APhA Student Leadership Award recipient: Laurie Plewinski
Interview with: Laurie Plewinski, University at Buffalo
1. As you reflect on your student pharmacist experience thus far, what are some of your favorite memories?
My favorite memories as a student pharmacist have always included seeing a fellow student pharmacist member achieve a goal. Whether it be witnessing an event they planned play out, or having their own policy discussed at the MRM Policy Proposal Forum. Seeing their eyes light up is by far one of the best things I have ever experienced!
Another one of the experiences that I absolutely love is attending the APhA–ASP Summer Leadership Institute in Washington, DC. Bringing hundreds of student pharmacist leaders from across the nation together in one room is the recipe for inspiration. Walking away from a weekend of sharing and taking away new ideas for a successful chapter is so revitalizing. This past year, a couple members from my chapter and I talked the entire way from Washington, DC, to Buffalo, NY, about these exciting new ideas and programs we were going to implement at our chapter. I know that this excitement wasn’t only ignited in my chapter members, and that those conversations were occurring in all APhA–ASP chapters. How cool is that?
2. Pharmacy school is demanding, especially when you add on additional activities. How do you manage all of your responsibilities?
I prioritize every day. I write a list of what needs to be done and I number them in ranking of priority. I always keep a detailed calendar and make sure to update it and review it weekly, so that I know what responsibilities and due dates I have coming up. Additionally, I get involved in what I am passionate in! This way, the responsibilities I have feel more like a hobby than anything else.
3. What are some of your favorite leadership tools and/or resources?
There is a book that made a huge impact on my life and leadership skills introduced to me by my high school teacher, Mr. Dixon. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey has been a book that I have reread multiple times. It provides you with the tips and tricks needed to stay motivated, prioritize, and get things done.
4. What does being a leader mean, and what does being selected for this award mean, to you?
A person doesn’t simply declare themselves a leader for it to become an absolute, and being in a leadership position doesn’t necessarily produce a leader. Leading should not be selfishly motivated, and to me, leadership is more about seeing those under my lead succeed than it is seeing myself succeed. The extra time and sweat put into leading isn’t always seen or recognized, but the reward comes when the whole team thrives.
Being selected for this award is extremely humbling, and it means the absolute world to me to be selected alongside some of the most outstanding leaders that I know! I hope that by receiving this award I inspire other student pharmacists to reach for their dreams and become the best leader they can be.
5. What’s next for you?
I cannot believe that I am saying this, but what’s next for me is representing the 34,000 student pharmacists of APhA–ASP as one of your 2020–21 National Members-at-large! What does that mean to me? For this next year, I have been granted the opportunity to be the voice of and inspire as many student pharmacists nationwide as possible. I cannot wait to watch each of your chapters succeed, to see you succeed, and for our Academy to show the world what student pharmacists are capable of.