FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - A couple of months ago, Molly Corder was finishing up her final year at Manchester University.
Then COVID-19 hit.
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Manchester University pharmacy students
Now, the 4th year pharmacy candidate and many of her classmates will immediately put their degrees into practice to help fight the coronavirus outbreak.
Corder says, “It definitely feels like we went to bed in one world and woke up in another.”
Governor Eric Holcomb recently expanded his executive order allowing pharmacy students who've completed their coursework to obtain a 90-day license.
Manchester University recognized the urgency and moved graduation to the beginning of May.
That means Corder will start working soon after she and her 64 classmates graduate on May 1.
For many Manchester pharmacy students like Corder, the accelerated graduation sounds great.
But for others who've not landed a position just yet, the speedy process can be daunting.
The reality remains: pharmacies must hire new graduates before they can start to work.
Manchester University's Dean of Pharmacy, Thomas Smith, says, “Usually there’s a buffer between the time they finish and the time they jump into practice.”
But with the pandemic, this buffer doesn't exist.
Neither for the staff, nor the students.
Manchester pharmacy candidate, Jacob Bauer, encourages his classmates who don't have jobs yet, to keep pursuing them, but to ensure they also keep their options open.
Bauer says, “There are a lot of pharmacies that are trying to hire pharmacists. It may not be the dream job, but it’s a way to get your foot in the door and start working."
The accelerated graduation brings mixed emotions for both students and staff.
A common side effect of the coronavirus.
Dean Thomas Smith says, “It just makes the transition a little bittersweet that we don’t get to officially say goodbye to them and usher them into their careers.”