A leap out of my comfort zone
As Michelle Chin (second row, far right) discovered, joining APhA–ASP leads to meaningful opportunities.
My professional growth as a student pharmacist far exceeded my initial expectations, and I owe it to the guidance of a fellow student. In 2015, I met a graduating PharmD candidate who gave me advice on how to thrive in pharmacy school and the importance of being active on campus. Now in my second professional year, I must admit that my accomplishments so far are due to my early involvement in student organizations like APhA–ASP.
It is a widely held fallacy that getting involved with student organizations is far too time-consuming and takes away valuable time from studying. However, balancing the commitment to any organization while maintaining a good academic standing is doable. Student pharmacists often have an onerous course load and a tight program schedule. The didactic part of college typically intensifies as time progresses, so getting involved early on is critical in terms of timing because it is easier when the course load is lighter. There is an organization out there for every student, although it may take some exploring to find a match.
APhA–ASP has helped me grow
Like many pre-professional students, I was undecided about my pharmacy career path, but I wanted to challenge myself in school. As one of the first students in my pharmacy class to hold an executive board position in a campus organization, I have learned more about myself as a student and future professional. I found myself in APhA–ASP because I felt that the Academy offered me numerous opportunities for self-development.
APhA–ASP provided educational and community-based experiences that opened my eyes to the richness of the profession. My early involvement in APhA–ASP landed me an executive board position. As an APhA–ASP leader, I gained invaluable skills that will prepare me for my career as a health professional. APhA–ASP has expanded my connections, allowed me to advocate for my classmates and profession, and played a crucial role in my continuing growth as a student.
Stepping out of my comfort zone by joining APhA–ASP and other student organizations has led to many meaningful opportunities that I find more valuable every year. While the early years are the prime time to join, it is never too late to find yourself an organization. If you have not already, I challenge you, like I did to myself, to broaden your horizons, pursue your aspirations, and make the most of what the organizations have to offer.
Michelle Chin is a second year PharmD candidate at the St. John’s University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.