We speak with the newly elected 2020/21 NAPSA president
1. How do you feel having been elected as the newest NAPSA president?
It is a great honour and privilege to have been elected as the 2020/21 NAPSA President, and I’d once again like to thank the NAPSA Advisory Council members for their trust in me. It is certainly a once-in-a-lifetime experience, made even more so having been elected during a global pandemic! While these circumstances will no doubt present challenges, I believe that we can develop some exciting initiatives and I am excited to work with the new board over the next 12 months.
2. What are you looking forward to achieving over the course of your term?
I think what I am most excited about is the opportunity to showcase just how talented the pharmacy student community is in this country. The COVID-19 pandemic has already displayed some amazing pharmacy students and student groups rolling their sleeves up to lend a hand, and I will always be an advocate for the enormous capabilities of our student cohort.
Furthermore, I am looking forward to working with our sponsors and industry bodies in continuing to provide excellent education and interactive opportunities for our members. The wide-scale shift to online education will mean opportunities have the potential to be more accessible than ever.
We have some great initiatives in motion already. One of our dedicated board members, Juliet, is working hard at initiating a student-run research journal, so keep your eye out for that and more from NAPSA over the next year!
3. When were you on the Victorian Pharmacy Students’ Association (VPSA) committee and what was that experience like?
I was Co-Publications and Social Media Officer for my local branch, VPSA, during 2019. This was my first taste of working in a group of pharmacy students dedicated to improving the education experience for their peers. It demonstrated to me the passion our pharmacy students have for the profession, which was the key factor in my joining NAPSA as Publications Chair last year and then also in my running for president.
Whilst our pharmacy cohorts may be small in comparison to other tertiary degrees, we do not lack in passion for our profession. I implore all students to get involved with their local branches as it is such a rewarding experience and who knows where it might take you!
4. How far are you into your studies and what have you been enjoying most about it so far?
I am currently in the middle of my fourth year at Monash University in Melbourne, so I am nearing the end, which feels bittersweet. I am a part of the first student cohort to go through the newly developed Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) / Master of Pharmacy program at Monash, so it has been an interesting and exciting time to experience the changes to pharmacy education as they happen.
The relationships that you form throughout the degree is what I enjoy most, with students and staff alike. It is most definitely a collaborative learning environment and the opportunities to learn directly from practitioners at the top of their field is very rewarding.
I also think that you’d be hard-pressed to find a more dedicated team of pharmacy educators than those at Monash. They are truly invested in getting the most out of the students so that we can become great pharmacists, and it is a privilege to learn from them.
5. Do you have any work experience in pharmacy yet and if so, in which area, and what have you learnt so far?
I have been working at a local community pharmacy since my first year of university. The experience of working there has definitely reinforced to me that pharmacists are one of the most accessible healthcare professionals. Each day can be such a mixed bag of events, but ultimately pharmacists are so well placed to provide continuous patient-centred care for their community and getting to build personal relationships with community members has been the most rewarding part of my job.
6. Where do you see yourself in pharmacy after graduation? Any plans or goals as yet?
The opportunities after a pharmacy degree just continue to grow, which is really exciting! In the near future, I hope to gain some hospital pharmacy experience as I have greatly enjoyed my hospital placements thus far. The problem with having met so many inspiring people connected to the pharmacy industry, either through university, placements or events, is choosing one particular pathway!