Alumna’s journey of becoming a pharmacist marked by perseverance

Alumna Jessica Ocegueda ’20, PharmD

Determined, focused and self-assured, Jessica Ocegueda ’20, PharmD worked her way from a pharmacy clerk to a pharmacist. Her story is one of perseverance.

She “fell in love” with pharmacy in high school after an unforgettable experience job shadowing at a local independent pharmacy. Originally from Tracy, she attended San Joaquin Delta College before transferring to California State University, Stanislaus where she earned a bachelor of science in biology. She earned her doctor of pharmacy from Pacific in 2020. Throughout this journey she balanced the roles of student and single mother.

Her daughter inspires her to be a role model. As a student she shared, “My goal is to be a positive role model for students of all types. I want to make an impact in my profession and encourage others to be involved in the evolution of pharmacy.”

At Pacific, she served as vice president of legislative affairs for Pacific’s American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists. After graduating, she leveraged her leadership experience into actively engaging with the California Pharmacists Association by serving as president of her local chapter, San Joaquin Pharmacists Association.

“The most rewarding experience as a community pharmacist is providing life changing recommendations and information to patients.”

Dr. Ocegueda finds her role as a pharmacist at CVS incredibly fulfilling.

“The most rewarding experience as a community pharmacist is providing life changing recommendations and information to patients,” she said. “As a community pharmacist, we are the most accessible medical professional to community members. Just taking time to explain why a medication should be taken or how it works can make all the difference in minimizing side effects.”

Her time at Pacific prepared her well for this role by giving her a wide range of experience.

“The network of alumni from different settings opened up opportunities for me to work as an intern pharmacist in multiple settings, including ambulatory care for the VA, along with inpatient care for my local community hospital,” she said. “These experiences, along with hearing the experiences of faculty who practice in multiple settings, provided me a wholistic view of the diverse practice settings available to pharmacists.”

Today she stays connected to the School by serving as a Pacific Pharmacy Alumni Association board member.