Andra Raibulet ’24 first chose to enroll in Butler University’s dual PharmD and MBA program because she knew having a background in both pharmacy and business would give her more options after graduation. She never guessed that, five years into her degree, it would also give her the chance to work alongside a Fortune 500 CEO.
Walgreens CEO Roz Brewer recently released a 13-episode series on Masterclass, an online education platform where subscribers can learn from experts on a variety of topics. Brewer’s lessons focus on business innovation, with the third episode showing the value of listening to others from across all levels of a company. She demonstrates this by hearing business pitches from three summer interns, including Raibulet’s ideas for expanding access to pharmacies that can both test for and immediately treat common illnesses.
“Walgreens began some test-and-treat programs with the start of Covid, so it was already a hot topic of conversation when I arrived at my internship,” Raibulet explains. “But all the different teams I was working with were talking about it in a different way. So my final summer project looked at how these teams could come together to execute test-and-treat as a business from start to finish.”
Raibulet started at Walgreens as a Pharmacy Technician in 2019. She eventually moved into a general pharmacy intern role, then applied for the Walgreens corporate pharmacy internship program in the summer of 2022.
“I was excited to finally use both my PharmD and MBA skills together in one place,” she says. “Obviously behind every pharmacy there needs to be a functioning business model. Understanding the business side of things has helped me see how and why certain decisions regarding patient care are made. The dual-degree program has really allowed me to see how those two worlds come together.”
Throughout the Walgreens internship, Raibulet rotated her time among three teams: Pharmacy Compliance, Pharmacy Affairs, and Pharmacy of the Future. With her years of experience as an employee and intern with Walgreens, she understood the discussions that were held at the corporate level. Skills learned through her MBA also helped prepare Raibulet to work on business topics well beyond pharmacy.
In addition to attending meetings and working on projects that impacted day-to-day operations at Walgreens stores, each intern was tasked with developing their own summer-long project.
Raibulet’s focus was that if Walgreens implemented test and treat at more stores, the model would allow pharmacists to work at the top of their license. The service would also attract more patients to retail pharmacies for basic health needs, such as tests for flu, strep throat, or Covid. With a positive test, guests could immediately receive a prescription rather than waiting for the doctor to send it to the pharmacy and for the pharmacy to fill it.
“It would be a smooth, streamlined process from start to finish at your local pharmacy,” Raibulet says.
The pitch was strong, and when it came time to select three interns for a secretive opportunity that Raibulet only knew would involve a meeting with the CEO, her idea stood out.
“They didn’t tell us it was for Masterclass,” she says. “We had to give a pitch to our intern managers, and from there we were selected to do the project.”
Raibulet worked directly with Brewer’s communications team to perfect the pitch. After learning the project was for Masterclass, she also had the chance to meet some of the people who work on the show. The episode was filmed in Atlanta, Georgia.
“Roz wanted to hear from young future professionals about innovation and what we thought—after spending a summer at Walgreens—would be the best next steps for the company,” Raibulet says about the experience. “The Masterclass portion of my internship was definitely life-changing. Just to be in the same room as a CEO, let alone Roz, was amazing. I was so starstruck.”
Even beyond the surprise project for Masterclass, Raibulet says the Walgreens corporate internship was the perfect opportunity to combine the pharmacy and business skills she has gained at Butler.
“I’ve learned that I can use my science brain to make business decisions, and I can use my business knowledge to make scientific decisions,” she says. “The PharmD and MBA programs pair so nicely together, and that has really elevated my Butler experience.”