About Justin

My name is Justin Balint and I am a PharmD student also pursuing a Bachelors in Spanish and a minor in International Studies at Wilkes University; I graduate in May 2012. Over the past four years, I have been very active in the Wilkes community, having served four years on student government and three on the executive board. In addition, I was elected Off Campus Council president for the past two years and also Alpha Chi Honor Society president for one year. In pharmacy school, I pledged the Kappa Psi Pharmaceutical Fraternity, was inducted into the Pharmacy Leadership Society (Phi Lambda Sigma), and joined the ranks of Rho Chi Pharmacy Honor Society, for which I will be serving as president for the 2010-2011 school year. Over the past three years I aided incoming students as an e-mentor and orientation leader, and have taken up various teaching assistant jobs ranging from biology to chemistry to anatomy and physiology.

So what do I do when I am not busy with school? I absolutely love to travel. I grew up taking vacations with my family, but it was not until I went on an alternative spring break service trip to Belize my sophmore year of college that a spark had ignited in me that soon erupted into a blazing fire. This one trip to a small country in Central America to aid in the construction of an elementary school library was eye opening and left me wanting to travel more, to learn more about other cultures, and to help more people in need. Later that summer, I decided to take advantage of the Wilkes study abroad program to Madrid, the capital of Spain, where I lived for four weeks studying Spanish (and the Madrid night scene). While abroad, I had the opportunity to travel to other European countries, but I decided that those four weeks were simply not enough – I still wanted to experience more. Upon entering my junior year, I once again decided to apply for alternative spring break, this time to work in an orphanage and public school in the Dominican Republic, and later return to Spain where I would then spend the entire summer of 2009. I divided the summer up between living with a host family in Granada for 6 weeks and living dormitory style in Madrid again. Living in Europe for an entire summer and traveling from Spain to Italy to Greece to France to Morocco enriched my life and created a sense of cultural diversity I would not have had elsewhere. Entering my senior year, I planned an 8 day backpacking journey across the country of Panama with my best friends for spring break, and was later invited on a medical mission to Guatemala with Dean Graham of the pharmacy school – a mission that completely changed the way I value health care. Still searching for more thrills, I am currently plotting a 3 week adventure through Costa Rica, Honduras, and Guatemala that will take flight December 2010 into January 2011.

So how am I spending summer 2010? Well, I won’t be doing any international travel, but I will be moving to Chicago, IL to work for Walgreens Corporate Headquarters for 12 weeks throughout their pharmacy services departments. During my three months with Walgreens, I will be working in various departments such as Pharmacy Affairs, Clinical Education and Professional Development, and with the Corporate Innovation Team. Throughout the week I will get to attend various department meetings and be able to learn how different issues in patient care, quality assurance, legislature, and many more all come together to impact the profession of pharmacy and the largest chain pharmacy in the United States. In addition to working for Walgreens, I’ll be taking a class in Latin American Politics at Northwestern University for 6 weeks in June and July to complete my minor.

Where do I eventually see myself ending up? Well, if this internship goes well, you may be looking at a future CEO of Walgreens (Everyone has a dream, right?). I’m still not sure where my path will lead me, but I have been thinking a lot about attending law school to supplement the PharmD and combine the pharmacy and law careers in either patent law or regulatory law. This summer I’ll be attempting to study for the LSAT (Law School Admission Test) while balancing the internship, a class, and the alluring skyline of Chicago so that I am ready to take the test later this year. Will this happen? Maybe, maybe not. It will definitely be an interesting summer.

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