Love Island’s Anna Vakili On Returning To Her Pharmacy Job

The reality star tells Grazia that she felt guilty knowing she could help the NHS

Instagram / Anna Vakili

by Bonnie McLaren |
Updated on

As the coronavirus crisis escalates, people have been returning to former roles in healthcare to try and do their bit to help out - meaning many who have retired, or switched jobs, have come back to the frontline.

One of those people is Anna Vakili from Love Island, who was working as a pharmacist before she strutted into the villa last year. ‘First day back working as a pharmacist since leaving Love Island,’ she wrote on Instagram to her 1.2million followers last week, alongside a photo of her behind the counter. ‘Wasn’t really planning on registering yet but with everything that’s going on it felt wrong not to.’

‘I was sitting at home, watching the news and I felt guilty knowing that I could help out in the NHS while I'm just sitting at home, influencing,’ Anna explains, talking to Grazia over the phone on one of her days off. ‘I just wasn’t planning on going back so soon. The thing is, I studied for so long [five years] to get my master’s in pharmacy. I'm not gonna just let it go because of the TV show.’

When she announced the move, Anna had thousands of well-wishes, but there were some snide comments from people saying she was returning as she was in need of the money. ‘I really wanted to bite,’ she says. ‘But I didn’t want to seem stuck up. But the truth is, I didn’t have to go back. I could just live off influencing. It’s horrible to say, but it does make more money than pharmacy.’

Currently, Anna is picking up part-time shifts in the pharmacy where she worked before Love Island - however, she hopes she can soon help out at other pharmacies too. ‘I'm trying to go back into it a bit slowly,’ she explains. ‘Because obviously, I've had a year out so my knowledge isn't fresh. I was quite scared to go back. I don't really want to go into a pharmacy where I don't know anyone yet.’

She adds, ‘I've heard so many things about how loads of pharmacists have dropped out because they live with people that are at risk - pharmacies are struggling so badly.’

Despite everything that’s happening, Anna{ =nofollow}says the people she works with are in good spirits. ‘It feels amazing to be back,’ she says, before asking: ‘You know why? Because I never thought I would miss it. It's such a strange thing, but it's the structure and it's [that] I feel like I'm doing something really positive, whereas I feel the influencer world - I don’t know how to explain it - can be a bit shallow.’ She adds: ‘With pharmacy, I feel more comfort when I come back [home]. And when I come off Instagram, I don't always feel good.’ With over a million followers, Anna is going to continue influencing, but she thinks she 'can enjoy it now, as there’s less pressure.’

‘There's so many educated people that go on Love Island, people just don’t seem to take me seriously,’ she says, adding that people didn’t believe she was a pharmacist before she went on the show. ‘I don’t look like a typical pharmacist, I don't talk like one and I don’t dress like one,’ she says. But now, people recognise her when she’s working. She laughs: ‘I’ve had a few people say “You look like Anna from Love Island” and I’m like “I am Anna from Love Island”.

READ MORE: Love Island's Anna Vakili Returns To Her Job As A Pharmacist

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