Summer, summer, summertime! You have successfully completed the school year and naturally your first instinct will be to toss your books aside and put the grueling world of pharmacy in the back of your mind. As careers in pharmacy continue to prove increasingly more competitive, it is highly encouraged to dedicate some time during the break to invest in your future within the profession. Here are six tips to aid you in making the remaining summer time play out to your advantage.
Personal/Professional Development. Though school has indeed come to a close for most individuals, learning should be an ongoing process. The pharmacy profession is ever-changing and progressing so you must keep up or you will definitely get left behind. A couple of easy ways that you can enjoy your summer and stay up-to-date with the profession include:
- Review notes from previous semesters as a refresher course for the fall
- Register to receive updates from current newsletters such as Pharmacist Letter, APhA, Pharmacy Times, etc.
- Follow pharmacy current events in media, politics, and pharmacy practice
- Complete continuing education credits through sites such as PowerPak CE, FreeCE.com, etc.
- Review and update your Curriculum Vitae
Nurture Your Network. It has been said that your network is your net worth and this certainly holds true within the pharmacy profession. Spend time during the summer creating and/or updating your LinkedIn account, attending local and national conferences, and connecting with mentors to leverage their expertise to your advantage.
Community Involvement. Find ways to get, or continue to be, active in the community and the profession. Try volunteering with a local organization, shadowing someone currently working in your specific area of interest within the field, or even continue to work with school organizations throughout the summer. Whatever avenue you choose, make sure you keep yourself immersed in the community.
Research. If you are still trying to determine where your niche is within the profession, utilize this time to research your potential career options and reach out to other professionals in your specific area of interest. Organizations such as PILs are a great resource to assist in connecting you with professionals from an array of pharmacy backgrounds (see here).
Work Experience. Obtain work experience in the field to assist in keeping you current with pharmacy practice trends as well as exposing you to medications, technology, and other advancements currently in play within the profession.
Enjoy Yourself. Do not burn yourself out by overdoing it this summer. Take some quality time to actually relax and enjoy your time away from the daily stresses of pharmacy school.
When summer arrives, it is commonplace to want to cast all your worries aside and turn your focus to rest, relaxation, and loads of summer fun in the sun. While all these things are definitely recommended, pair them with some professional progress as well in order to distinguish yourself from the other highly qualified candidates graduating alongside you. You are your greatest advocate and this is the time to set yourself apart from the crowd.
Have a great summer!
By: April Henson, PharmD. Dr. Henson is feature author for PILs