Lara, who is originally from Cumbernauld and attended Saint Maurice’s High School, decided on the challenge of a Pharmacy degree, after working as a dispenser in a community pharmacy.
She said: “I had been working for a few years and was really enjoying my technician training, when the pharmacist encouraged me to consider studying for a degree in pharmacy at university.
“I had been out of education for many years, but the challenge excited me and the timing was right.
“RGU’s MPharm programme is renowned worldwide and I was highly impressed by the state-of-the-art facilities and the fact that the university’s ethos was so positive and aligned with my own personal beliefs and aspirations.”
Lara was selected to receive a bursary from The Robertson Trust – Scotland’s largest independent trust which strives to improve the quality of life and realise the potential of people and communities – and she made the most of her time at university by acting as an inspiration to her fellow students.
She created and led the RGU Pharmacy Law and Ethics Group, which helps students become more engaged with the importance of legislation and prepare them for the ethical decisions they’ll make as part of their careers.
Throughout the course of her university career, Lara’s continued dedication was also recognised on the national stage. She was named Pharmacist of the Future at the Scottish Pharmacist Awards, Student of the Year at the UK-wide Royal Pharmaceutical Society Awards, and also received the Student Leadership Award at the Scottish Pharmacy Awards.
She said: “I never could have imagined that I would receive such accolades and it was always an honour simply to be nominated, let alone be successful.
“It shows that hard work is recognised within the pharmacy profession and I am incredibly grateful for the continued support and feedback I received from my lecturers over the years.
“I can look back at my university career with immense pride and memories that will last a lifetime. I also have no doubt that RGU will continue to produce top pharmacists for years to come, thanks to the same ethos and quality that first inspired me.”
RGU has recently been named as Scotland’s no.1 university for Pharmacy, in The Guardian’s 2019 league tables, while also being joint best in the UK for Pharmacy graduate prospects, according to the Complete University Guide 2019.
“Everyone in the school is incredibly proud of the standards she achieved while at RGU and I for one am looking forward to hearing more about her successes in the future.”