Here comes the first ever Personality feature on the blog! I am so excited.
First, let me share the thrilling story of how I pulled this off with you.
I had this dream of featuring women (and men) from different walks of life doing great things- more like living a life of influence so I finally decided the time to launch out is here and coincidentally it is coming with the re-launch of my blog. The first person I reached out to said she would not want to be the first (for reasons I do not know). Truthfully, I was almost discouraged but then I said to myself, “Never, ever, give up!”
On a certain day, I was looking at my LinkedIn timeline and Ijeoma shared her most recent Podcast I thought to myself; this could be your first feature, A woman celebrating black women with her platform. Mind you, she was only a contact on LinkedIn, I sent her a message convincingly stating my mission and boom! She responded. Here is the outcome;
Meet Ijeoma Ekeocha; a female Pharmacist working in the United States of America, she was born and schooled in the US. She is the Founder of Brown Skin Stories podcast and an energetic young woman seeking to help younger colleagues transition well through College and after graduation.
Opeyemi: Hi, Ijeoma. My name is Opeyemi Adetunji, a Pharmacist, blogger and content creator amongst other things I do. I am currently revamping my blog and also including a new feature where I would be celebrating women (and men) from all walks of life doing great things, hence this interview. So, can we meet you please? And what can you say you represent as a brand?
Ijeoma: Absolutely! It’s a pleasure to meet you Opeyemi! Thank you for this opportunity. I represent Black Women Pharmacists! That’s my jam. I’ve had the pleasure of being a part of this wonderful profession for over 10 years and I’ve learned so much. I thinking being a Black professional in America is a unique experience, it has its ups and downs. When I decided that I was going to use my platform to highlight our Black Women Pharmacists – I wanted to spotlight the achievements of these women. I also wanted to candidly discuss some of the not-so-great things we end up having to experience- whether it’s because of racial biases or gender biases – I’ve experienced them both in my career and I know other women in the same boat. I wanted to create a platform where we could share them in hopes of teaching other Black Pharmacists how to handle those situations and still enjoy the profession!
Opeyemi: Thank you so much, in a few words what can you say about studying Pharmacy and how has it been since graduation?
Ijeoma: I think it’s been great! I think one thing I’ve managed to do is to keep learning after graduation. I completed an ASHP accredited non-traditional pharmacy residency after practicing for 5 years – the learning never stops!
Opeyemi: Wow! Great! Do you have friends/colleagues who studied Pharmacy outside of the US and how can you compare their experience with yours?
Ijeoma: I have a Pharmacist that I interviewed that studied pharmacy outside of the US – one of the things she mentioned was the pharmacy schools in Nigeria are a little stricter compared to the US- I think that both countries could adopt some best practices from one another.
Opeyemi: I think so too. So, let us talk about Brown Skin Stories…what was the main defining event that motivated its birth?
Ijeoma: Great Question! The main defining moment was an experience I had with some colleagues – all non- black individuals. I’m not going to be too specific about the details, but let’s just say, it was an experience with individuals whom I think did not have enough cultural sensitivity nor did I feel as though they appreciated what I brought to the table as Black woman. I was hurt, I was upset and I just wanted to do something so that other women in that position would see that they weren’t alone- and could learn how those occurrences should be handled.
Opeyemi: This is deep. So sorry about that but it’s great to see that you picked up something meaningful from that experience. Can we get a bit personal?
Ijeoma: Sure- let’s hear what you have.
Opeyemi: Are you married/in a relationship? 😃
Ijeoma: Haha. Yes, I’m in a relationship 😊 an extremely fulfilling one
Opeyemi: Awesome, so do you think women can combine successfully a great career and family life?
Ijeoma: Absolutely! I think as long as you and your partner have a clear goal and path. Your vision is whatever you choose to create.
Opeyemi: I believe so too. Asides going to work and working on your podcast, what else do you engage in? what is your social life like?
Ijeoma: Right now, not much because of COVID-19, I try to get out and exercise, read more – a lot of audiobooks
We don’t eat out and we prepare all meals now
Opeyemi: Oh, Nice. Your name gives you away as Nigerian or having Nigerian ancestry, have you been to Nigeria before?
Ijeoma: Yes, I have – and I can speak Igbo too
I’ve been there 3 or 4 times – my parents did a good job of instilling our culture and values into our lives as we were growing up
Opeyemi: Wow! I think we should hangout when next you visit if that will be possible.
Ijeoma: Absolutely! I like making new friends; maybe you can show me around and probably take me to a pharmacy school.
Opeyemi: Back to Brown Skin Stories…do you plan to extend to all women in the future?
Ijeoma: Probably not. I’m serious about showcasing Black people- I may expand to other stories in the future – but who knows.
Opeyemi: Ijeoma, it’s been nice having this interview. Can you describe yourself in one word?
Ijeoma: Energetic! It’s been great Opeyemi! Thank you again for this opportunity
Opeyemi: I can imagine. Thank you so much!
Ijeoma: 😊😊 Stay in touch!
On a final note…listen to Ijeoma’s message to everyone.
THANK YOU IJEOMA for granting this interview, it means a lot to me and The Pen Writers’ team at large. To know more about Ijeoma, and what she does, kindly follow her on Instagram @brownskinstories, visit her LinkedIn page and listen to her podcasts.
P.S: If you have suggestions on people you want us to feature, Kindly send to us and we would give it a shot! Cheers!