H-E-B's Intern of the Border Region

Adam RiezenmanPerformance, integrity, adaptation and reaction: these are just four of the many qualities necessary to receive the H-E-B Intern of the Summer for the Border Region. Adam Riezenman, a second-year professional student pharmacist at the Texas A&M Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy, epitomized these characteristics throughout his internship at H-E-B in San Benito, Texas.

Riezenman of Brownsville, Texas, will join his colleagues at 2 p.m. Sept. 7 in receiving his white coat at the Edward N. Jones Auditorium on campus of Texas A&M University-Kingsville. The White Coat Ceremony is a nationwide tradition that formally welcomes student pharmacists to the profession.

The top intern at H-E-B is chosen through a point system in which points are awarded for various evaluations that must be conducted.

“A regional director makes visits to various locations and takes a couple of days to spend time with the intern,” said Oscar Ramirez, Pharm.D., Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy Class of 2010 graduate and Riezenman’s mentor and supervisor. “In the end, they complete an evaluation on the work of the intern. I had to do my own mentor evaluation of Adam. There is also a presentation or project that must be completed toward the end of the internship.”

For each evaluation or presentation, the intern is given points. The recipient of the highest point value is given the recognition as intern of the summer. Riezenman earned the most points out of all of the interns in the Border Region and Laredo.

The pharmacy workplace was a new environment for Riezenman, but that did not stop him from learning everything he needed to know which proved him to be a great asset throughout his internship. He acquired the knowledge that was necessary to work in the pharmacy and used it to excel beyond expectations. Even as an intern, he offered suggestions on how to improve the pharmacy and make things run smoother, helping Ramirez see things in a new perspective.

Ramirez is no stranger to hard work and dedication. He began his studies at the Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy in 2006 after completing his undergraduate studies at Texas A&M University-Kingsville. Throughout his pharmacy coursework, he completed an internship with an H-E-B store in Weslaco. He took a job as pharmacy manager a year ago at the San Benito H-E-B.

The coursework and similar internships are not the only things that helped Riezenman and Ramirez build a relationship that ended with Riezenman receiving recognition as intern of the summer. 

The supervisor-intern role was new for both of them and was a benefit. 

Adam Riezenman“Adam was the first intern that I supervised. So, at the start of this all, I was very nervous; I didn’t know exactly what to do or what to expect,” Ramirez said. “I had nothing to base his or my learning on. It was all new to us both, but along the way, we learned together. It helped us learn more about our field. It ended up working for us and Adam was given the recognition that he deserves. I was beyond surprised and pleased, starting from scratch to winning this recognition.”

Although Ramirez attributed the award to Riezenman’s hard work and willingness to learn, Riezenman saw it much differently. 

“Ramirez was the deciding factor,” Riezenman said. “When I walked in the first day, I was nervous and didn’t know what to expect; he made me feel welcome and like I was an asset to the company. That really helped.”

When it came to sharing what he thought made Riezenman a great recipient of the award, Ramirez said the Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy was a major contributor to his work ethic. 

“Compassion—a want to help your patient—that’s what I believe I have and I definitely see it in Adam every day,” Ramirez said. “He always wants to do what is best for the customer, regardless of the result for the pharmacy. The customer comes first. Adam is also a go-getter. There are not enough good things to say about him. I believe the staff at the Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy had a major impact on him.”

Riezenman also credited the Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy for much of his success. 

“They prepared me. The Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience (IPPE) classes with Dr. [Anna] Brozick helped,” he said. “I used what I had learned in the classroom. I knew what the prescriptions would do without having to read off of the computer. They taught me what I needed to know. I am thankful for everything and this was the experience of a lifetime.”

Story by Arturo Niño, junior English major at Texas A&M University-Kingsville