By: Priyunka Maheshwari
“What do you want to be when you grow up?” If you asked Ron Wright this question when he was a boy, he probably would have told you he wanted to be a professional baseball player. But unlike many other children, Ron made this dream into a reality. In 2002, Ron batted for the Seattle Mariners. It was the first and last time he ever played in the major leagues.
After a series of injuries and unfortunate timing, Ron retired from baseball and went on to do something unexpected—he went back to Iowa State University and obtained his Doctor of Pharmacy. “My mom was a nurse, and I coached kids in my off-seasons who had pharmacist dads,” Ron explained. “I actually purchased my first baseball bat ever from the pharmacy store in my town. Pharmacy always seemed like a respected profession to help people out.”
While baseball and pharmacy might seem to lie on opposite ends of the professional spectrum, Ron said that they actually have a lot in common. “There’s no entitlement in sports—you get what you work for. It teaches you to set priorities, work hard, and see the fruits of your labor. You don’t lose those things even when you stop playing the game.”
One of the less-savory aspects to pharmacy school that Ron described was the amount of debt he had to take on. Not only did pharmacy school tuition spike significantly in the years Ron was in school, but also Ron’s expenses were high when combined with the costs of providing for his wife and kids.
“Seeing how much I had to pay was eye-opening. Over time I got tired of dealing with the constant emails regarding my student loan payment deadlines,” said Ron. Ron eventually decided to refinance his student loan with DRB Education Finance. “I like feeling like a person, and that’s what you get with a smaller company. I also save about $300 a month through DRB, which is huge when you have a large family. I can finally start thinking about a family vacation.”
Ron’s approach to choosing a bank mimics his approach to pharmacy. While working with his customers, Ron says he likes to get to know them better and learn how their experiences could be improved. “My favorite part of being a pharmacist is where I work. I have great bosses who encourage me to build relationships. It’s worth it to finally get to do what you went to school for: make a difference.”