The Alumni Interview: Nikoleta Evrenoglou, Pharm.D.

Every now and then, SUMAA contacts a former student for The Alumni Interview series and asks a few questions about what they are currently up to! This time, we contacted Nikoleta Evrenoglou, Pharm.D., who works in her own pharmacy in Greece.

Could you introduce yourself to our readers, please?

Hello, I’m Nikoleta Evrenoglou, Greek, graduated the Pharmacy program in 2000 and work as a pharmacist since 2002. I’m married and have a four- and an eight-year old son with whom I live in Kozáni, Greece. Working as a pharmacist was all I ever wanted: using my scientific knowledge to help my patients, consulting and advising them. 

Do you have your own pharmacy or do you work with a partner?

I have my own pharmacy since 2003 in Agios Dimitrios, a village of approximately 1.000 people. Since it’s the only pharmacy there, my job is hard but fulfilling as well. I should add that the help of my sister is very valuable to me; she’s a pharmacy assistant.

Are there any prerequisites to open a pharmacy in Greece?

Opening a pharmacy requires a Pharmacy degree, practice and a special exam, after which you can obtain your license as a registered pharmacist.

What influenced your decision to study Pharmacy in Szeged?

I always wanted to become a pharmacist and the University of Szeged seemed like the perfect choice to me. The high quality of university education and the beauty of Szeged were the perfect combination for five wonderful and creative years of studying.

How well did your studies at the University of Szeged prepare you for working?

Study at the University of Szeged gave me the knowledge and the skills to become a good pharmacist. I had the privilege to study under the supervision of great professors and lecturers, who were really interested to share their knowledge with my classmates and me, to help and support us.

Can your describe your workload?

Working in your own pharmacy in Greece is quite tiring, mostly because of the paperwork and not because of the job itself. The workload can be a lot, but the smile of a satisfied patient and the appreciation that you did something meaningful makes the workload feel lighter.

Do you think you are well paid?

Talking about salaries: I couldn’t say that they’re satisfactory here in Greece when compared to other countries. This is especially true for those owning a pharmacy, the expenses are high and in the current economic crisis this becomes really frustrating.

How easy or difficult was it to start practicing in Greece once you graduated from Szeged?

I didn’t have any difficulties starting to practice pharmacy once I finished my studies in Szeged. The preparation from the University and the practice from a central pharmacy in Szeged provided the experience and confidence I needed to move forward and take the next step in my career.

One last question: Do you have any words of wisdom or advice for current students trying to decide where to work and in which field?

Studying and being a pharmacist is a privilege. Besides science and knowledge, someone has the opportunity to communicate with people, to advise and help, especially the elderly. You need to be patient, caring and always a good listener.

Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions and share your thoughts with us. We look forward to see you in Szeged in September!

The Alumni Team

Interview by Benedek Bozoky and Lars Kehler