APhA Student Leadership Award recipient: Matthew Broadwater
Interview with: Matthew Broadwater, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
1. As you reflect on your student pharmacist experience thus far, what are some of your favorite memories?
My favorite memories in pharmacy school revolve around people that I have interacted with. This includes the lifelong friendships I formed, mentors who have given me endless time and advice, inspiring classmates and APhA members I have met, and rewarding interactions with patients. Establishing relationships with people are what have defined my awesome experiences as a student pharmacist.
2. Pharmacy school is demanding, especially when you add on additional activities. How do you manage all of your responsibilities?
I am a huge advocate for Microsoft Outlook Calendar! I use this calendar for all of my obligations including, most importantly, time for myself. Workout? Goes into my calendar. Dinner or a movie with friends? Yup, that too is going into the calendar. It is a little over the top placing all these smaller things into my calendar, but by putting my personal obligations into my calendar, it ensures I don’t budge on taking time out of my day to do things I want. Since I have implemented this system, it has greatly improved by mental health and my capacity to take on more professional obligations by being well balanced.
3. What are some of your favorite leadership tools and/or resources?
I am a lover of leadership books. There are several great books that have helped me along my leadership journey: The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni and Good to Great by James Collins. However, my all-time favorite author is Simon Sinek. He has several fantastic leadership books and I highly recommend them to everyone.
4. What does being a leader mean, and what does being selected for this award mean, to you?
Leadership to me means influence, understanding people, and walking the walk. Leadership is influence , meaning leaders should cultivate others around them to grow personally and professionally to maximize their potential. Leadership is understanding people – there are bigger than life things that come up. Deadlines might be missed, people might be late, but it is important to realize that circumstances aren’t cut and dry. Learning to listen, work with, and compromise with others when issues arise can truly build a culture of trust that promotes a positive work environment. Lastly, I think leadership is walking the walk. As a leader, you shouldn’t tell someone to do something that you yourself wouldn’t do. I like the hiking leadership analogy of being “in the rear with the gear.” You are on the same journey as your colleagues doing the very things they are doing, which creates a mutual understanding and respect for each other.
Being selected for this award means the absolute world to me. I have personally devoted a lot of time and energy into bettering myself and the organizations I have served through various leadership positions, so it is always nice to be recognized at any level.
5. What’s next for you?
I am thrilled to be serving as a 2020–21 APhA–ASP National Member-at-large and completing my final-year rotations. I plan to pursue a residency in Health-System Pharmacy Administration and Leadership to further build my professional leadership foundation after pharmacy school. I hope to use this additional training to tackle issues in health care on a larger scale, such as removing barriers to pharmacists operating at the top of their licenses in a variety of settings.