When pharmacist Jason Buccheri graduated from La Trobe University Bendigo in 2009, he never imagined he'd be back on campus more than a decade later teaching new cohorts of future pharmacists.
Mr Buccheri began teaching at La Trobe in 2017 and has been recognised for his prowess, receiving an Advance Higher Education Fellowship.
"I applied for the fellowship and was blown away to be accepted at this stage of my career," Mr Buccheri said.
The fellowship, awarded by UK not-for-profit organisation Advance Education, helps consolidate personal development in higher education and is recognised by numerous international institutions.
Mr Buccheri's passion for education and training blossomed when he worked as a pharmacist in clinical trials.
"I did a lot of training in that role and it was something I enjoyed," he said.
"I had half an eye on Seek looking for opportunities to become a full-time teacher."
A career in pharmacy hasn't been shelved to make way for his teaching appointment, with Mr Buccheri working in community pharmacy on the weekend.
"Pharmacy in Australia is changing so rapidly at the moment," he said.
"If you step out for too long, you get left behind."
The coronavirus pandemic has shifted teaching online for La Trobe University's pharmacy students, which presents manageable obstacles.
"I miss the corridor conversations and the chat before and after classes," Mr Buccheri said.
"Students telling you where they are applying for a particular job and offering guidance is one of the most rewarding aspects of the role."
Bendigo's Bachelor of Pharmacy continues to be a popular course, with students offered rewarding employment opportunities upon graduation.
"Hospital pharmacy intake is very competitive and our course is well presented in this year's intake," Mr Buccheri said.
"Of the two available positions at Bendigo Hospital, both were filled by Bendigo students."
Furthering his tertiary education qualifications remains an ambition for Mr Buccheri.
In addition to the fellowship, he has recently attained a Graduate Certificate in Higher Education.
"The next step for me is to try and see if I can get a further qualification in teaching and continue to enrich the experience of pharmacy students at La Trobe," Mr Buccheri said.
Fellow academics from the Department of Pharmacy and Biomedical Science, Jennifer Selkirk-Bell and Terri Meehan-Andrews also received an Advance Higher Education Fellowship.