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Val Varanese interns at the UIC College of Pharmacy.


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Val Varanese '19

Fountain Hills, Arizona

Major in Chemistry, Minor in Biology

Val is a three-sport student-athlete who was selected to participate in the Summer Pharmacy Institute at the University of Illinois-Rockford School of Pharmacy

Val Varanese interns at the UIC College of Pharmacy.

Val was selected to attend the Summer Pharmacy Institute at the University of Illinois-Rockford School of Pharmacy. This program is designed to expose pre-professional students to career tracks and current trends within the profession. Val is also a three-sport student-athlete.

Tell us two things to help us get to know you.

I like to cook when I go home on breaks. Also, I am a triplet, and we all go to different school across the country—West Coast, East Coast, and I'm in the Midwest.

Describe your internship.

This was a week-long program that introduced undergraduate students to a career in pharmacy and what one could expect to do in pharmacy school and beyond. I was able to see hospital pharmacists, retail pharmacists, and visit a research site to see multiple aspects of a career in pharmacy.

What did you learn from this opportunity?

One of the most exciting things I learned is how much you can do after pharmacy school. There are a lot of careers that are not your typical retail pharmacist job. There are many more specific options to work with specific populations.

In addition to your course load, you're also a student-athlete. What is that like?

Being a student-athlete at Knox is such a privilege. It's hard a lot of the time. It's hard to watch your non-athlete friends have two-day weekends and not have practice once to twice a day, every day. It's hard not having a lot of free time. But, even so, it is all worth it. The entire athletic department stands behind their athletes and supports them on the track and off. I know my coaches have my back in anything I do and it feels amazing. It's so nice going to a small school where the professors know you as a student and an athlete. They are so accommodating and even come to some of my meets. I really enjoy having the academic support from my professors and then another line of support from my coaches and the athletic staff. 

How do you balance the two?

I learned great time management skills in high school and have used those to my advantage in college. I like to be busy and my schedule reflects that. I try to schedule my classes in chunks so I have some free time in the morning or afternoon to get some homework done. After practice, most days I have organization meetings that I have to go to. I like to try and get a head start on my homework during the day to prevent it from piling up at night. I tend to stress out about my homework and finding time to get it done, so even if I have a lighter load one day, I'll try and work ahead to lighten my work for the next day.

In addition to cross country and indoor and outdoor track and field, Val is currently the chapter president of Delta Delta Delta, having previously served as vice president of operations and continuing education chair. She is also the operations co-coordinator (co-president) of Union Board. She has been involved in both of these organizations since her first year. 

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#"I love having personal relationships with my professors. I love seeing people I know whenever I walk around campus. I feel right at home here."—Val Varanese '19

Knox College

Printed on Thursday, September 16, 2021