Take advantage of these 5 tips in your transition to pharmacy school.
Here are 5 lessons I learned after completing 5 years of pharmacy school:
1. Get involved.
It’s never too early (or too late) to get involved. Whether you are an incoming freshman who has 6 years of pharmacy school ahead, or you just finished your last first day of classes, getting involved will be one of the greatest choices you will make on campus.
Every university offers an array of professional and non-professional organizations, so take the initiative to attend your school’s activities fair that showcases each organization’s mission. Before you know it, you may have a list of clubs that spark your interests.
If you already signed up to join an organization on campus, then congratulate yourself because you’ve taken the first step towards a brighter future. Take your membership a step further by reaching out to executive board members to see how you can contribute in event planning.
Getting involved as an active member serves as a platform for developing essential skills such as public speaking, networking, team building, time management, and many more that cannot be attained within the walls of a classroom.
To learn more about pharmacy organizations, check out Top Pharmacy Organizations for Students
2. Reach out to professors.
Transitioning from high school classrooms to large lecture halls can be very intimidating. Even if you’re not a freshman anymore, sitting in a lecture hall with 300 students may never seem easy.
If you notice you are struggling in class early on, do not hesitate to attend office hours or make appointments to speak with your professors. They are always there to help and guide you.
Building relationships with your professors can make a positive impact on your learning experience, especially when you are in your professional years.
3. Investigate all avenues of pharmacy.
I entered pharmacy school only being exposed to retail. It wasn’t until I started getting involved in pharmacy organizations and reaching out to professors that I discovered how the field is growing.
Reach out to your pharmacy practice professors to learn how they got where they are today. You’ll be surprised to witness how excited and eager professors are to share their career paths with you.
Take it a step further and ask to shadow a pharmacist at his or her practice site, and also attend career-networking events that pharmacy organizations hold for their members.
4. Stay up to date.
The pharmacy field is evolving rather quickly. Clinical guidelines are being updated, new drugs are getting approved, and pharmacy legislation is passed regularly.
Start staying up to date by reading just 1 article related to pharmacy a day. If you always seem to be in a hurry, just scroll through pharmacy-related tweets @Pharmacy_Times.
Getting involved in pharmacy organizations like the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP), American Pharmacist Association (APhA), and American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) is also beneficial because your paid membership benefits include subscriptions to various newsletters sent directly to your e-mail.
Staying up to date builds on the knowledge you learn in the classroom and ultimately allows you to stay connected with the pharmacy community.
5. Carve time for yourself.
Stress quickly creeps into your life and becomes difficult to shake off. However, it’s important to set aside time to engage in enjoyable activities outside of studying.
Start by allocating just 1 hour a day to fitness activities, hobbies, or exploring the city or town you are in. Make a list of all the things you want do before you graduate and start crossing them off as you explore them. It will be graduation day before you know it!