From Bus Driver to Pharmacist: meet 41 year old Ghanaian drop-out who never gave up on his dreams!

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A MARRIED father who took the plunge and surrendered his job to pursue a career in medicine has triumphed by obtaining a pharmacy degree at the University of Wolverhampton (UoW), in the West Midlands.

Israel Marfo, 41, was plying his trade as a bus driver in London, which was his final job in a ten-year journey in which he mixed studying full-time with working part-time at night in a warehouse and in security roles as well as volunteering in community pharmacies.

After qualifying through clearing, after leaving the buses, he has secured a Masters of Pharmacy degree.

Now living in Bilston, the Ghanaian-born graduate is completing his pre-registration training at Well Pharmacies, part of Bestway Panacea Holdings.

Israel told the media that he long had a passion for chemistry but had left school in Ghana with no formal qualifications.

After making the decision to switch his career, he stepped his learning up a gear and started to study at various colleges in London.

He secured an Applied Science qualification at Level 2, passed his English and Maths GCSE qualifications before studying for a Biomedical Science qualification and then studied a three-year Access to Higher Education course to help him to get to University.

He had applied to a University in London to study pharmacy but called the UoW during the Clearing period, securing a place on the BSc Pharmaceutical Science with Foundation Year which would provide a step up to the Master’s of Pharmacy Degree (MPharm) in the University’s School of Pharmacy.

Israel said: “Learning during lockdown hasn’t been easy. I’ve had to sit my exams at home surrounded by my family, but I had plenty of support from my wife who has encouraged me and helped me enormously.

My handwriting was terrible when I began studying at the University and the Student Enabling Centre secured me some funding, which I had to pay towards, to help me get assessed – it turns out I was dyslexic.

After being diagnosed I got additional support with exams and assessments which really helped me.

“It’s been a long journey but every step was worth it. Throughout all the studying and working part-time, during the night and during holidays, I also got married and had a child so there was a lot going on in my life – I was funding my studies, and also had a new family to look after.

 

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