My name is Kelsie Ellis, and I am a rising P3 at The University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy. I recently attended my first ASHP conference, the 2019 Summer Meetings in Boston, Massachusetts.
Prior to Summer Meetings, I experienced a whirlwind of emotions. I finished my Institutional IPPE rotation the day before flying to Boston and I knew when I returned I would have a three day cross-country drive from Texas to Maryland in order to start a highly anticipated internship with ASHP. On top of that, I was the only student from my university attending the conference, which for me meant either lurking in the back of every session or making new friends.
Fortunately, my anxiety quickly subsided. The student programming allowed me to connect with fellow pharmacy students from across the country with ease. Our conversations ranged from the current political climate to ideas on how to incorporate well-being and resiliency into student societies.
The Summer Meetings allowed me to not only meet fellow students, but also the incoming and outgoing ASHP Presidents, members of the Pharmacy Student Forum (PSF) and New Practitioner Forum (NPF) Executive Committees, various residency program directors, and connect with the Director of Pharmacy from my place of work. The intimacy of Summer Meetings provided me an opportunity to begin building relationships with these pharmacy leaders. For instance, after the final House of Delegates session, the NPF Executive Committee members and I went to Saks for a fun complementary makeup session. Through this experience I realized networking can be as simple as conversing with friends and colleagues with a little mentorship sprinkled in.
In addition to student programming and CE sessions, I also attended the Whitney Dinner. It was inspiring to witness the dedication and commitment the Harvey A.K. Whitney Lecture Award recipient, Bruce Scott, and other practitioners have for the profession.
I arrived at Summer Meetings apprehensive but I left feeling energized and thankful for the relationships and connections I was able to develop. So the next time you are presented with an opportunity, take it! You never know the benefits it may bring.
If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.Be on the lookout for my next blog post covering my experience at Capitol Hill.