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College of Pharmacy

  • Alumni Q&A - Sepideh Manafi

Q&A with Sepideh Manafi, '93

"Treat each patient as if you are treating your parents or grandparents..."

Alumna Sepideh Manafi (1993 B.S. pharmacy) has quickly made a name for herself in the field of retail pharmacy. Now a Pharmacy District Leader with CVS, she's grateful for the mentorship she received along the way and for the opportunity to pay it forward and help the next generation grow.


Tell us about what you do: 

After graduation, I started working for Kroger Pharmacy, but after two years, I joined CVS a pharmacy manager in Charlotte, North Carolina. There I was promoted to a pharmacy manager and then district manager. I decided to explore long-term care, so I joined Omnicare (a CVS company) in 2019 and had the pleasure of leading 10 long-term care sites across three states as a district director of Operations. In 2022 I made the decision to come to retail as a district leader and, currently, I am an Rx district leader for 18 stores and over 45 Pharmacists. I am also a preceptor with the University of South Carolina, Wingate School of Pharmacy, South University, Presbyterian College School of Pharmacy and Highpoint College of Pharmacy.

Why did you choose the University of South Carolina? 

I chose USC due to its renowned curriculum and exceptional staff/faculty members. USC College of Pharmacy has a stellar reputation for its comprehensive coursework and hands-on training, preparing students to excel in this field. Furthermore, my sister chose the same field and started pharmacy school a year before I did!

How did you originally get interested in your field?

I became interested in the field of pharmacy, particularly in patient care and serving as a liaison between patients and doctors, due to my passion for helping others. Being able to directly impact patients’ lives by ensuring they receive the right medications, understanding their needs and effectively communicating with health care providers is quite rewarding to me.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

I wanted to be an anesthesiologist.

What is your favorite memory from pharmacy school?

Being able to participate in the research lab with Dr. Sowell and seeing how the learning of Biomedicinal Chemistry ties in to the works of research, Of course, it was wonderful to be the class president in my last year of pharmacy school too!

What do you consider your greatest achievement? 

Aside from being blessed with two wonderful children, inspiring technicians to pursue profession of pharmacy and inspiring pharmacists to pursue a multi-unit leadership role — helping people grow and pursue their passion gives me the biggest satisfaction.  

Looking back, is there anything you wish you had done differently? 

I should have listened to Dr. Sowell and pursued a Ph.D. in Biochemistry.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

Mutual TRUST is everything! Start with the WHY in all that you do and all that you teach. People won’t buy into your vision if they don’t trust you. Be passionate, as passion is contagious. 

Who has been a mentor to you? 

I have been blessed with many mentors at CVS who showed a genuine interest in my development. My former division vice president and my current region director have been the most impactful to my development.   

How do you spend your time outside of work?

I go to the gym 5-6 times per week and enjoy spin, lifting weights, boxing and going hiking. I like to cook and bake, and would spend all my money on vacations if I could! Lately I have been intrigued by poetry as well.

What are you currently reading, watching or listening to?

I am reading the “Sapiens” by Yuval Harari. I listen to opera and jazz, especially when I cook, but at the gym is all hip-hop!  I watch reruns of Friends when I need a distraction, but any good suspense series and action movies are absolutely my go-to.

What is your advice for current students / future pharmacy professionals?

Don’t forget your WHY. Remember why you decided to go to pharmacy school. Treat each patient as if you are treating your parents or grandparents. Be open to feedback, as feedback is a gift, and if you don’t get it frequently from your professors or leaders, ask for it. Be intentional about your goals. As Antoine de Saint-Exupery said, ”a goal without a plan is just a wish.” 

What song always puts you in a good mood?

Believe it or not, it is “Flowers” by Miley Cyrus.

Topics: Alumni Programs, Meet Our Alumni

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