Student Spotlight: Christopher Hajou

Meet USC School of Pharmacy student Christopher Hajou (’17), who describes pursuing a joint degree in Healthcare Decision Analysis, his future plans to open a pharmacy-run family planning and reproductive healthcare clinic, and how he juggles pharmacy school with caring for two young children. 

Christopher Hajou (PharmD, ’17)

Why did you choose USC School of Pharmacy?

Opportunity! At no other institution will you be afforded as many opportunities to exceed the norm and achieve things you’ve only dreamed of. USC helps shape you into a leader in society and holds you to those standards always. As students we push each other farther than we would have ever given ourselves credit for and it’s that drive that we can take with us moving forward.

How have the resources and faculty available at USC helped you with your studies, learning, and growth?

My mission in life can be summed up in one word: Didasko, the Greek word meaning “to teach and to learn.”  USC School of Pharmacy faculty and the resources they provide really seem to embrace this ideology in that they take the time to learn from us, who we are, and what we are trying to accomplish and in turn teach us how to accomplish these goals.

Why should prospective students consider USC School of Pharmacy?

The opportunity to make your vision a reality, regardless of what aspect of pharmacy you are pursuing.  I personally just finished the master’s of Health Care Decision Analysis dual-degree portion of the program and can attest that every class I attended was an opportunity to learn, build my network with professionals actually living what they were preaching, and put that knowledge into practice right away.

What are your plans after graduation?

Initially, I will pursue a residency in Ambulatory Care or Community Care to better solidify my clinical foundation. All through pharmacy school I’ve worked on a business plan to start the first entirely pharmacy-run family planning and reproductive healthcare clinic with an impetus on the new allocation of services that SB 493 allows the pharmacist to undertake, and am planning on launching shortly after finishing my residency.

What is the learning environment like at USC School of Pharmacy? 

The unwritten motto for USC pharmacy students: “To be the best, you must learn from the best, and to learn from the best, at all times you must try your best!” Not to mention, it’s fast-paced, with growing opportunities for interprofessional collaboration.

Please tell us anything else you’d like to share!

I’m known as the guy with a wife and two kids who goes to the gym every morning and tries to turn every opportunity into a business venture.  My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was in high school, and my father was the first generation of his family to immigrate to the United States. I grew up with opportunity and was taught to make each opportunity count.

The question I’ve been asked the most throughout pharmacy school is: ‘How do you do it—how do you care for a family, focus on school, start a business, and still have time to maintain your health during pharmacy school?’ My reply is simple: ‘It’s people like you–fellow students, professors, mentors, family, friends–and the desire to better humanity in some way, that drives the human mind beyond the limitations it puts on itself. It’s for people like you that I will never stop.’