Tahnia Alauddin

Former Apple Days participant helps plant seeds of success.

Tahnia Alauddin

Branching out

Former Apple Days participant helps plant seeds of success

Second-year doctor of pharmacy (Pharm D) student Tahnia Alauddin always knew she wanted to pursue a career in health care. She accompanied her mother — a kidney transplant patient — to hospital appointments as often as possible, and those trips not only exposed her to a variety of careers but also sparked her interest in health professions.

“Seeing health professionals — not just physicians and nurses — work together for the good of patients was something I enjoyed,” she said. “I was fascinated by the interaction between them, and it was definitely something I could see myself doing.”

In 2009, Alauddin — then a student at Cass Technical High School in Detroit — attended Apple Days, an initiative through which middle and high schools students learn about the college’s degree programs through hands-on demonstrations and instructional lectures. The experience left an impression.

“I learned about different professions, what they involved and how they were different from one another,” she said. “At the time, I didn’t know what I wanted to do, so it gave me some important things to think about. Did I really have what it takes? Was this what I was really passionate about?”

While Alauddin found the information and activities helpful, the most valuable component was interacting with students, faculty and professionals who were actively engaged in their respective degree programs and career fields.

“I appreciated the opportunity to learn about their experiences, career paths and reasons for choosing their particular areas of interest,” she said. “Making that connection between the classroom and the real world was critical and pushed me toward pharmacy.”

Alauddin applied for an internship at the Detroit Medical Center and asked to be placed in a pharmaceutical setting. There, she conducted research and talked to pharmacists.

“I realized that I liked working with people. I knew I was strong in the sciences and math, but I didn’t want to go to medical school. Physicians are important, but I wanted to be more involved in therapeutic side,” she said. “Pharmacy meshed it all together.”

Her participation in Apple Days also increased her interest in Wayne State.

“I knew I wanted to go to pharmacy school at the same university where I spent my undergraduate years,” said Alauddin. “After attending Apple Days, I began seriously considering Wayne State. I spoke to some of the professors I met during Apple Days, and they were so helpful that I knew I wanted to be part of this community.”

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