into all five programs I applied for. I made an incredible connection with the faculty at the University of Washington, who hope to improve and develop the field of pharmacy in similar ways I’d like to see it go (plus, one of the professors actually asked me if I liked red or green chile better during the interview. How cool is that?!), so I will begin the pharmD program in Seattle this September.
I mean it when I say I don’t think I would be where I am today without the wonderful connections I made at Tractor. I will miss pouring your beers and seeing you all regularly. Thank you for all of your support!
-Soon to be, Dr. Sydney Root