Pharmacy Tech student expands horizons

Blackhawk Technical College always will be a special place for Dominique Hughes.

“I’ll always be connected to Blackhawk,’’ the 22-year-old Janesville resident said recently. “It will always have a lot of programs, and more important, a lot of opportunities.’’

It was last school year that Hughes was looking for an opportunity in the health sciences field to reignite an academic career that already had seen stops at UW-Oshkosh and UW-Rock County after graduating from Janesville Parker.

Her long-range goal is to complete a four-year nursing program. But when that option was not immediately available, she knew Blackhawk would have something to offer, much like it did when she was in high school and completed BTC’s Certified Nursing Assistant program.

Hughes took the first step by meeting with an academic advisor at Blackhawk. After sifting through the wide array of offerings in BTC’s Health Sciences division, she settled on getting a one-year technical degree in the Pharmacy Technician program.

By the following May, she not only had completed the program and received her degree, she had a job at the Edgerton Pharmacy and Boutique, the same business where she had served her clinical studies as part of the Pharmacy Technician curriculum.

“I had a job before I even graduated,’’ she said with a big smile.

She credits instructor Sarah Chilson for much of her success.

“She always had my best interests – the best interests of all the students – at heart,’’ Hughes recalled. “You could talk to her any time about any subject. She was the one that helped set you up to make the most of a good opportunity.’’

Hughes plans on continuing to search out more opportunities, which may include the two-year nursing program at Blackhawk. In the meantime, she is working at the pharmacy about 15 hours a week, using her BTC training in pharmaceuticals, insurance and customer service for the benefit of the pharmacy’s customers.

She also is taking 15 credits at UW-Rock County, with courses in Anatomy/Physiology, Microbiology and Chemistry aimed at helping her gain admission to nursing school.

“Everyone has their own journey,’’ she said, noting how BTC has been a valuable guide on hers. “I’m planning on getting where I want to be.’’

Learn more about Blackhawk Technical College’s Pharmacy Technician program