This past week at the College of Pharmacy we had our annual Pharmacy Career Fair hosted by our Career Services office and American Pharmacists Association (APhA) chapter. I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to share with you my experiences with working while in pharmacy school. Before I share too much though and as this is my first blog post I would like to briefly introduce myself.
My name is Killian Rodgers and I am a current P2 student here at Ohio State. Originally from the Washington DC area, I did my undergrad at the University of Michigan before moving on down to Columbus. Besides being an Ambassador Coordinator, I am the President of our chapter of Phi Delta Chi, a professional pharmacy fraternity. Outside of school I am a big foodie and love exploring the great food and craft beer scene here in Columbus!
One last thing before I discuss working in pharmacy school – I can’t stress enough that everyones experiences will be different. I have friends that don’t work at all, have friends who work nearly full time, and everywhere in between. There are so many different ways to handle jobs while in school and there is no “right” way to do it.
When I started pharmacy school last fall, I had the mentality that I wanted to focus on my academic success for the first year and not work at all. So for the first month of school I ignored the emails and facebook posts with internship opportunities. However once I settled in and school got underway I realized the way the curriculum is set up is very conducive to working. I had Wednesdays completely off, half days on Friday, and could do all my school work during the week so I didn’t really need to worry about the weekends. So when the career fair happened last year I talked to a few employers and ended up having a great conversation with the recruiter for Meijer, a regional big-box store with a few locations around Columbus.
After a few interviews I was hired and started working with Meijer in October. I worked with them all through the rest of my first semester and through winter break. Besides having some extra money to help with expenses, working during the semester was great because it provided me with context for what we were learning in class. When we learned about counseling techniques, I was able to observe then practice them in real life with real patients. When we were certified as immunization providers I was able to turn around and start giving shingles vaccines to patients the very next week. Working gave me a great sense that what I was learning was applicable and useful.
I worked with Meijer throughout the spring semester and into the summer as well but was beginning to realize that community pharmacy wasn’t my calling. So towards the end of the spring semester I began working with the OSU Wexner Medical Center in the Pharmacy Informatics department. This job is a very unique position that would take a whole different blog post to explain but I bring it up to share that so many people do have different jobs throughout school. One of the great things about internships is that they are easy to move between so you can experience new things as your interest change!
Currently, I work my Informatics job during school and during breaks and absolutely love it.
I think the key takeaway from my experiences working in pharmacy school is that you can find all sorts of opportunities and shouldn’t feel tied down to a single one. School is the best time to explore different types of pharmacy! I’ve found my niche but it was definitely a journey.