Written By: Brian Ung, Fourth-Year Student Pharmacist
As a student pharmacist, the internship, extracurricular, and advanced experiential rotation experiences in which I have been fortunate to participate have fueled my desire to pursue a postgraduate fellowship in the pharmaceutical industry. Although not a traditional career path for many pharmacists, I believe that changes in health care reform and in the pharmaceutical industry will open up a wide variety of career opportunities for pharmacists to utilize their clinical training to improve the quality of care provided to patients at a population level.
Part of the application process for many pharmaceutical industry fellowships involves interviewing at the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) Midyear Clinical Meeting through the Personnel Placement Service (PPS) recruitment event. This event spans almost the full length of the conference and features multiple rounds of interviews for each position, in addition to company and fellowship program receptions.
Now, throughout pharmacy school — and really, all aspects of life — family, friends, classmates, and mentors have been there to help me, and I truly could not have gotten to where I am today without the support of those around me. I’ve also had the benefit of talking to a number of older students, residents, fellows, and faculty who shared their journeys with me. These conversations were instrumental in shaping my career goals and preparing me for future challenges. As a result, I decided to share my own experience going through the PPS recruitment event in a blog, which I titled “Interviews, Networking and Caffeine: The Pharmacy Hunger Games.”
My goal with this blog is to give back and provide some insight, inspiration, and motivation for other student pharmacists. I wanted to open the dialogue between students, faculty, and working professionals to strengthen existing relationships and help form new ones. My hope is that readers will see the internal struggles and conflicts that I faced during the process, relate those situations to their own experiences, and feel motivated to share their inner thoughts with others that they trust. I also hope that my blog can serve as a humorous, stabilizing, and encouraging resource for pharmacy students who are anxiously awaiting and stressed about what comes after pharmacy school.
Please enjoy, and thank you for reading!