Two years ago, I set a New Year’s resolution to get more involved in the profession of pharmacy. I was already involved in our local SSHP chapter, but was unaware of what other opportunities were available. During 2011, I took the bold step to applying for the ASHP Summer Internship, which felt like a hopeless endeavor at the time. That internship opened my eyes to the entire profession of pharmacy, and the plethora of opportunities available for students to get involved at a national level.
The ASHP Pharmacy Student Forum has five advisory groups, all of which develop resources and provide guidance to ASHP regarding the unique needs of students. This year I am involved with the Community and eCommunications advisory group. This group strives to actively engage and connect student members. The advisory groups are a great way to get to know students all over the country and make an impact at a national level. The other student advisory groups include Leadership Development, Policy and Legislative Advocacy, Student Society Development, and Career Development and Education. One great feature of ASHP is that students can be on any advisory groups for the Sections as well, a wonderful way to learn more about areas you are interested in and to network.
Students are also actively involved in policy development on the five ASHP councils and the Commission on Affiliate Relations. A student representative works with the councils and commissions throughout the year in a developmental and advisory capacity, recommending new programs and policies to the Board of Directors. In addition, these students are able to attend Policy Week at ASHP Headquarters in Bethesda, MD in September. Check out Kristine Widboom blog for more information about Policy Week. As a New Practitioner, this is another great way to get involved and make an impact on the profession.
Over the past six months, I have had the honor of being a member of the Pharmacy Student Forum Executive Committee. The ASHP Pharmacy Student Forum Executive Committee is comprised of five students appointed by the ASHP President. This has been an amazing opportunity to develop friendships with the other Executive Committee members, and be the voice for students across the country. The Executive Committee serves to advise the Board of Directors and ASHP Staff on the direction of the Pharmacy Student Forum. The group also serves as liaisons for each of the advisory groups and for colleges of pharmacy across the United States.
Finally, experiencing ASHP and professional associations first hand is a great way to begin your journey of involvement. ASHP offers an experiential rotation for students in their final year to gain experience in public affairs, publication, association affairs, and much more. For students not in their final year, the ASHP summer internship is an excellent opportunity to grow, network, and learn about pharmacy at a global level. I learned so much about myself and developed so many new skills in those ten weeks. The ASHP summer intern also travels to the Summer Meeting to have the unique opportunity of being a staff member at a national conference.
As you think about your New Year’s resolutions for 2013, I challenge you to add increasing your professional involvement on that list. With so many opportunities to get involved as a student, this is one resolution that is easier than getting to the gym. #PharmacyStudents #Volunteering #Professionalism