On the first day of Gen Chem 2 in undergrad, Dr. Roberts stood in front of my class and said plainly, “Last semester, we did a few reactions, you drew a few molecules, and you all got through it. Welcome to Gen Chem 2. I expect that by the end of spring semester, a third of you will be gone. And those of you in these front two rows? You will be the few who excel in class.”
With the end of the second year of pharmacy school come hard questions about the future. What area of practice am I interested in? What rotations do I want to pursue? What skills and leadership positions are required or desired to win me the positions amid all the other candidates applying?
The intention of this post isn’t to scare. It’s to encourage you to get out there and expose yourself to the job market. Taking an active part in your learning and career path will set you up for success.
The school of pharmacy on this campus alone has over eight professional fraternities and organizations. Throw in groups at the national level, and the field of pharmacy has enough acronyms to make the US military jealous. This means that I need to take a hard look at what each has to offer, what interests me, what doesn’t, and who is willing to take me in and “show me the ropes,” so to speak.
Lately, rather than studying for the next exam, I’ve been sitting in on professional meetings, listening to boring talk after boring talk about why we attend these meetings and people debating the penalties for attending such meetings. If this sounds asinine to you, trust me, it is. I won’t lie. It’s a daunting task and far easier to go home and watch television after a hard day of work or classes.
But that won’t get you the job you want. It won’t set you on a career path. You won’t meet people who can give you good advice and direct you to great opportunities in the job market.
Taking an afternoon out of your busy schedule to look at what career services has to offer will help you prepare for your eventual graduation and job search.
Keep an eye out for USG emails and fliers around campus, such as last week’s Linked In event, where you can learn all about interviewing and how and where to find job resources. Taking initiative, I was able to get a free headshot photo to use in my website profile. How awesome is that? Free career services that make you stand out from the crowd!
So, study hard, stay motivated, and hang in there. Spring Break is around the corner!