Whether a student’s career is health focused or not, it is important to know how and when to be a leader and to be aware of greater opportunities post-graduation. The health leadership focus can help students in a wide range of careers from advertising and marketing for a health-focused company to becoming an art therapist or a healthcare provider working on the front lines.
Erica Shepperd-Debnam, C’15
Erica Shepperd-Debnam C’15 thanks Salem College for helping her grow as a person academically and emotionally from her arrival on campus as a freshman to her current job as an Ambulatory Clinical Pharmacist at the Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C.
She credits her two advisors (Dr. Porter and Dr. Watts) for helping her on her career journey. “They ensured that I enrolled for the correct prerequisites for pharmacy school,” she said. “I was exposed to internship experiences that allowed me to connect with pharmacists. Salem also provided me with a lot of leadership experiences and taught me how to network. These qualities, which I still possess today, have allowed me to be an empowered Ambulatory Clinical Pharmacist.”
Erica is a strong advocate for Salem’s health leadership focus. She believes it will ensure that students will develop critical skills that will help them be effective in any setting during their time at Salem and post Salem.
In addition to her achieving her career goals, Erica also cherishes how Salem helped her develop emotionally outside the classroom. One of her favorite memories is participating in the Ghost Ryders Step Team. “There I was able to make lifelong bonds, express creativity through stepping, enhance my leadership skills, and just overall have fun,” she said.
“Salem is all about how you make your experience,” she continued. “Want to have more fun, explore the city of Winston-Salem, or give back to the community? Join or create a club, get involved, and find a Salem sibling or two that will take these adventures with you and enjoy the moments together.”
For students interested in learning more about Salem, Erica has this advice: “I would say take a visit to Salem, talk to some of the current students and staff and professors. Allow yourself to fall in love with the campus and atmosphere and know that there are alums ready to support you near and far!”