As a high school student who immigrated from Russia to Los Angeles, class of 2014 alum Alex Heyfetz never would have imagined that he would become a pharmacist one day. His hobbies at the time included judo and weightlifting; advertising, construction, and personal training were the many jobs he tried on before pursuing his doctor of pharmacy at Washington State University. 15 years later, Heyfetz says that the career choice has been better than what he could have ever imagined.
“The most important thing that you need to do in life is to try different things,” he impressed on an audience of pharmacy students during the college’s monthly Career Seminar Series. Heyfetz is the co-owner of Sixth Avenue Pharmacy, an independent pharmacy which has thrived in Spokane for over 60 years. He and class of 2013 alumnus Erik Nelson own the pharmacy together.
You are in a very good position…Pharmacists’ wages are going up and signing bonuses for pharmacists are now $50,000 to $70,000 for retail chains.
“You are in a very good position,” he told students. “Pharmacists’ wages are going up and signing bonuses for pharmacists are now $50,000 to $70,000 for retail chains.” Despite pharmacists’ salary growth in Washington state, Heyfetz says that it’s most important to be passionate about a job. The most rewarding part of his career has been precepting more than a hundred students from the college, said the 2020 Preceptor of the Year.
I learn as much from my students as they do from me. WSU is a great school for pharmacy. It has all the resources for students and alumni to network and get a great job.
“I learn as much from my students as they do from me. WSU is a great school for pharmacy. It has all the resources for students and alumni to network and get a great job,” said Heyfetz who received his doctor of pharmacy degree in 2014 and his bachelor of science degree at UCLA in 2009.
Along with managing Sixth Avenue Pharmacy, Heyfetz has also expanded into various business ventures including investing in real estate and stocks. He says that being a business owner is not without its challenges. Along with competing with chain pharmacies, he had to get creative with various revenue streams and managing staff.
“Pharmacy is a great career no matter what. It’s better than what I expected. It can be rewarding or difficult. It all depends on you.”