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Darla Moore School of Business

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Pharmacy resident pairs Pharm.D. with MBA to eventually open her own pharmacy

Moore School alumna Kiera Diggins Emery (’18 USC pharmaceutical sciences, ’20 MBA, ’20 USC Pharm.D.) applies the business skills that she gained while in the Professional MBA program in her role as a clinical pharmacist resident at Moose Pharmacy in Concord, North Carolina.

As a clinical pharmacist resident, Emery has a variety of responsibilities in her role as she works on a multitude of different projects at any given time. Her basic duties include running two diabetes programs, a pre-diabetes program and a Type 2 diabetes program, filling prescriptions, checking blood pressures and blood sugars, running flu clinics, conducting research for University of North Carolina and a host of other activities.

“I want to open my own pharmacy after residency is over,” Emery said. “My goal is to pursue a junior partnership and start ownership a few years after I have gained some experience as a pharmacist.”

With this goal in mind, Emery knew that she needed to further develop her business acumen in order to one day own and operate a pharmacy. When she came across the Moore School’s Professional MBA program, she knew it was an opportunity too good to pass up.

“I chose the Moore School because they have a dual degree program through the College of Pharmacy,” she said. “I also know that [the Moore School] is an excellent school and that the MBA program is among the top in the country!”

During her time at the Moore School, Emery was able to gain a whole new business skillset. She said that one area that she especially enjoyed in particular was accounting because of Clinical Professor Robert Lipe’s fun and inclusive teaching style. Lipe is also the faculty director for the Professional MBA program.

“The most important skillset that I took away from the MBA program is the accounting classes,” she said. “I utilize those so often it is unbelievable. Without the strong basis that the MBA provided, I don’t think I would have been successful throughout the program, and I definitely would not have gotten out of it as much as I did.”

Emery also said that she learned the importance of utilizing the network that she gained while in the program. She said the faculty, staff and fellow students are always willing to assist whenever they can, which has proved to be invaluable as she looks to start her own business.

“I learned that there is always an abundance of resources at your fingertips,” she said. “You always have people to help you, whether that is to reach out to for a resume review or to even ask about a job opening, the people in this program want to help each other! Not only have I grown in my business thinking, but I have also gained a new network of colleagues that I can speak to and bounce off ideas about potential projects that I have in mind. It is an amazing group of people and an absolutely amazing experience like no other.”

Grateful for the skills she’s gained from both the Moore School and the College of Pharmacy, Emery said she feels she now has the technical and clinical background to own a successful pharmacy in the future.

-Claire McGrath

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