Wrapping Up My Time at RAPS Convergence

Written By: Susan Luong, third-year student pharmacist

As a third-year student pharmacist also pursuing a dual degree in the MS in Regulatory Science program, I had the opportunity this month to attend Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society (RAPS) Convergence in Phoenix, Ariz., through its new Student Ambassador Program.

I heard about this new program through School of Pharmacy faculty members James Polli, PhD, and Cherokee Layson-Wolf, PharmD, BCACP, FAPhA, who sent out an informational email regarding the conference and the new opportunity offered by it. Dr. Polli, director of the MS in Regulatory Science program, also attended RAPS and helped the conference start the Student Ambassador Program to promote student attendance. I received complimentary conference registration in exchange for assisting with logistics and tasks such as greeting attendees and ensuring meeting rooms were functioning properly.

This was the first conference I have attended as a School of Pharmacy student. I was able to network with many regulatory professionals who specialize in medical devices, biopharmaceuticals, and biologics. There were several presentations on the different aspects of regulation, along with an exhibit hall where I explored regulatory companies who specialize in the processes of the life-cycle management of drugs.

There was also a School of Pharmacy alumnus, Mathilda Fienkeng, PharmD ’08, MS ’18, who spoke and moderated a session from the Food and Drug Administration’s perspective on enhancing diversity in clinical trial populations.

Many professionals who attended the conference do not have a PharmD education but are already in the regulatory field and provided insight and advice on my future PharmD/MS career. I wanted to pursue this dual degree because it’s a unique opportunity offered by the School and is one of the reasons I applied and chose to enroll here.

I am currently interested in working in regulatory affairs but am still exploring other industry opportunities such as medical affairs and market access. For any student who may be interested in a career within the regulatory field, or even if they may want to learn more about the opportunities available, I would highly recommend attending this conference. This experience has definitely solidified my career interests in the regulatory field of pharmacy, as there are many career opportunities available.

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