Pharmacy wasn't Tessa Schnelle's first choice for a career. "Pharmacy is actually a second career for me," she said.
Previously, Schnelle worked in human resources. She was exposed to pharmacy through hiring pharmacists and technicians. "I had always planned to pursue a career in healthcare and planned to obtain a master's in counseling, but after spending time with my pharmacy staff and observing the impact of the pharmacist on their patients, I decided to change directions and pursue a career in pharmacy."
Schnelle is a P4 at the University of Kansas School of Pharmacy. Originally from Center Point, IA, she now resides in Louisburg, KS, with her family -- husband, Derick, and sons, Dayton, Denver and Dallas. After graduation in May, she plans to pursue a residency focused in the areas of ambulatory care, business administration and psychiatric medicine.
She draws inspiration from a variety of sources, but Melinda Gates currently is at the top of the list. "I love the work that Melinda does abroad for women's health and gender equality," she said. "A few years back I got the pleasure to hear Melinda speak and was so impressed with her passion and impact globally that I researched careers with the Gates Foundation. I'm sure they could find use for a pharmacist on their team right?"
The best advice she has been given is "People will forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel," she said. "Over the years, expressing gratitude and recognizing others for their contributions has become one of my personal disciplines. This practice has shaped and changed the teams that I am a part of. When people feel valued the sky is the limit on what you can accomplish together."
As for students just getting started in pharmacy school, she offers this advice: "Building your CV should not be a box checking exercise," she said. "Try something new and take risks; find a cause that gives you meaning and purpose and get involved beyond the surface level. Never underestimate the power of building your personal brand and professional network as a student."