UCSOP Blog Post
-Amber Gross (Third-Year UCSOP Fellow, Class of 2019)
Leadership Opportunities in Pharmacy School:
As a pharmacy student in the final year of the didactic portion of the curriculum, I’ve been looking back on how much I’ve changed since coming to UC. Although I look and talk the same, I see the world through different eyes than I did before embarking on this career path. In this post, I intend to give some insight into the opportunities offered, as well as how they will benefit in the future.
In 2012, I had just started my pre-pharmacy courses which was exciting to finally feel like the things you learn matter. Since my undergraduate was relatively small at the time, leadership opportunities were easy as long as you were willing to take them. When I would go to the student center, I would always see students representing a number of organizations, ready to promote their cause. Although I admired those people for being so outgoing, I always preferred being in the background. At the time, I felt that I didn’t have the skills to perform leadership duties. In my three years of undergraduate studies, I never did participate in a leadership role.
Fast forward to my first year as a pharmacy student, I knew that things would have to change. On our first day, we had to stand in front our class and state who we are and a fun fact about us. This was a turning point for my flying-under-the-radar persona. While being in the Fellows Program, I learned quickly that using my voice was one of my best assets. Through assisting with the interview process, giving tours to prospective students, and working on a research project, I was able to figure out what my leadership style is. With each event I completed, my confidence in my abilities increased.
Now, in my third year of the program, I am participating in three organizations and have taken the lead on several projects/events. As I said before, I feel like I’ve changed so much in such a short period of time. Having these leadership opportunities really shaped me into the student pharmacist that I am today. There are so many things I’ve learned besides pharmacology and pharmacotherapy that will be useful to me as a pharmacist. In conclusion, my advice to upcoming students is to take those opportunities! There is so much you can learn through leadership that you can’t necessarily learn in the classroom. This school has a lot to offer, but the leadership roles available are critical to the growth of the students.