Alumni Spotlight: Ricky Ma

Ricky Ma, PharmD ’95  (Photo by David Sprague)

Meet USC School of Pharmacy alumnus Ricky Ma, PharmD ’95, owner of Community Medical Pharmacy in Covina.

Here, he talks about the meaning of the phrase “Trojan Family” and describes why he pays it forward to current USC School of Pharmacy students by supporting scholarships.

Please tell us a bit about your current work and career highlights, since graduating in 1995.

I am currently running my own pharmacy in Covina. When I lived in West Covina, I also served as a Human Resources Commissioner for the city.

Looking back, how did the resources and faculty members at USC help prepare you for your professional life today as owner of Community Medical Pharmacy in Covina?

USC taught me so much more than just pharmacy; it gave me new networks to explore and learn from.

How would you describe the environment at the USC School of Pharmacy, when you were a student? Any specific highlights of your experience in the program that stand out?

Everyone had passion for what they were studying, which made me more motivated to do better and be just as passionate as they were. The university’s spirit in the football and basketball games gave me a sense of family and belonging.

What factors originally drew you to USC School of Pharmacy?

USC School of Pharmacy was academically challenging and had a vibrant social life; to me, other pharmacy schools in California and in the United States paled in comparison. The size and the variety of the school was perfect for me.

What advice do you have for current students who may be interested in following a similar path to yours?

Never give up. Keep setting goals that push you to your limit. Work hard, and fight on.

Is there anything you would like to share about your decision to support current USC School of Pharmacy students through scholarships?  Why have you decided to give back to the School and its students in this way?

I have decided to give back to the School and its students because I would not be the person I am today if I had not attended USC School of Pharmacy. I want to give students a chance to pursue their own dreams and aspirations. I want to help the student community and make the “Trojan family” even bigger and stronger.

Is there anything else about your experience at USC that you’d like to share? What does the phrase “Trojan family” mean to you?

As a little background information, I obtained my AA degree from Los Angeles City College as a foreign student from Hong Kong before applying to USC. The first time I applied, I was wait-listed, but the second time, I got in. USC was the only pharmacy school I applied to because I had my sights set on the school since day one. The phrase “Trojan family” means a lot to me: It’s a community where everyone is focused on helping and caring for each other, just like a big family.