Pharmacy Student’s Prescription for Success after Graduation Includes YouTube
Robert Thompson-Eshun has always been a Renaissance man. With an assortment of intellectual interests that extend beyond prescription distribution, the May 2022 doctoral graduate of the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences is using his expertise in video editing, content development—even business strategy—to grow a YouTube channel targeted to pharmacy students worldwide.
With nearly 60,000 total views, his channel is a rapidly growing student pharmacy destination on the social media network.
“I come from a slightly different background than many pharmacy students,” Robert said. “I’m interested in fitness and lifestyles, technology, and personal finance—not just pharmacy. And that’s all reflected in the videos I post.”
“I generate the ideas and personally edit all videos,” Robert continued. “It takes much time—sometimes a day and a half, sometimes a whole week. But I really enjoy doing it and I think it makes a difference.”
Search YouTube for Robert Thompson-Eshun and you find about 15 videos, not including those that have been archived. His first one, pinned to the top of his YouTube homepage, is called “Day in the Life of a St. John’s Pharmacy Student.” At nearly 10 minutes long, it introduces the audience to Robert and the responsibilities a new pharmacy student must face.
The video has been viewed 5,800 times and garnered 50 comments, including some from interested students as far away as Algeria. It is for those potential students that Robert makes the production effort.
“There is not a lot of pharmacy content on YouTube, and most of the stuff that is there is negative,” Robert, 25, from Maplewood, NJ, said. “There was a real gap in the market, so I started to post things like how to manage the stress load of final exams. I wanted to make the videos relatable and accessible to people who are studying to become pharmacists.”
Some viewers include his St. John’s classmates with whom he has shared a bond for six years, first as undergraduates and now as doctoral candidates.
“St. John’s offered precisely what I was seeking,” Robert recalled. “I wanted a six-year program that would enable me to get my doctorate. Plus, being in Queens immersed me in other cultures. You’re constantly growing as a person here.”
Some of Robert’s more popular topics include “How to Secure an Internship” while in pharmacy school; “Major Mistakes to Avoid When Studying for Pharmacy School Exams”; “Final Exam Week in Pharmacy School”; and “How I Made the Dean’s List in Pharmacy School.” Interrupting those pharmacy school-specific videos are updates on Robert’s journey through the St. John’s program and other life reflections.
After he graduates, Robert plans to grow the channel through the addition of videos in his other areas of interest. “I’d like it to take more of a lifestyle dimension,” he said.
He explained that his videos demystify the application and enrollment processes for potential pharmacy students. Audience feedback seems to indicate that is a primary reason for their popularity.
“Thanks for helping us out,” posted one viewer of Robert’s video that focused on how to avoid major mistakes when studying. “Cool video and very insightful,” posted another, from the Netherlands.
Still, success as a YouTuber hasn’t changed Robert’s eagerness to continue down the pharmacist path. He is considering several job opportunities as he prepares to take his state licensing exams. He is also debating between a hospital or retail position.
Robert does see one advantage to a career as a hospital pharmacist: more days off to produce videos. “Hospital pharmacists can work three or four 12-hour days,” he explained. “I’d have three or four days to do YouTube.”