Kelly Eanes remembers the exact moment she had enough of pharmaceutical sales.

The 22-year Army veteran had just returned from her second deployment where she had served as a general’s aide in Iraq. As a rep, she had brought lunch to a medical office when she was chastised for not also bringing dessert. She knew then a change was needed.

“I did a lot of soul searching, praying and meditating on what brings value to my life,” she said. “It was helping people.”

Eanes kept returning to her conversations as a sales rep with pharmacists. They were engaged and interesting. They cared about their work, but one thing really stood out.

“They always seemed happy,” she said.

Her grandmother helped put Regis on her radar, via a newspaper clipping about the University. And after her interview, Eanes knew it was where she was meant to be. The 2016 School of Pharmacy graduate is now a pharmacist at Aspen Valley Hospital.

Regis.edu recently caught up with Eanes to talk about her time in the military, what drew her to Regis and how pharmacy has changed her life.

You spent 16 years in the Army and had been deployed twice overseas before starting school. Were you nervous to come back?

With the Regis program, it’s small and personalized and builds up your confidence. I didn’t think I’d do well. Because of how much the faculty care about the program and the success of you as an individual, the environment makes you feel confident and comfortable. They give you tools to succeed.

What was it about Regis that made the transition easier?

I struggle with attention issues, so I can’t sit in a lecture class. That’s not an effective way of learning. The team-based learning was so unique.  For someone like me, that type of learning environment is incredible. You’re actively discussing treatment options and it’s much more of an interactive program. We don’t do anything in the military without talking to our peers and coming up with a plan. That’s exactly what I’m used to.

You were deployed for a third time between your first and second years at Regis. How were you able to transition back?

The faculty are what make Regis and this program amazing. They were all so supportive and were always checking in with me. It was a difficult year and the material was difficult, but it was a great year.

You’ve had a pretty incredible life, from serving three tours overseas, to eventually becoming a pharmacist. What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned?

I’ve learned life is entirely too short to not pursue any opportunity given. There is no sense living with regret and not taking an opportunity. Leaving a high paying job in 2009 was insane. No one could believe I was leaving that job. But you have to do what makes you happy. If you’re not satisfied with your life, it affects all your relationships.

Find out how a degree in pharmacy can put you on the path to great things.