Since starting pharmacy school, I have been incredibly lucky to have built strong relationships with a few mentors. These were older students who invested time into helping me make the most of my pharmacy school experience.
They answered my questions about how to succeed in challenging courses. They encouraged me to participate in outreach events and apply for leadership positions. They listened to me and provided support when I was overwhelmed. They freely gave me advice on everything from how to get involved with research to how to be a competitive pharmacy residency candidate. I’m so grateful for these mentors who’ve selflessly guided me back when I was just a wide-eyed first year.
While I can definitely appreciate being a mentee, I also love serving as a mentor myself. And I’ve been able to do so in various ways in pharmacy school. One of which is through my participation in the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy’s APhA-ASP Maryland Pre-Pharmacy Mentorship (AMPM) program. This a great program that matches current pharmacy students from my school with pre-pharmacy undergraduates from different schools in Maryland.
I remember how daunting pharmacy school seemed back when I was an undergraduate. How do I obtain a technician license to get pharmacy experience early on? How should I approach studying for the PCAT (the standardized exam used to evaluate candidates for entry into pharmacy school)? How should I prepare for interviews? I had a gazillion questions just like these, many of which I had to figure out the answers to by myself. With the AMPM program, I have the opportunity to impart my knowledge and personal experiences to my mentee. I love taking the time to read through her emails and providing her with thoughtful responses.
AMPM also organizes events such as mixers for mentors and mentees to meet in-person, as well as events to help mentees prepare for applying to pharmacy school such as CV/resume workshops and mock interviews. AMPM’s annual Friendsgiving at the University of Maryland, College Park (my alma mater!) is coming up at the end of the month. Mentors and mentees each bring their own dish, and we all share a potluck Friendsgiving dinner. I’m hoping to meet my mentee for the first time at this event!
With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I encourage you to reach out and show gratitude to the mentors who’ve made a really positive impact on your life. Maybe even seek out those you know who are in need of a bit of guidance and offer them the gift of mentorship. When accepted and appreciated, let me tell you… it’s a wonderful feeling.