By Isa Bautista (Student Engagement Lead, Locumate & Intern Pharmacist)
As a newly graduated pharmacy student starting my internship in early January, I have found myself reflecting on the last 4 years I have spent at university. I am grateful that my journey has been filled with excitement, challenges, and a continuously growing passion for the field of pharmacy. It has been such a rewarding experience, from the early days in the classroom to the invaluable hands-on training in placements. Besides staying on top of my studies, I have also been involved in numerous extra-curricular activities which have been instrumental in developing my communication skills, leadership roles, and making new connections. If you’re looking for ideas on how else to get involved in the pharmacy community as a student, I have listed all the pharmacy-related activities I have been involved in throughout my time as a student!
Having a part-time job as a student pharmacist, especially in a community pharmacy, is perfect to supplement your studies and consolidate the content you learn in class. Additionally, it is the best way to practice your counselling skills which you will use for the rest of your career. An easy way to keep up to date with job ads is by signing up to Locumate/Jobs in Pharmacy!
I had the opportunity to be a pharmacy technician in a private oncology hospital in my final year of study. This role helped me to understand that being a reliable pharmacist is larger than knowing all of your clinical knowledge, but also having a good grasp of how the PBS works, how to navigate medication shortages, and the importance of interdisciplinary care.
Committee member in student association
Getting involved in your university’s pharmacy student association is a fantastic opportunity to meet like-minded individuals, but also to strengthen your connections with the greater pharmacy industry through helping organise education events, attend sponsor meetings, and advocate for student engagement with the school.
Pharmacy student ambassador
Representing your degree to prospective students alongside other allied health students is a fun way to cultivate interest in the profession. Going to school expos, talking to interested students at Open Days, and making lifelong friendships with the other student ambassadors are experiences I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to do during my time at university.
Some universities offer casual positions to high-achieving students as tutors for students in younger years. This is a great way to recall content from previous years to keep it fresh in your mind. It is also fulfilling to know that you are helping others in your field to understand challenging information.
In summary, extracurricular activities in a pharmacy program are not just about balancing your academic pursuits with other interests; they are a means of enriching your education, personal growth, and skill development, ultimately making you a more well-rounded and competitive pharmacy professional after graduation.