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Chicago State University College of Pharmacy
There is Always Time for Growth
by Anolan Garcia Hernandez, PS-4
As I reflect on the last few years, I am amazed by how much I have grown both personally and professionally during my time in pharmacy school. I think about that young lady who came into Chicago State for an interview, and now I am merely months away from graduation. I was astonished by the city and the extremely cold weather. I faced travel inconveniences with snow, traffic, and lack of experience on what to do in these circumstances. The only thing I knew was that I was not going to allow these obstacles to take control and negatively impact my future. I made a vow to myself to succeed!
Moving to a new city was not easy; this marked the first step in this development process. I started meeting new people, creating different connections, and getting myself involved in different activities. I remember being a shy student during my first year of school. I spent most of that year learning about various school organizations as a member. I was making sure I was familiarizing myself with my goals and being selective before deciding if I would like to become an organization officer. I participated in student health fairs and volunteered at many different events where I was able to network with other students from other pharmacy schools.
One event that was extremely important to my professional development was participating in the 8th and 9th Annual Pharmacy Legislative Days. During both my first and second year, I participated in this activity. I was able to witness the role of a pharmacist acting as an advocate for important laws that affect our profession. I had never thought about this side of health care prior to attending. Furthermore, this activity provided me with another avenue to network not just with other students but with leadership within ICHP and IPhA.
Since the first day of school, we have listened to many professors and administrators tells us how important is to be involved in organizations while at school and after graduation. I was an active member of Student Society Health-System Pharmacist, Phi Delta Chi Fraternity, American Association Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS), and American Pharmacists Association- Academy of Student Pharmacists. As part of my personal and professional growth, I decided to become a member of the executive board of SSHP and AAPS student chapters at Chicago State University. These positions helped me develop skills that I was not even aware I possessed. I am so thankful to have had these opportunities and for all the amazing people who supported me as part of these two e-boards.
Now as I start my Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences, I can clearly see how much I have changed. I have gone from the shy student who preferred to pass unnoticed to the individual who now always looks forward to meeting new colleagues and helping to advance our profession. I am glad I decided to follow this pathway. I proudly represent my school and feel thankful for all I have learned from everyone. I now see that while growth can be a bit intimidating, it is always a good thing!