Almasa and I met in the pre-pharmacy program at The University of Toledo (Toledo, OH), where we earned our BS Pharmacy Degrees. She earned her PharmD from The Ohio State University and completed a Clinical Research and Drug Development Fellowship at UNC Chapel Hill. Over the years, she has worked for numerous drug companies, including King, Pfizer, Shionogi, and UCB. Almasa enjoys the development side of R&D. Although Almasa is not employed in traditional clinical pharmacy practice, she keeps an active pharmacist license.
Mentioned in this episode
Bosnia & Herzegovina Futures Foundation bhfuturesfoundation.org
King Pharmaceuticals (now part of Pfizer)
The Chicken Whisperer Podcast – What to do with all that chicken poop episode (Apple Podcasts Link)
Almasa became successful in the pharmaceutical industry thanks to her pharmacy degrees, fellowship, on-the-job training, managers, mentors, and teams. A Pharmacy Degree is a good foundation for a role in the pharmaceutical industry. There are so many roles! R&D, Clinical Development, Safety, Regulatory, Medical Affairs, and more. Almasa has worked on pharmaceuticals in many drug classes.
There’s more than one way to get a job in the pharmaceutical industry. Apply first. Once you’re in, you can apply internally for a position or get recruited to fill a role. Networking helps facilitate moving around. There’s more than one approach.
Almasa is an advocate for the Bosnia & Herzegovina Futures Foundation. As a refugee from the former Yugoslavia in the 1990’s, she was displaced to Croatia, then immigrated to the US with her Mom, Dad, and younger sister. As an adult, Almasa wanted to give back and help youth in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Bosnia is more than just four large cities: Sarajevo, Mostar, Tuzla, and Banja Luka. It’s also made up of little cities, like her home town of Donji Vakuf. Almasa mentored a young woman from the Bosnia and Herzegovina (BH) Futures Foundation. Then, she advocated for a Makerspace in Donji Vakuf.
Sometimes, kids need a little push and good role models. BH Futures Foundation empowers youth through education, technology, and leadership development. The Donji Vakuf Makerspace is a place for young people to learn, develop, and try to solve problems. BH Futures Foundation gives them the tools they need. Building relationships with community leaders and getting their buy-in was an important part of founding the Makerspace in Donji Vakuf. When it opened in August 2021, it was well-received by the community.
Almasa cares about kids in small towns having opportunities – not just kids in the big cities. She wanted to give others a chance to make it as far as they can.
What does Almasa do for fun? Almasa has backyard chickens! During the pandemic (summer 2020), she hired a carpenter to build a beautiful chicken coop in her backyard. It looks like a red barn. She has 4 lady birds (all 4 are different breeds). They lay 3-4 eggs/day. When she lets the roam, they like to walk around her yard. She has learned a lot from the Chicken Whisperer Podcast, including how to compost chicken poop. In the future, Almasa would like to try raised-bed gardening and use her compost to grow her favorite vegetables.
Listen to the podcast for more about how Almasa avoids burnout and some of her favorite board games!
Thank you for listening to The Pharmacist’s Voice ® Podcast Episode 115!
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