A PharmCat Summer

R. Ken Coit College of Pharmacy student Jennifer Tovar found herself in good company during her 10-week summer internship with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.

Tovar, a PharmD student, was joined by Coit College of Pharmacy Alumnae and Mayo Clinic Pharmacy Residents Aeryana Beaudrie-Nunn, PharmD, PGY2, and Shienna Braga, PharmD, PGY1, who together formed their own tightknit PharmCat community.

“It was awesome to be among other PharmCats at the same location,” Tovar said. “We had the opportunity to hang out and learn from each other’s experiences. I definitely learned so much from both Aeryana and Shienna.”

During her first year in the PharmD program, Tovar connected with Beaudrie-Nunn to learn more about the Mayo Clinic internship. Beaudrie-Nunn at the time was in her fourth year and had completed a 2019 summer internship with the Mayo Clinic. Braga also found out about the Mayo Clinic internship and residency opportunity through Beaudrie-Nunn as they were both PharmD students at the Phoenix campus.

“For me and Jennifer, it was our first time interacting in person while together in Minnesota,” Beaudrie-Nunn said. “And then she also got to do a mini rotation with me which is how we were able to spend a lot of time together and get to know each other.”

Since Tovar’s internship experience with Mayo Clinic, her interest in pharmacy has broadened to pursue other specialties like pharmacogenomics and pharmacy informatics.

“My internship showed me so many opportunities that I never knew was imaginable for me, especially within pharmacy,” Tovar said. “It was really encouraging because it showed me that you can really be passionate in whatever area you’re interested in and pursue it.”

Beaudrie-Nunn said the experience was especially rewarding for her as the more senior member of the group as she saw Tovar and Braga learn and grow from their time at Mayo Clinic.

“I’ve worked closely with Shienna ever since she started pharmacy school so it was great welcoming her to Mayo as she was starting her first-year residency,” Beaudrie-Nunn said. “It’s always really nice to see another PharmCat, especially those who you’ve had interactions with prior.”

Another contributing factor to their learning experiences is the camaraderie among the Mayo Clinic staff members.

“The sense of community and camaraderie here at Mayo is just phenomenal – especially as a learner. If you’re interested in learning about something new, they will explore that and connect you to all these people who can help you along the way and lead you to even more resources,” Braga said.

Braga added that their shared experience is also a testament to how strong the bonds are within the PharmCat community and the work the college puts into making sure the Phoenix and Tucson cohorts have opportunities to collaborate.  

“We are a great example. Aeryana and I are both from Phoenix and Jen is from Tucson. Even though we’re miles apart, we’re still PharmCats,” she said.