September 11, 2023

Alumni 18 Questions with Jessica Finke, PharmD ‘21

Jessica Finke

Pharmacy Alumni

1. So, Jessica, what are you currently up to?
a. I am currently an Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice at GSOP. I recently finished my second postgraduate training program, Enhanced Community Pharmacy Services Fellowship with PBA. I am also newly married and coming back from our Hawaii honeymoon. We are thankful to have visited the islands of Oahu, Maui, and the Big Island.

2. Can you tell us about your new role as faculty at GSOP?
a. In my new faculty role with GSOP, I’ll be teaching several courses while practicing at a local independent pharmacy. I am excited to build and implement enhanced services within a community-based pharmacy. At my site, I look forward to taking fourth-year students on rotation, and hopefully future residents and/or fellows. My faculty role also provides opportunities for advising with our student chapter organizations.

3. What brought you to PBA?
a. I’m a local Florida native and my (small) immediate family has lived in South Florida since my birth. When I realized I wanted to go to pharmacy school, I knew I wanted it to be PBA. After pharmacy school graduation, I was blessed to have the opportunity to complete both my residency and fellowship with PBA. During these two years of training, I gained a passion for teaching pharmacy, both in the classroom and out. During my job search for a role in academia, I knew I had a desire to stay on board with PBA as a faculty member. That desire was due to the impact GSOP professors had on my education while in pharmacy school; an impact which I hope I can pay forward to the next generation of students. So, I’m thankful for the opportunity to start my career in academia with PBA. I’m also thankful for God’s timing in answering prayers about my husband’s career location as my job with PBA became finalized.

4. What is a book you’ve recently read?
a. Many! I have a goal to read 23 books from July 2022 to December 2023. So far, I’m on track at 18 books. Some of my favorites have been: Seasparrow and Winterkeep by Kristin Cashore, The Six of Crows Duology by Leigh Bardugo, and King of Scars Duology by Leigh Bardugo.

5. What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
a. It’s all going to be okay.
b. Take a deep breath.
c. Be where your feet are and focus on the now.
d. It all goes by in the blink of an eye.
e. Call your grandpa and take him out for breakfast.

6. What accomplishment are you most proud of?
a. I am most proud and excited to say I’m done with postgraduate training. Both programs, residency and fellowship, were very rewarding experiences. However, four years of undergrad, four years of pharmacy school, and two years of training is a long time…

7. In what ways were you most impacted during your time at GSOP?
a. I was impacted by the small class size and the ability to seek out professors for both professional and personal advice.

8. What do you do for fun?
a. My hobbies include spending time with my family and puppies, reading books, going for hikes and walks, building Legos with my husband Chris, trying new restaurants, cooking or baking new recipes, and spending time with my friends.

9. What is the best professional advice you’ve received?
a. D.T.U.F. = Do the unwanted first. This line has really helped me prioritize task projects and deadlines. Prior to this, I realized I was doing the unwanted task or project last, likely because I thought the project would take longer than actual or because the project felt like a beast.

10. What is something you learned at GSOP that you will never forget?
a. No matter what plan you have in place God has a different one, and it’s a lot better (for many reasons even if you don’t see them all yet).

11. Who was your most influential professor at GSOP?
a. Honestly, I can’t choose only one because I had two great mentors: Dr. Rhodes and Dr. Dorval. Both ladies have poured into me exponentially and I am forever grateful to them for opening my eyes to independent community-based pharmacy. I am grateful to call them colleagues and friends.

12. What has been the best professional decision you’ve made?
a. It might be a little early, but I am thankful to have chosen an academic path within pharmacy. I always wanted to be a teacher when I was a little girl, but I could not see myself teaching in an elementary or middle school. I love teaching and empowering others to believe in themselves, so I am thankful to have this opportunity now as a pharmacy professor. I also have found teaching occurs in many places outside of the classroom, and I enjoy teaching technicians and pharmacists within community-based practice.

13. If you weren’t a pharmacist, what job do you think you’d be really good at?
a. I would love to work at Barnes & Noble (again). I worked there in undergrad and it was hands down my favorite job.

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