Everyone tells you that networking is important.
Everyone tells you that you should network early and often.
Networking will hopefully lead you to a have a network of contacts; people who you may ask questions, ask advice, or ask for help.
Here’s the good news: you already HAVE a starter network. Think about your professors, dean, supervisors at work, and fellow students. Think about the pharmacists and techs who you work with. Think about the alumni you have from undergrad. These people are your base. They are your foundation. Now that you’re in pharmacy school, you network is about to grow even more.
You may be thinking, ‘But who should I be networking with?’
Start right where you are:
Take advantage of being a pharmacy student. People LOVE to talk to students. Don’t be nervous about reaching out via email to someone who you’d like to meet, because people WANT to help the younger generation of pharmacists. That’s you! Take advantage of this!
If you attend an alumni event at your school or if someone came in for a guest lecture, save their contact info because you can email them.
Or is there someone in this pharmacy world who you are curious about? Even if they never come to campus, you can email them. Something like this:
Dear Dr. [insert last name]
Thank you for coming on campus for the [event]. Or: I found your profile online when searching for [insert].
I am a [insert] year pharmacy student at [insert] and I’d love to learn more about your current career in pharmacy. I’m curious about your career path and I’m hoping we can meet for coffee or have a phone call to chat further. I’m still undecided about my [rotation choices, residency decision, career path, insert here] and I’m hoping that talking to more pharmacists may help me! There are so many choices in pharmacy and I’d love some advice from someone in your niche.
Thank you for considering,
Talk to your academic advisor. They are here to support you, even if you don’t know them well. Tell them about your interests, ask them questions, and explain what areas of pharmacy school are challenging and what areas are awesome. Practice asking them questions about their career path. Ask them if they know of someone who works in an area of pharmacy that you’re curious about.
Attend as many events as your schedule allows. Everyone is busy. And stressed. And busy. Schoolwork comes first. If you’re able, make time to attend college events for students: alumni events, student organization presentations with guest speakers, and any college-related presentations. Introduce yourself to at least one new person at these events. Introduce yourself to the guest speaker and ask for a business card. Shake hands with your Dean. Approach a professor you know and ask them if they can introduce you to someone.
There are MANY more ways to network [coming soon!] but start with these.
What are some of YOUR biggest questions about networking? Comment here!
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