Five questions with a Sydney Bachelor of Pharmacy graduate

Dina Kayali studied with the Faculty of Pharmacy and is as passionate about the industry as they come. After graduating with the Bachelor of Pharmacy from the University of Sydney in 2005, Dina has experienced firsthand the various career opportunities that a degree in pharmacy can lead you.

Five questions with a Bachelor of Pharmacy alumna
Sydney pharmacy graduate Dina Kayali (Photo credit: University of Sydney)

Starting her career in retail and community pharmacy, Dina moved into corporate pharmacy, working for seven years at global pharmaceutical company Hospira in roles across medical affairs, and product and business development. Earlier this year, Dina accepted a highly sought after position with Pfizer Australia as their Business Development Manager.

The university caught up with Dina to find out how she’s settling in at Pfizer, what she thinks of the new Bachelor of Pharmacy and Management course and why she chose a career in pharmacy.

1. Tell us about where you work and what your role involves?

I currently work at Pfizer Australia as the Business Development Manager. This involves company strategy planning and development, and negotiation and relationship building with other pharmaceutical companies and partners for in-licensing, acquisitions, product development, and other joint ventures and partnerships.

2. Why did you decided to study a degree in pharmacy?

I decided to do a pharmacy degree because I had aspirations to work within the pharmaceutical industry.

I felt that studying pharmacy would give me a well-rounded understanding of the pharmaceutical world and place me in a good position to pursue an industry career.

3. In 2017, the Faculty of Pharmacy is introducing the Bachelor of Pharmacy and Management. As a pharmaceutical industry professional and Bachelor of Pharmacy graduate, what do you think of this new degree?

Having worked within the pharmaceutical industry for a while now, I can say that the new combination of a pharmacy and management degree is a wonderful opportunity for students to gain a breadth of understanding of both science, as well as essential business and management concepts.

This is a unique offering that will be of particular relevance for those hoping for a career in the
pharmaceutical industry—a career path that requires both scientific proficiency as well as business acumen.

4. What did you enjoy about the Faculty of Pharmacy?

I thoroughly enjoyed the four years I spent at the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Sydney from both an academic and personal development perspective.

The course was very well structured and provided depth of content across a range of subjects from pharmacology and dispensing, through to pharmacy practice and novel therapeutics. The structure allows you to develop close networks and peer connections over the four years spent studying together. As a result, I value the lifelong bonds and connections I have taken with me throughout my career and also in my personal life.

5. What did you enjoy most about studying at the University of Sydney?

I lived on campus at Sancta Sophia College for the four years that I spent studying at the University of Sydney. These years were some of the best of my life. Living on campus made my experience that much richer due to the connections I made and the people I met from many parts of the world studying a range of courses.

University of Sydney Bachelor of Pharmacy

The University of Sydney Pharmacy School’s Bachelor of Pharmacy covers the study of the chemical, physical, pharmaceutical, and pharmacological properties of medicinal substances and the application of these in the pharmacy profession. The first year is a foundation year in which students study biology, chemistry and basic pharmaceutical sciences, and are introduced to pharmacy. The remaining three years are devoted to higher levels of biomedical and pharmaceutical sciences, together with specialized clinical pharmacy studies. During third and fourth years, considerable time is spent in clinical placements in community and hospital pharmacies, where valuable practical experience is gained.

Program: Bachelor of Pharmacy
Location: Sydney, New South Wales
Semester intake: March
Duration: 4 years
Application deadline: Candidates are encouraged to apply a minimum of three months prior to the program start date.

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