Jose Rodriguez
Jose Rodriguez, PharmD Class of 2023

One of the many reasons Doctor of Pharmacy student Jose Rodriguez chose Iowa for his undergraduate studies and pharmacy school was its “close-knit community vibes.” Originally from the South Side of Chicago, Rodriguez’s parents moved the family to the suburbs (Channahon, Illinois) to pursue a better education for Rodriguez and his older sister. Growing up, he loved Channahon, and Iowa City’s close-knit feel reminds him of home.

“Despite having around 40,000 students on campus, Iowa still felt like I was back home, especially with the way everyone is so genuine. Since my parents were born in Mexico and immigrated here, I am considered a first-generation student. Not knowing the pressures of college, I wanted to feel comfortable wherever I would end up. The campus and downtown area are so closely connected it’s easy to study with friends and then walk down the road and get lunch with them! I can say with full confidence that Iowa is my home away from home.”

Another determining factor that led Rodriguez to Iowa for pharmacy school was the College’s leadership. He knew he wanted to go into healthcare but didn’t know the exact path until he spoke with one of the College’s deans.

“I set up a meeting to speak to Professor Emeritus and former Executive Associate Dean Mike Kelly. When I walked out of his office, I knew at that moment I wanted to attend the UI College of Pharmacy. I was reinvigorated about my future, and he gave me a whole new sense of confidence and purpose. I decided that if Dean Kelly was so inviting and encouraging about my future, I could only imagine the rest of the culture would also be as supportive.”

Rodriguez, in part, credits the College’s supportive faculty, preceptors and alumni for his positive experiences. He also credits the proximity to University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (UIHC) for his success thus far in pharmacy school.

“Faculty are so supportive, and they are always looking to make close connections. They are open to having students volunteer, work, or even help them with research. They are extremely approachable and love bringing in students to learn.”

“What’s nice about getting an education at Iowa is that our faculty and pharmacists work across the street from the College at UIHC. They want to be with you. They want to talk to you, hear what you have to say, and what questions you have.”

“We have alumni doing amazing things around the country and even around the world, and they will always tell you it is because of the weight that an Iowa Pharmacy degree carries.”

Rodriguez is also impressed with the College’s diverse student body, inclusive culture, and vast array of student organizations.

“We have a very diverse student body, yet our program does an excellent job of ensuring inclusion for all students. This diversity, equity, and inclusion culture is a driving force behind our 20 different student organizations offered within the College! There is something for everyone to succeed at the UI Iowa College of Pharmacy. Iowa Pharmacy is a world leader in practice transformation, research development, and innovation. If there is something new brewing in the pharmacy world, there is a big chance Iowa is involved.”

The College’s many student organizations are what helped Rodriguez—currently president of the College’s Student Leadership Council—discover various career opportunities in the pharmacy field, and he is excited about what the future holds.

“I was able to attend many different (student organization) meetings and see what a day in the life of a pharmacist in their respective branch of pharmacy does. It helped me build a comfortable array of options to further pursue. Three years later, I find myself heavily passionate about association work.”

“I am eager to go out with a head start in the field and make an immediate impact because I come from the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy."