Alumni Spotlight: Zack Dumont, MS Pharmacy Leadership Graduate

UC MS Pharmacy Leadership Graduate Leading as President of the Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists

Zack Dumont, 2018 UC MS in Pharmacy Leadership Graduate, is the Manager of Clinical Pharmacy with Saskatchewan Health Authority in Saskatoon, Canada. He is working on a team of nearly 50 clinical pharmacists who provide tertiary care to residents of southern Saskatchewan province in Canada.

UC Online recently talked with Zack about his career and experience at the University of Cincinnati and the Pharmacy Leadership Program. He provided his perspective on the Pharmacy Leadership program and how it helped prepare him for a future in a leadership position.

What year did you graduate?

2018 (first graduating class of the Leadership Masters); undergrad degree in 2008, residency in 2009.

What motivated you to seek your MS?

I had what was probably a lot of leadership potential, with the energy and motivation to learn how to do it right, and mentorship. My pharmacy director, Kelly Babcock, helped me identify the right program. A master’s degree was an opportunity to increase the likelihood I landed in a leadership position.

Why did you select the Pharmacy Leadership program?

I’m passionate about pharmacy – particularly because medications have a seemingly exaggerated potential to improve or worsen someone’s life, and therefore require our attention and effort to get them just right. Therefore, I wanted to stay within the pharmacy field – in my longer-term professional goals, as well as in my immediate plans for continuing development. Providing leadership and support to a team of pharmacists is a way to amplify impact.

Why did you select UC, and are you happy with your choice?

Former Dean Mac was a fellow Canadian pharmacist acquaintance, which certainly increased the appeal. I saw a post of his one day while I was completing the ASHP leadership course. I was immediately hooked on the prospect.

How did you handle the school, work, life balance while in the program?

It all started with having a goal. It didn’t have to be a perfect goal, but I just needed to focus on that, and then the rest followed. It wasn’t a simple goal; it involved positioning myself for leadership opportunities, but it also involved personal aspects, too – family, health, friends, and so on.

Thankfully, Jenelle set up the courses to be flexible to our lives. I was working a full-time job and more, volunteering with my professional association, expecting and eventually welcoming our fourth child, and trying to keep myself healthy with fitness and hobbies. My wife and I came up with a rough schedule for me to follow to get my schoolwork down, and I tried to be disciplined and stick with it. Again, there was a goal in mind, which is what I focused on in those more tenuous moments.

What is a favorite memory or a proud moment you had during the program?

Definitely, the highest of highlights was walking across the stage at Nippert Stadium for the graduation ceremony. I’m from a smaller urban area in the center of the Canadian prairies, so the big city university experience was like a movie to me. But that’s my superficial response. I am most proud to have worked with Dean Mac, Jenelle, Bill Mueller (current program advisor), and Kelly Babcock for my research project on succession planning.

How has your degree helped you in your career?

My degree has helped in both micro and macro ways. Regarding the former, well, my research project was published, which has landed me a few higher-profile speaking engagements. As for the latter, I did get a promotion to manager within the year after graduation. I’m also currently halfway through a three-year presidential circuit with the Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists.

Who is a good fit for the Pharmacy Leadership program?

I struggle to think of anyone who wouldn’t benefit from the program. I suppose the ideal matches are the students who are prepared to get involved with and leading the profession into the future. If you’re prepared to be challenged, do something a little more off the beaten path, and learning to best put others on the pedestal, then this is the program for you.

Do you have any advice for future students looking into the program?

Try to fathom your potential, and in failing to see an end, feel confident, yet grateful. Remember why you’re doing it. Turn your idea into action.

For someone who may have never taken an online course before, how would you describe the experience?

It’s a modern interface, constructed with most internet conventions, so it’s inherently intuitive. Don’t overthink it. You’ll have time to take things slow, read instructions, follow them most of the time, and do so not in fear of making mistakes. You can’t really break anything, so also be prepared to click a few wrong buttons along the way.

Anything else you would like to add?

I’m so incredibly grateful to Jenelle, UC, and everyone involved in the program. I’ve also stayed in touch with my classmates and am thankful for those connections. I have only good things to say about my experience from start to finish, and beyond.

The cherry on top – the opportunity to stay involved as a research committee member for current students completing their capstones. So much great work continues to be churned out of this program. Exciting times ahead.

Learn More about the Pharmacy Leadership program with UC Online.

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