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Why I Applied for an ASHP Internship

Dec 20, 2011

Jacalyn Jones will graduate from Northeast Ohio Medical University in 2013.

THE VALUE OF AN ASSOCIATION TO A STUDENT goes far beyond membership dues, resources or meetings. It also offers a sense of belonging within the pharmacy profession.

This sense of belonging to something bigger than me is a feeling I have had from the moment I turned in my membership form for the student society at Northeast Ohio Medical University. Throughout the past two years as a member of my student chapter, I took on the roles of professional development chair and secretary. Both positions helped me to advance our organization and allowed me to have a solid grasp on the role of health-system pharmacists at a local level.

That experience whetted my appetite to learn more about what happens at the national association level before beginning my journey as a pharmacist. I applied for the ASHP Summer Internship program hoping to learn what it was like to work in an association environment and learn even more about what a lifelong professional membership has to offer.

ASHP is a Connected Society
I spent 10 weeks at ASHP this past summer learning how to become a better professional through the acquisition of networking, advocacy and communication skills. For years, I heard about what a small world pharmacy is. But it wasn’t until I traveled to Denver for the ASHP 2011 Summer Meeting that I truly understood this concept.

The meeting exposed me to various networking opportunities and showed me what role an association plays in connecting its members and developing new leaders. Another key concept I learned this summer was the importance of the relationships among ASHP’s local, state and national partners. I learned about the vital connection between the state affiliates and their student societies, and how they work together with ASHP to improve the pharmacy profession.

My Take-Home Messages
While at ASHP, I learned how to become an advocate for the profession and for myself. I learned that change can be a slow, deliberative process, and that in order to move our profession forward, it is essential to create inspiring initiatives such as ASHP’s Pharmacy Practice Model Initiative and Pharmacy Technician Initiative.

Every project that I worked on for these initiatives helped to move them forward. I learned to see the value in my research efforts and to take pride in my part in fulfilling a new, improved practice vision.

Finally, I witnessed the sense of passion and commitment that ASHP has for its membership and the amount of effort that the Society’s members, leadership and staff exert to improve pharmacy practice and patient care.

Overall, this experience as the ASHP summer intern helped me to develop myself and discover my strengths and weaknesses. I was able to grow so much in such a short period of time through the people I met, career stories I heard and confidence I have gained.

Due to this experience, I now feel that I have a real role to play within the profession after graduation, and I highly encourage other students to actively participate in their societies and state affiliates as well as with ASHP.

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