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3 Questions with LaKeisha Shade, Staff Pharmacist

3 Questions with LaKeisha Shade, Staff Pharmacist

From our Texas pharmacy, meet LaKeisha Shade! LaKeisha was one of the first people to join the Dallas team and has been working at The Pill Club for the last two and a half years. When she’s not counseling members and training new pharmacists by day, LaKeisha plays tennis outside of work and teaches a cardio fitness dance class aptly named “Unleash with Keish.”

These days, she’s been making wedding plans with her fiancee, who she met during the early days of the pandemic (fun fact: the couple’s accountant introduced them!). We spoke with LaKeisha about the moment she decided to become a pharmacist, why her passion for the work continues after nearly 20 years, and her wedding planning advice.

Tell us about your path to The Pill Club.

I’ve known since high school that I wanted to become a pharmacist. My high school chemistry teacher first introduced me to the field and to the possibility of making this a career. And my mom—who was a guidance counselor and always staying current on careers—helped me understand all the different specialties within pharmacy, which really interested me.

I worked for many years on the retail side with Target pharmacy, eventually helping to open a new retail pharmacy store that went on to become the highest volume Target store in the district. It was one of my proudest moments, and while working at Target gave me a broad understanding of insurance and product procurement, I wanted to explore other opportunities in pharmacy. That eventually led me to join a new venture started by a dialysis company (coincidentally, I worked there with our now pharmacy technician Janeen!) where I eventually became the official trainer for new pharmacists to help the company scale.

Being that it was a young company when I joined, I got my first exposure to startup culture—and realized I was well-suited for it!—which uniquely prepared me for The Pill Club. I thought it was interesting that The Pill Club uniquely catered to the contraceptive needs of women. This focus, coupled with the chance to work at another early stage company where I could have a tangible impact immediately drew me to the role.

What’s your typical day like?

I spend my time on the front end interacting with members, but we also have a huge team of pharmacists that divide their time between the front end and working in fulfillment. I start my day counseling members via text or phone. I’m also responsible for quality and assurance, ensuring that the prescription for the birth control medication, dose, and directions correlate to what the medical team prescribed before passing it on to be processed for fulfillment. I also train new pharmacists—something that I love—who typically spend their first few weeks on the job onboarding with me before working on their own.

Ever since joining the company, I’ve felt like a valued member of the team. Knowing that everyone on your team plays an important part in making sure members get their birth control is also deeply fulfilling.

You just started planning for your wedding next year. What’s your advice for others to help them keep perspective in the process?

Save room in your budget for a wedding planner! I’m the type of person who wants to give a little input along the way and just show up for the big day. I don’t need to oversee the entire planning process, and handing that over to someone else has been a dream. But, you have to be willing to give up some control and trust that someone else will execute your vision.

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