Roseman University PharmD Student Profile: Cory Wages
Armed with a bachelor’s degree in theater, current Roseman student Cory Wages has worked on the Las Vegas Strip on some iconic shows. Below, he shares more info about his stage positions and about his journey to enroll at Roseman to earn his doctor of pharmacy degree!
Please tell us how you ended up at Cirque, and about your roles and years with the company?
I was offered an opportunity to move to Las Vegas from a friend. She had lived in Las Vegas for quite a while and knew of a position I could get at the MGM Grand Garden. It was a stagehand position. (A stagehand is someone that would load/unload stage pieces, lighting, sound, etc., for a concert, boxing match, or conference. They also set all those pieces up and run the show backstage). I worked for the Grand Garden Arena for two years. I eventually took a full-time position at a permanent show inside the MGM called Crazy Horse Paris. I was a stagehand for that show for three years. I transferred to Cirque Du Soleil’s Ka in 2011 and joined the rigging department. My job duties grew over the eight years I worked there, and I eventually became a lead rigger. Some of my roles were inspecting safety equipment, doing show cues, conducting rescues, and overseeing the thirty other riggers.
When and why did you decide you wanted to be a pharmacist?
I started on my path to becoming a pharmacist back in 2016. I started taking my science prerequisites for Roseman at the College of Southern Nevada. I would take two classes a semester during the day and work my stagehand jobs at night. I decided to become a pharmacist to prepare for a new career that didn’t rely on the physicality needed in my current profession. My wife Cynthia and I put our heads together to come up with some good professions to pursue. We decided we needed a profession to fit three things. One, it had to be worth going back to school financially. Two, it had to offer me an opportunity to get a job if we ever moved to a different area. And three, it would need to be a job where knowledge was equivalent to experience. Becoming a pharmacist did all three of those things.
Why did you enroll at Roseman?
I chose Roseman for a few reasons, including because the accelerated structure would help me get to my new profession quicker. Being that I would be over the age of 40 when I graduated, I wanted to get in the field as quick as possible.
What has your Roseman experience been like so far? Can you share some highlights?
My Roseman experience has been a rollercoaster. I was able to enjoy my P1 year with my friends in the classroom for most of the year. Then the COVID pandemic showed up and turned what was left of my P1 year and my P2 year into a virtual playground. I was still able to build great relationships with my fellow students and faculty. I guess some of my favorite experiences would consist of the times when I found myself in leadership roles. I always enjoy getting a group together and accomplishing something great.
What did you like most about the teaching style at Roseman?
The best aspect of the teaching style at Roseman is the personal relationship you get to build with the faculty. From Day 1 the relationship is something more than just student and teacher. That in itself is a gift.
What student or professional groups or activities are you involved with?
The one I am most proud of is being a member and on the Board of Directors for Nevada Pharmacy Alliance. I am also a member of the Student Alliance and National Home Infusion Association.
Who were your role models (any faculty or staff at Roseman)?
I was extremely blessed to be matched up with Dr. Ken Kunke as my mentor. He was always there to help me with anything that became an obstacle in my way. He gave me advice, helpful hints, and a positive role model to aim to be like.
What would you say to someone who wants to earn a degree at Roseman?
I would tell them that they will have to earn that degree – it won’t be given to you. You will have to put in hours in the classroom and out of it too. It is truly four years of information shoved into three years. With all that said, it is completely worth all the hard work you have to put in for your PharmD degree.
What will the future bring for you? What do you hope to be doing in 10 years?
What will my future bring me? I honestly do not know. Ten years ago, I didn’t know acetaminophen was the same thing as Tylenol. The only thing I do hope my future brings me is a great quality of life, where going to work brings a smile to my face.
What are your hobbies, interests, favorite charities, etc?
My favorite hobbies are the ones that get me outside. Sign me up any day for a hike or a camping trip. Being outside is like meditating for me.
What is your favorite tv show, podcast, movie, and book?
I haven’t met a tv show, podcast, movie or book I didn’t like. That’s just a fact. If I must name a few favorites, I really enjoy listening the podcast called The Rewatchables, and my favorite book is called The Chronicles of Amber by Roger Zelazny.
Is there anyone you’d like to thank?
I want to thank my wife Cynthia first and foremost. She has been my rock these last three years. I would also like to thank my parents, Gayle and Danny. They have always been my two biggest fans in everything I pursued. My siblings, Mike and Alex, also deserve a big thank you. They have always been great examples of moving forward and accomplishing great things.