When it comes to the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy’s new leadership certificate – a collaboration with the Tippie College of Business – it was students who inspired the opportunity.
“Seven years ago, our students started a program in collaboration with Tippie called Healthcare Business Leadership that taught students valuable leadership skills. Additionally, there were leadership elective courses offered by our pharmacy faculty. We combined these learning opportunities with others in Tippie to create this certificate for our students to gain additional leadership skills and credentials while simultaneously completing their Doctor of Pharmacy,” said Susan Vos, associate dean of student affairs.
The leadership certificate will allow students to expand on their leadership skills with guidance from faculty who are experts in their fields of leadership, management, teamwork, and entrepreneurship, as well as faculty who have excelled in leadership in pharmacy and healthcare.
Courses in the certificate program will enable pharmacy students to learn alongside peers from other colleges and disciplines. And with the offering of unique electives like Leadership and Political Advocacy and Leaders Read from both the Tippie College of Business and the College of Pharmacy, there is a tremendous amount of flexibility in the program.
One such student who enrolled in the leadership certificate program is Jill Guetersloh, a PharmD candidate for the class of 2024.
“Each and every one of us is a leader in some aspect or another,” she said. “Long ago, I realized that being a great leader was about more than just desire. Great leaders must learn from others and be willing to improve constantly. I chose to enroll in this program to learn research-based methods of leadership from experts who have spent their careers learning how to be better business leaders.”
Long ago, I realized that being a great leader was about more than just desire. Great leaders must learn from others and be willing to improve constantly. I chose to enroll in this program to learn research-based methods of leadership from experts who have spent their careers learning how to be better business leaders
After she graduates, Guetersloh aspires to work as a formulary management pharmacist.
“This career will challenge my clinical pharmacy knowledge but also requires balancing economic business decisions,” she said. “The leadership certificate will undoubtedly educate me on many of the skills I will immediately need in this career.”
Guetersloh, who graduated from the Healthcare Business Leadership program in 2021, also plans to complete her MBA within five years of graduation.
“I love how this leadership certificate allows me to get a head start on an MBA while giving me valuable leadership skills I can immediately apply as a student leader and in my career,” she said.
The College of Pharmacy’s partnership with the Tippie College of Business to offer the leadership certificate demonstrates the importance of cross-campus collaboration.
“As part of a large university, we are perfectly situated to collaborate with experts across different fields,” Vos said. “We can learn so much from each other. The Tippie faculty and staff have always been open to listening to ideas to help our university become the best place to learn.”
Vos added that these types of programs and collaborations would not be possible without the support of alumni and the College of Pharmacy’s Executive Leadership Board, who served as a catalyst to create more opportunities in leadership development for students.
Perhaps now, more than ever, this type of certificate is an important addition to pharmacists’ repertoire.
“Healthcare is changing at a rapid pace, and pharmacists need to have the skills to lead their teams through the challenges we continue to face in healthcare,” Vos said. “Expanding on a student’s leadership skills through this certificate program will also give students the external credentials from a nationally recognized college of business.”
Ultimately, as Vos points out, learning to be a leader never ends – especially in the field of pharmacy.
“Healthcare is constantly changing,” she said. “This program will give students the skills to creatively solve problems in our healthcare system.”