Sonie Lama ’14 PharmD, ’14 MSCR wanted to set herself apart from other scientists and create as many career opportunities as possible, so she came to Campbell University and ended up landing a prestigious fellowship.
Sonie Lama was looking for the perfect opportunity to gain additional educational credentials in the health sciences and to create as many career opportunities as possible. She found that in the Campbell University College of Pharmacy & Health Science’s dual degree program in pharmacy and clinical research. “I love the idea of not being confined to one track,” Lama said.
She also loves science. She discovered that passion as a child growing up in Nepal when she first learned that tiny cells make up all living things. “Ever since that day, I realized there’s so much happening in front of me beyond what I can see,” she said. “I developed a curiosity to understand ‘how’ and ‘why.’ Science provided me with those answers.”
To attain a quality education in science, she chose to leave Nepal and study in the U.S. (She also happened to be fascinated with U.S. culture. “As I child, I was exposed to a lot of Hollywood movies,” she said.) She enrolled at Salem College, in Winston-Salem, N.C., along with one of her high school friends.
After earning a bachelor’s in biology, Lama worked as a lab analyst at a clinical research organization. But to advance and move into leadership positions, she needed more educational qualifications, she said. “I wanted to make decisions and become a leader.”
She looked at the background of those in upper management and found many had pharmacy degrees. That’s how she ended up looking into pharmacy schools, ultimately choosing to complete the dual degree Doctor of Pharmacy and Master of Science in Clinical Research program at Campbell.
During her time at Campbell, she participated in several professional organizations, including serving in leadership roles. This allowed her to enhance her team work, management and relationship-building skills to complement her academic studies.
As she searched for opportunities following her May 9th graduation, she looked for a position that would provide her with the greatest exposure to the pharmacy industry. She found that, as she has landed a prestigious two-year Rutgers University/Bristol-Myers Squibb fellowship. During her first year as a fellow, she’ll serve as part of the medical information team at Bristol-Myers Squibb and receive professional development training at Rutgers. She’ll work in the field, under the guidance of Bristol-Myers Squibb’s medical science director, during her second year.
Though Lama had several other offers, she chose the Rutgers/Bristol-Myers fellowship because it will give her the opportunity to sample various aspects of the health industry. The program also has a strong track record of preparing fellows who transition into medical science liaison roles. “I find that very appealing,” she said. “I love the idea of making a large impact on patient care by being able to provide medical information to doctors and other health care professionals.”
Though few other Campbell alumni have completed such a fellowship, Lama said she is “very confident (and excited) for this journey.”
“I know Campbell has trained me well,” she said. “I have little doubt about my fundamentals in pharmacy, and the dual degree in clinical research sets me apart from most others.” —Cherry Crayton