Student Pharmacist

Written by student pharmacists for student pharmacists, Student Pharmacist magazine provides the latest on career preparation, leadership, legislative activities and advocacy efforts, patient care projects, APhA–ASP Chapter innovations, life on rotation, tips from new practitioners, and more.

Rejection is just redirection
Jamila Negatu
/ Categories: Student Magazine

Rejection is just redirection

As Sierra Richard recommends: “Don’t bypass these little moments along the way.”

I remember being in your shoes not long ago, worrying about application deadlines, making sure my suit still fit from last fall, and practicing all the interview questions I could get my hands on. The spring of your final year of pharmacy school is game time! You are putting all the pieces together—sometimes more than once—and landing that job you have worked so hard for. So, “Kelsea,” let me give you a few of my best tips for this stressful season.

Enjoy the moment

While it is easy to focus on the big, shiny PharmD that is about to be added to your last name, graduation isn’t the only moment you should be enjoying. Interviews give you the opportunity to meet colleagues from different organizations even if you don’t land the job. Rotations are giving you the chance to see new disease states and prepare you for life after graduation. Life is still happening around you. Don’t bypass these little moments along the way. Trust me— you may miss them once it all ends.

There is only one you

Drafting letters of intent, CVs, and short essays for job, residency, or fellowship applications can be daunting—and you are right, “Kelsea,” seeking out advice is exactly what you should do. However, one component of applications people often forget is you.

What do I mean by that? When you are applying for any position after graduation, chances are there are a stack of applications filled with highly qualified individuals. I don’t say this to scare you, but to encourage you to embrace what is different about yourself.

In addition to having a pharmacy mentor or preceptor review your materials, I recommend asking a friend, significant other, or family member to read your application, as well. Those who know you well can ensure that your personality shines through and that the hiring team knows not just your qualifications, but who you are.

Rejection is a step toward success

Rejection is never pleasant in the moment, but we never know what is around the corner. This is something I know all too well. Last spring, I applied for a fellowship and found out months and one pandemic later that the position had been cut because of COVID-19. To say I was upset is an understatement, but I kept my head up, and 4 months later I started working at my dream job, no fellowship required. 

You never know where life is going to take you. If you get knocked down, get up again so you can see the next opportunity that is waiting for you.

Remember that, when it comes down to it, your first pharmacy job likely won’t be your last pharmacy job. Use whatever opportunity you find to become a better pharmacist, and enjoy the ride. 

Congratulations, “Kelsea,” and the rest of the class of 2021!

Sierra Richard, PharmD, is a women’s health and pediatric clinical pharmacist for the University of Missouri Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Columbia, MO.

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