Preparing for your future career begins long before entering your pharmaceutical program, so whether you’re in high school considering pharmaceuticals as a career option, preparing for your graduate program, or looking to go back to school, consider these tips before you enter your final degree program.
Stay Academically Focused
Your academic preparedness is one of the most important factors in getting into the programs you need to become a pharmacist. This doesn’t only mean that you need to keep your GPA up, but you should also consider the strength of your curriculum, your admission test scores, and your class rank. Since there are several steps and application processes you need to go through before graduating, it’s important that you focus on your academic success, which will help you prepare for your professional career. Study hard, make sacrifices, and challenge yourself from high school through graduate school.
Volunteer or Seek Out a Job in the Healthcare Field
One DoSomething survey found that college admissions officers put community service as the fourth most important factor in admissions after academic performance, SAT or ACT score, and extracurricular activities, saying that it is more important than recommendation letters and interviews. Experience goes a long way when it comes to advancing your education. Not only will this help your education run smoothly, but volunteering or working in the healthcare industry looks great on college applications and can ultimately help you land a great job once you graduate.
What’s more, your experience can help relieve anxiety about your future career since you’ll already have a working knowledge of the field, and it can help you decide if pharmaceuticals is right for you. Begin volunteering at hospitals now, or consider training in other healthcare positions, such as a nursing assistant, so you can gain experience during your schooling.
Stay On Top of the Latest News
The health care industry is constantly changing, which means that as a healthcare professional, you’ll have to understand these changes, but you can stay ahead of the curve by starting now. As you stay on top of the latest studies and news updates in health care and pharmaceuticals on your own, it will help you prepare your education, PCATs, and professional career. Sign up for newsletters from professional agencies, watch the newspapers, or check out sites like http://www.canadianpharmacymeds.com/ for the latest pharmaceutical news.
Actively Participate in Relevant Experiences
Whenever you get the chance, take the opportunity to learn more about the field. This can have exceptional benefits both in your education and in your professional career by showing others your dedication while expanding your knowledge. If you have the chance to shadow a pharmacist, take it. Join online communities and get involved in discussions with other students like yourself. Take part in extracurriculars related to the healthcare field, and become a member of professional organizations.
While your pharmacy career is still years down the road, it’s never too early to start making connections with other people and organizations in the field. Attend conferences to learn more, follow various bloggers, or speak with people in your community. Through these connections, you may discover additional opportunities throughout your education that could help you gain experience or even land your dream job. This can also help you learn more about the field to help you decide exactly what you want to do with it or where you want to specialize.
Discover a Balance With Life
While volunteering and studying are excellent for preparing yourself for your future education and career, it’s important that you don’t let yourself get burnt out. Have a life outside of school, and hang out with your friends, take yoga classes, or join organizations unrelated to pharmaceuticals. You’ll thank yourself for taking a break now and then, and you can start preparing for this now by making it habit.
Working in the healthcare field can be very rewarding, but becoming a pharmacist can take a lot of time, so make sure to use these tips to prepare yourself and get you through your schooling.
Alicia Rades has been freelance writing since 2010 and has written countless articles on a variety of subjects. When she’s not working for clients, she’s usually updating her blog at TheWritingRealm.com or working on other writing projects.