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Work, what is it good for?

27 June 2018
Being proactive about your career as an undergraduate
Meet the pharmacy students who are beefing out their resumes and learning essential skills now rather than after graduation.

Working in the industry as an undergraduate has a number of career benefits. Find out how your classmates are making the most out of working while studying.

Carolyn Woods

MPharm | Hospital and community pharmacy

Initially, Carolyn was working in a pharmacy part-time while she finished her Arts degree, but after two short months she had realised that pharmacy was her passion and enrolled in a Master of Pharmacy at Sydney.

Carolyn now works on the surgical ward alongside the ward pharmacist, preparing discharge summaries and prioritising patients who need to be seen by the pharmacist on discharge. “Working in the industry that I am studying has helped with my studies,” says Carolyn. “Being able to apply what I've learn in class in practice has been very valuable and has helped prepare me for the future.”

Elein Chahoud

MPharm | Community pharmacy

Elein was originally overwhelmed with the large number of products on the market and found it difficult to remember product names and essential counselling points. By utilising her academic knowledge, asking for help and learning from the pharmacist’s experience, Elein was able to overcome her lack of confidence in patient communication.

Elein says her work experience has given her crucial hands-on pharmacy experience and complements her studies. She now enjoys communicating with patients and looking after their needs to help optimise their health.

Jaiden Fullerton-Harvey

BPharm | Hospital pharmacy

Jaiden originally worked as a wardsman in theatres and after six months he approached the head of pharmacy technicians and managed to score himself a job.

Jaiden was thrown in the deep end and was required to create a protocol for transporting and storing vaccines in the hospital. He took on the challenge with a positive attitude, researched other policies and liaised with the nurse unit manager and the public health team to formulate the protocol. He ended up conducting all staff training and the project was an overall success.

Jennifer Ly

MPharm | Research

Jennifer is a research assistant at the NSW Poisons Information Centre where she re-codes and analyses data for several poisoning projects.

While completing a clinical placement at the centre, Jennifer had noticed a recurring clinical problem and was offered a job at the end of her placement to continue the research.

The research of the centre is clinical translatable and has the capacity to guide change in legislation and quality use of medicines which Jennifer finds rewarding. She has also had the opportunity to write an abstract for a project which was presented at two conferences.

Peroza Hussaini

BPharm | Community pharmacy

At first Peroza found it difficult to communicate her clinical knowledge to patients effectively – often using too much medical jargon. With the support of pharmacists and other staff, Peroza soon learnt how to deliver the same information in a simple way.

Peroza says this job has helped her both financially and academically, learning how to apply and consolidate her clinical knowledge within a professional setting has been beneficial. It also directly helped her with the objective structural clinical examinations conducted in third year.  

Raz Badiyan

BPharm | Community pharmacy

Raz works in two community pharmacies and as the only pharmacy student in both settings, she is relied upon by her pharmacist. Raz says the best way to get a job is to simply “go in and introduce yourself”.

The biggest challenge that Raz has overcome has been dealing with errors and learning from them in a conducive way – understanding the process of the error has been the most important.

A two-week placement in a methadone clinic has been the most rewarding experience for Raz as she was able to sit in on patient appointments with their doctors. “Their stories amazed me, and made me want to help reduce the stigma of addition”.

Raz is aware that she is learning in both the classroom and the pharmacy and strongly believes that pharmacy students are lucky in that way.

10 job-seeking tips from your classmates

  1. Have a positive attitude
  2. Placements can lead to paid jobs, so impress!
  3. Pharmacy students are sought after applicants in community pharmacies
  4. Be ready, jobs can come fast
  5. Hand in your resume in person
  6. The bottom is always a good place to start
  7. Don't use too much pharmacy jargon
  8. Don't dress like a student
  9. Spell check your resume
  10. Be yourself!


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