Marie Therese RodgersPharmacist
Can you tell us about your career ?
After studying at The University of Strathclyde for four years, and completing my pre-registration training year in Monklands General Hospital, I qualified as a pharmacist in July 1994.
I decided that I’d prefer to pursue a career in community pharmacy , and enjoyed working as a locum pharmacist for 2 years, meeting many different people on my travels, and learning about how different pharmacy businesses work , as I sometimes worked in two or three shops in the same day.
I was lucky enough that my dad owned a busy pharmacy in Coatbridge. I worked here for 8 years gaining valuable experience as a pharmacist and wetting my appetite to become a pharmacy owner.
In May 2004, I secured funding to buy my dad’s pharmacy. As I wanted to continue to offer the excellent level of pharmaceutical care that my dad had always given, and the role of the pharmacist was evolving, I convinced North Lanarkshire council to rent the property next door to me. So, I was able to embrace the new community pharmacy contract, and added 2 consultation/treatment rooms, and a staff room. I wanted to create a wellbeing environment, where other allied healthcare professionals could offer patient services, and have had a podiatrist working in the pharmacy for the past 10 years.
In August 2014, I bought a second pharmacy in Coatbridge Main Street. I have been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to develop and diversify the counter sales, and have a number of different health/wellbeing professionals working out of the newly constructed treatment room.
I am hoping to increase my portfolio of pharmacies in the near future.
What has been the highlight for you ?
There have been, as expected, many highs and a few lows! But I think that winning the Innovation and Business development in Independent Pharmacy award at the Scottish Pharmacy Awards in 2005 must have been one. Buying my second pharmacy in 2014 and discovering that my pre-registration pharmacy students all passed their final exam were other highlights.
What would you tell your younger self ?
I would tell a younger self to try not to worry about what people think of you. Be yourself, be confident in your own talents, and use them to the full.
What piece of advice would you give to a new start-up ?
I would tell a new start-up to take a risk! Develop your strengths, recognise and work on your weaknesses. Remember that you don’t have to be aggressive to get your message across. Think of the long term picture. It’s normal to have to make sacrifices, so think carefully of what ones you’re prepared to make.
Name one of your main priorities in life ?
One of my main priorities is to see that my daughter is happy in life and fulfils her potential as an intelligent, well balanced and caring human being.
What was the last good book you read ?
I have to confess that I’m not an avid reader. This is probably down to my poor time management! When I do bet a chance to read, I prefer to study factual publications, and am at present working my way through ‘Sports Medicine’ by Brukner and Khan as it is a subject that I am considering studying.
What do you do to relax ?
To relax- I run!
I joined a running club (Airdrie Harriers) about 5 years ago primarily because my daughter was a good distance runner, and just started running around the track a few times. Up until then, I didn’t really have the time to relax, but running has, apart from helping me to totally de-stress, made me loads of amazing friends, and given me confidence that I can be decent at some kind of sport after the age of 40 .(considering I was always the slowest runner, and last to get picked at school!) It also keeps me extremely fit, and helps to negate the effect of eating far too much chocolate!
Is there a female in public life that you admire and why ?
The female public figure I greatly admire, and have had the privilege of spending some time with is Baroness Shami Chakrabarti. Shami has been one of the most effective lobbyists for human rights and civil liberties in the past 20 years, and has the courage to campaign for causes that were sometimes unpopular. She commands the respect of people from all political parties, and managed to be named as one of Britain’s most influential figures. Above all this she is a mother, and is extremely kind and approachable.
Describe your style
I would describe my style as arty, chic and hopefully sometimes sexy!
What do you look for in your 9 to 5 clothes ?
It’s great to be able to buy beautiful clothes which are made in Scotland, but it doesn’t matter where the clothes I buy are made, unless it comes to light that workers have been exploited in the process. It’s great to be able to travel, and pick up beautiful pieces of clothing that aren’t too expensive, but are unique to that area or city.
It’s important to start work in the morning feeling focused and purposeful, and to portray a professional image. But, I must be comfortable to enable me to do my best every day. Block coloured tailored dresses in black, navy , turquoise or red are usually the order of the day, with a mid-heeled court shoe or wedge. Higher heeled stilettos are reserved for business lunches or meetings. I just can’t work if my feet are sore!
Do you like your clothes to be multifunctional ?
I like to dress for the occasion, but I think, like most women with limited resources, clothes should be multi-functional to some extent. I have, for example, worn my red, sleeveless, A-line, below-the-knee work dress matched with a pair of white trainers to go sight-seeing in Rome.
What one piece would you invest in ?
The one piece I would invest in would be a black, classic style, below-the-knee virgin wool/cashmere coat. In this part of the world, it could be worn on a winter’s day or summer’s night and paired over jeans and a T, or an evening dress, and would remain stylish for years.
Whose clothes style do you most admire ?
I admire my mum’s clothes style the most. It was definitely my mum who unknowingly gave me an interest in fashion. Although tirelessly running after 4 kids, and with limited time and resources, she always looked elegant and chic. Now, in her early 70s, she still has that same effortless style, whether she’s walking in the park with my dad, or looking after the grandchildren.
Who is your favourite international designer ?
Apart from Elizabeth of course, my favourite international designers are Vivienne Westwood, and Victoria Beckham. I love the cutting edge, but classic designs of Vivienne Westwood, and the sophisticated elegance of Victoria Beckham. I can also sometimes afford to buy one or two of their pieces!