Making adjustments is a part of life, especially as we get older and learn more about ourselves. For example, the kid who dreamt of becoming a submarine captain learned she was claustrophobic and had to adjust. Dixie Tech alum, Tomas Serrano, realized blood made him somewhat queasy and had to adjust his career aspirations from being a surgeon to a less… invasive career.
At seven years old, Tomas Serrano immigrated from Mexico to St.George, Utah. As he got older and learned about the various careers he could pursue, Tomas decided a career in the medical field, specifically as a surgeon, would be the best fit.
“I thought, “If I am going to work in the medical field and be a doctor, I might as well work at the top as a surgeon come to find out I don’t like blood,” Tomas said.
After this realization and a few more hours of research, Tomas decided that a career as a pharmacist was actually the best fit for him. It was still in the medical field, offered him a regular 9-5 schedule that would work for the family he eventually wanted to start, and of course, no blood. But, after being sure he wanted to be a surgeon, Tomas didn’t want to spend thousands of dollars on tuition to learn that he didn’t want to be a pharmacist. He wanted to be 100% sure before he spent all that time and money.
“During my senior year, Dixie Tech came to Snow Canyon high school, and I learned about the Pharmacy Technician program,” Tomas said. “I liked that it was six months long and was hands-on; I figured even if I didn’t want to become a pharmacist, I could leave the program with a good-paying job.”
A few months later, Tomas enrolled in the program and began learning pharmacy basics. While he was enjoying his time in the program, Tomas was leaning towards a different career; until his class toured Fusion Pharmacy, and he learned about compounding.
“I love working with my hands so when I learned about compounding and saw people working in white coats and scrubs compounding medications and drugs, I knew I wanted to be there.”
His newfound interest and talent for compounding got him an externship at Fusion Pharmacy under the direction of lead technician and now lead Dixie Tech Pharmacy Technician instructor, Timaree Fullerton. By the end of his externship, Tomas knew that he wanted to work at Fusion and Timaree knew that she wanted to hire Tomas but didn’t have any positions open at the time.
In hindsight, if there would have been a job opening then, Tomas wouldn’t have met his wife Daeja. Tomas and Daeja knew each other in high school. They reconnected when Tomas was working as an assistant manager at Papa Murphy’s, as he anxiously awaited a position to open at Fusion. The two dated for a year, and during that time, Daeja enrolled in the Phlebotomy program at Dixie Tech after listening to Tomas talk about his time at the college. Then the call came.
“Almost a year after my externship, I got a call from Timaree telling me they had a shipping and delivery position open, and I took it,” Tomas said. “Since I had my tech license, now and then when they needed help in the lab, I would jump in, and eventually a spot opened in the lab, and I became a compounding technician.”
Then, 2020 came around and brought on a lot of change, but not in the way you’re thinking of; good change! In 2020, Timaree got her current job as lead Pharmacy Technician Instructor at Dixie Tech, leaving her position as manager and compliance officer of the compounding lab at Fusion Pharmacy vacant. Because of his hard work and talent Tomas, filled took over the role. In addition to accomplishing a career goal, Tomas accomplished another; starting a family. Later that year, Tomas and his wife Daeja welcomed their first child Matteo into the world.
Today, Tomas is excelling in both of his jobs as compounding and compliance manager and as a dad to his now two-year-old son. Over the past two years, he has also set new goals.
“My little boy will be two in November, and my main focus is making sure he’s good and providing him with a life that he can enjoy and do the things I wasn’t able to do growing up,” Tomas said. “So I think going to school in the future, I am undecided, but I am thinking either pharmacy school or business school because that also intrigues me.”
While we can’t promise that if you come to Dixie Tech, you’ll find your future spouse after graduating… We can promise that an education at Dixie Tech can lead you to a great career.
Learn more about our Pharmacy Tech program here.