Clinical and Community Service Experience
Experience with the pharmacy profession is essential to preparing for pharmacy school. If you apply to pharmacy school but you have no experience in a pharmacy environment you will not be convincing to an admissions committee. Students must get experience in a pharmacy environment in order to make an informed decision to pursue a career in pharmacy. You need this exposure to prepare for pharmacy school and a career in pharmacy.
Job shadowing is an excellent way to explore the daily life of a pharmacist and find out if a pharmacy career is the right fit for you. Many students are able to arrange shadowing initially through a local retail pharmacist, or contacting a pharmacist through a hospital or long-term care facility. You may wish to send a letter and resume to some local pharmacists asking for the opportunity to shadow. Many prepharmacy students are also able to obtain experience through employment as pharmacy technicians.
It is helpful if your experience is not limited to retail pharmacy, but if you also have exposure to the work of pharmacists in hospitals and long-term care facilities.
In addition, pharmacy school admissions committees prefer applicants who demonstrate a long-term commitment to serving others. If you plan to apply to pharmacy school you should endeavor to gain experience serving the community through volunteer activities. Community service activities are very important in helping you build the interpersonal skills you will need as a pharmacist. Admissions committees prefer a few meaningful experiences over a long period of time rather than a list of scattered, superficial activities, like participating in an occasional fundraiser.
The resources below can help you connect with community service opportunities in our area.
A website provided by the City of Bloomington lists numerous volunteer opportunities in our community, and is updated every week.
The Office of Service-Learning offers service-learning opportunities that combine college coursework with community service. Please see their website for information on their programs.
For more community service opportunities consult the HPPLC Volunteer Opportunities page.