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An Interview with Nafisa Jaghuri

What was your career path before you entered the field of Pharmacy Technician?

It has always been Pharmacy. I received a Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacy and intended to work in this field.

How did you begin your career? What motivated you to take this path? 

I enjoy reading and writing. Working as a pharmacy technician requires me to do both.

Why did you want to become a teacher? 

During my grad studies, I needed to have a part time job. I came across a job opening for the Pharmacy Technician Program; I applied for the job and in the next week I had an interview scheduled with the director of pharmacy school. After my interview; the school director was very pleased with my achievement and offered me the job. It was part time, and a great fit with my school schedule, so I said yes. Since then, I’ve fallen in love with teaching. 

Why are you interested in teaching at the Institute of Technology? 

I applied for a job opening at the IOT in Modesto for the pharmacy technician program, but when I checked on the Website, the Pharmacy Technician program was not listed as available. Puzzled, I decided to take a copy of my resume and visit the campus in person.

I was waiting at the front desk and I met with Julie Smith; she was very pleasant and welcomed me to the IOT Campus. I asked if they have the pharmacy technician program because I applied, but I didn’t see the program listed on the website; she explained to me that this is a new program and it has not been listed on the website yet. While I was still talking to her, I saw someone passed by the hallway and turned back to see me: it was Ezra, who I worked with when he was the campus president at a college we had both attended. That was it, it was like a dream come true: teaching at the Institute of Technology just felt right!

What is your greatest professional accomplishment? 

I have received several students’ Satisfactory Certificate recognitions—which show that they are happy with their time in my courses—and those mean a lot to me. Having successful students is my greatest professional accomplishment

How do you use technology in the classroom? 

I have been using technology in my teaching classes, and I motivate my students to use technology as well: I encourage them to upload assignments to the MY IOT website whenever possible, as opposed to providing a hard copy, files, or something similar. If a student doesn’t know how to use technology that I use in my classroom, I have helped them learn. Once we transitioned to Hybrid learning, my students found it easy to use Canvas for uploading assignments and tracking their progress. In that way, we have continued to do what we did in the past. 

How do you motivate students? 

First and foremost, it comes down to my motivation. We are a team, we work together. I keep them involved and engaged in any class activities. I let them initiate tasks, and have them talk about our day’s activity.

With each module, we work through different lab activities. For example: pill counting has to be 100% 4*100 times accurate. They enjoy the pill counting and they complete the task on their own once they are properly trained. Prescription transcribing is another example: all the Rxs need to be entered in the pharmacy/classroom computer software, then filled, and afterward must be ready for the instructor to confirm their work. These are just a few examples of how students come to be motivated while we work as a team. I am their mentor, so I teach and guide them—and keep great friendships with them as well. 

What would you say to a prospective student about the Pharmacy Technician program? 

Do research about the pharmacy technician’s job and responsibilities. Visit a pharmacy and see how pharmacy technicians work as a team to achieve their day to day tasks. Ask them if they enjoy doing dosage calculations. On your own, make index cards to write and memorize the Top 200 drugs, as well as Pharmacy Abbreviations and Conversions, Medical Terminology, and so on. If they enjoy reading school textbooks and enjoy writing, then they can succeed as pharmacy technicians.



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