Mentorship: A tale of two halves
A new program spurred a mentor–mentee relationship between Zoona Ahmad (left) and Madi Eberle, which has also helped them both grow as leaders.
For me, Madi, mentorship has sparked special connections and fostered ambition, eagerness for continuous learning, and courage to face challenges head-on. My personal experiences shed light on the importance of mentorship in both personal and professional settings and inspired me to develop a mentorship program within the Purdue University APhA–ASP Chapter.
Chapter one: Madi’s perspective
As chapter president-elect, I wanted to create a forum for student pharmacists to network with upperclassmen, underclassmen, and faculty. This opportunity helped members develop meaningful friendships with students in other classes and established a fun, low-stakes environment for them to grow their leadership skills, professional network, and professional development.
Within APhA–ASP, first-year students would learn more about the various activities or projects with which they could get involved and possible pharmacy career options. My ultimate goal was for mentors to contribute to the success of APhA–ASP members post-graduation by providing students with opportunities to network, job shadow, or pursue a residency through mentorship.
Chapter two: Zoona’s perspective
I participated in the mentorship program as a first-year student. It was a rewarding experience with my “phamily,” but I also felt a lack of guidance on how to develop and nurture our newfound relationships. In my second year, when I became chapter president-elect, Madi and I built upon the current program and in turn cultivated our own mentor–mentee relationship. Upon much discussion and reflection about possible improvements to the mentorship program, we realized the best way to provide a meaningful experience for members was to model the same structure that existed in our relationship. Our relationship was built upon mutual respect, shared decision-making, and a passion for working together, which helped strengthen the foundation of our relationship—attributes we hope each mentorship group can emulate.
Together, as president and president-elect, we grouped the 69 total students participating in the program through careful selection and mutual interest. Despite the current circumstances with COVID-19, we have enhanced our expanding mentorship program by holding discussions about leadership topics, well-being, and health equity. Our goal is to engage everyone in a rewarding, enriching relationship that primes them for success as a student pharmacist, future health care professional, and member of society.
This experience has provided our chapter with a new way to grow, and also helped us both grow as leaders.
Madilyn Eberle is a third-year PharmD candidate and Zoona Ahmad is a second-year PharmD candidate at the Purdue University College of Pharmacy.