Never conform, be true to you and DON’T apologize for doing so!
Who is Rudi?
I am a 5 foot 4 inch, nerdy chocolate girl from Atlanta! Born as Rudijah but I go by Rudi, like my father and grandfather whom both are named Rudy. I’m the eldest of 3 and my mother’s favorite (and only) girl. I’m many things but i’m proudest to call myself future Dr. Rudi! I graduated from Georgia Southern University with my Bachelor of Science in Public Health and a minor in Chemistry on May 5th, 2018. After then, I spent my gap year in the Emergency Room as a Scribe (freaking awesome) and preparing my mind for my dual PharmD/MPH which I’ll be starting IN ONE MONTH!
Bachelor’s of Science in Public Health, MInor in Chemistry
How did you choose to pursue this field?
In high school, I only knew of retail pharmacy. This sometimes made me doubt Pharmacy because I wanted more! It wasn’t until I came across an Instagram post about the podcast “RX Radio” when I found out the world of Pharmacy is much larger than just retail! I specifically remember listening to the “Transplant Pharmacy” episode and going “OMG THIS IS FREAKING AWESOME!” Afterward. I’ve been hooked on Pharmacy & RX Radio ever since.
Who was your inspiration or role model that guided you to this field?
I’d say a mixture of my mother and the RX Radio Podcast I mentioned previously! My mother, who is not in medicine, always made it a point that I should consider all options before settling/choosing anything. This played a large role as I researched pharmacy (are there specialties outside of retail? career outlook? day in the life? can I make a difference?). On the other hand, RX Radio provided me with all the answers to the questions my mother invoked. I found several specialties such as Veterinary Pharmacy, Transplant, Burn, ICU, Oncology and more. While my mother guided me, RX Radio solidified my passion for Pharmacy.
Did you always have the desire to work in this field? If not, what was your intended field? Why did you change careers?
No! Surprisingly I almost attended dental school! It was the summer of 2017 when I was in the process of applying to dental school. I had been a pre-dental student for approximately 2 semesters and had just Completed a ~15-week internship at a local dental office. I was COMPLETELY sold ……….and then my world came crashing down.
I had completed my application, was in the process of saving up money for the DAT (Dental Admissions Test) and had been studying for the DAT for almost 1.5 months when I received a phone call. “We feel as though we don’t really know you enough to write the letter of recommendation”. I cried for the rest of summer 2017. Unfortunately, I was unable to submit my application is that a complete application has 3 letters of recommendation, anything less is considered incomplete will not be reviewed. What was I going to do?! I’m about to start my last year of college!
Once I stopped sulking and crying, I took some time to think. “ Obviously this wouldn’t happen if God didn’t want it to, right”, “Maybe it wasn’t my time?”, “…….maybe this wasn’t my true passion?”. I began researching, making lists and reminiscing on those paths I previously thought of taking; MD/DO, Pharmacy, Nursing (specifically CRNA) or PA.
There was a lot of blog reading, YouTube video watching, and shadowing before I found my true passion came full circle, back to pharmacy.
What do you love most about your job or career?
I love that I’m able to combine my love for science and educating others into a career! I won’t just be a drug expert (mechanisms, interactions, etc) but also a counselor on the importance of medication compliance and managing chronic diseases.
What are the most difficult things or disappointing aspect of your job?
So far as an intern, I’d say the most difficult or disappointing aspect is being blamed for errors made by prescribers (Physicians, PA’s, NP’s) or insurance companies. Customers tend to voice their frustrations with us and we must be the ones to fix everything. While I often have very appreciable customers who are almost in tears when I get their medications down from $100 to $14….there’s always those who are not as appreciable and moments like that really steer me away from retail practice.
How have you combated the stigma of being a “woman of color” in STEM?
I’ve combated the stigma of being a “woman of color” in STEM by always setting an example for younger girls of color so that they have a place here in the future! I give 110% in everything that I do so that when a little girl of color sees me in news articles, research publications, and accepting my Nobel peace prize (too soon?! lol) they will know that they do BELONG in STEM despite what others may have told them.
What advice would you give your younger self about your career journey as a “woman of color” working in a predominantly white, male-dominated field?
Never conform, be true to you and DON’T apologize for doing so.
Can you provide some words of wisdom to young ladies thinking about entering a STEM field as a career choice?
The STEM field is HUGE! From female aerospace engineers, surgeons and Nobel peace prize-winning scientists – there’s a place for every woman! It’s up to you to find the space for you, create your path and make a place for young ladies in STEM to follow!
What is your favorite quote?
Good, better, best. Never ever rest. Until your good is better and your better is best”.
This quote was used repeatedly in our home growing up. It’s taught me to never give up, and when I think I’ve done well…I can do better.
How has your family been a great influence or support system?
My family is my backbone. They’ve supported every crazy idea or major change and have been there for nearly every award or accomplishment! My younger brothers are a constant reminder that I have an example to set as the oldest child.
What are your future goals related to your career?
At this moment I’m very interested in pursuing a residency in Solid Organ Transplantation upon obtaining my PharmD/MPH. While I’m sure this may change as I go through the next 4 years, I’m really passionate about transplant right now!
What are some interesting facts about yourself that you would like to share?
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