2020 Grad Profile: Starting a Second Career in Pharmacy

May 14, 2020

Jeffrey Asman left his undergraduate education to start a business in the 1980s and is now about to enter the job market as a pharmacist.


Jeffrey A. Asman graduates this week from the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy with his Doctor of Pharmacy degree. He began his education for his second career at 50, and shares some of his experiences on his path to a new profession.

What inspired you to pursue your PharmD?
I always wanted to be a physician, but coming to it as a second career later in life, it would have been too much time. A Doctor of Pharmacy seemed like a good compromise, six-plus years back in school instead of 10 or more.

What are your plans for after graduation?
After licensure I’ll be pursuing a pharmacist position, probably in a community pharmacy to start, and would like to work toward a career either in long-term care or ambulatory care, as I enjoy the patient interaction.

What emotions are you feeling now that you’re getting close to completing your program?
I think the question should be what emotion am I not feeling right now! This has been a very long time coming for me. My first time in college was 1981 to 1984. I didn’t quite graduate, as I started a business which was my first career. However, I am looking forward to getting back to work and back to a more normal life.

“Speaking to the older adult that is considering going back to college – it’s never too late. I’m living proof, I started back at age 50 and will turn 57 shortly after receiving my PharmD.” - Jeffrey A. Asman, 2020 College of Pharmacy graduate.

What is your favorite memory from school?

Being elected class representative for three years, and getting to know a lot of people because of it.

Do you have any words of advice for students who may be thinking about pursuing a PharmD?

Explore the different kinds of pharmacy as much as you can before starting at the College of Pharmacy. For example, shadow current pharmacists. Find them by asking the college advisors and the pre-pharmacy club. Even though you can switch back and forth between different career paths such as residency or community pharmacy, it’s best to have some idea of where you want to end up so you can shape your experience at the College of Pharmacy toward that goal.

I highly recommend getting involved outside of the classroom. Join one organization that aligns with your career path. Also join a pharmacy fraternity for networking, emotional support and academic support. No one understands what it’s like to go through pharmacy school except those who are going through with you, or have gone through it in the past.