Reflections: UCSOP Summer Internship Experience

As an undergraduate looking to one day attend pharmacy school I was looking for any chance I could get to gain experience in the field of pharmacy. When the opportunity to become an intern at the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy came up I had to take it. I quickly began the application process and soon was asked to interview for the position. After two rounds of interviews I received a phone call offering me the internship, which I quickly accepted.

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Beautiful view of the WV State Capitol building from UC’s campus.

I moved into East Apartments in the beginning of June to begin the internship. On the first day I received a very warm welcome from the faculty and staff of the School of Pharmacy. We toured Charleston, visited the Capitol building and Cultural Center, and became oriented with our new home for the next 8 weeks.

While we received many tasks to work on for the duration of the internship, our biggest project for the month of June was to serve as Head Counselors of the ExRx: Experience Pharmacy Summer Bootcamp. The camp was a week-long experience for high schoolers and undergraduates who were interested in pharmacy school. We spent the weeks leading up to the camp planning events, setting up activities, and preparing for the arrival of the students to the dorms. While we were leading the activities, we also got to immerse ourselves into the curriculum and learn about pharmacy school as well. After the camp ended we were invited to attend two School of Pharmacy alumni events; Blues Brews and BBQ, and Wine and all that Jazz. While the week of camp was long, we learned so much about UCSOP as well as meeting current students and alumni of UCSOP.

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Killian Rodgers, summer intern, and I volunteered at the animal shelter giving medication to dogs.

Throughout the month of July we got to work very closely with a P4 student who was on rotation with UCSOP administration. We also got the opportunity to work in the research lab under Dr. Linger. We spent the week assisting her running diagnostic tests, purifying proteins, and preparing a poster presentation. Also in the month of July we were able to shadow Dr. Juengel from UCSOP at WV Health Right. Both experiences allowed us to see different sides of pharmacy, and different paths we could take with a PharmD. Throughout the month we also volunteered at the local animal shelter and the health department. Both volunteer experiences served to broaden our horizons on what can be done with a PharmD, as well as giving us a sense of community and communication skills that are often used in pharmacy school.
Overall the experience allowed me to become even more excited about one day obtaining my PharmD. I got to experience several different paths of pharmacy that I didn’t know existed and I made connections with pharmacists and administrators that are invaluable. The eight weeks flew by as I grew to love Charleston more every day. To anyone who is currently and undergraduate and looking to attend pharmacy school this internship is a great way to further develop skills and experience that will be so useful when it comes time to apply!

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