How did you obtain your intern position, and what is considered a busy store?

Jun 11, 2009
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dirty h0t south
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I'm just curious, how do most people apply for an intern position? Do you just search around and see what stores you should walk into and apply? Did you know someone from a previous job and just transfer, or does your school have some sort of system set up? I'm a tech at a chain in the southeast so I'd preferably like to transfer stores when I attend pharmacy school. My manager said he would write the other store with a reference, but how do you even know if a store needs interns? Right now we do about 200-300 prescriptions a day on average I believe, and on busy days/season (tourism) we may do more. So is this what I would expect on average from most stores or are many of them more/less busy? I know we rarely work with less than 2 technicians on a weekday, and sometimes we have 4 during peak hours. I've heard about a few stores who work with one tech and one pharmacist so this makes me think they're either less busy or just not hiring?

Sorry I just started not that long ago so I probably don't know what I'm talking about.
 
Aug 1, 2009
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Pharmacist
I assume that "Go Bears* c/o 2014" means you're a Mercer student.

I've heard in passing that the Atlanta market for pharmacy interns isn't too good. However, I don't have any first-hand knowledge about this, so I could be mistaken. Because the area is already totally saturated with pharmacists, and because the economy is bad, I imagine there's not much incentive to host interns in that area.

Since you already work for a chain, they probably can help you transfer to a new store. Some chains are better at this than others. Although the exact process will vary by chain, a general approach is to get in touch with the district/regional pharmacy manager where you work now, and ask for guidance. Otherwise, if you want to switch to a different company, your best bet may be to contact the Atlanta-area managers/recruiters/whatever for the major pharmacy chains. Find their contact information by browsing around the corporate websites, or by asking a pharmacist at any of the chain's stores in the area you want to work.

Also, Georgia does not allow you to get your intern license until *after* you've already started your P1 fall semester, so you won't have it this summer. This could cause greater reluctance for anyone to hire you. They want people with intern licenses.

How busy the store is depends on two factors: (a) number of prescriptions, also known as volume, and (b) staffing. Some stores have low volume and thus only need low staffing. It just depends. However, I usually start to get more cautious if the store does more than 250 a day; if so, take a closer look to see how the workflow feels.
 

rxlynn

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Nov 16, 2005
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Can I suggest that you think about whether you (at this point - I know it's sort of hard to project since you haven't even started school yet) might want to continue working with your current employer after you graduate? If so, then great - just get them to transfer you. However, if you think that this might not be so great (say, the pharmacists have to work 14 hours shifts ala CVS, or whatever) then this might be a good time to look for a different employer. That way, you are more likely to at least have one offer that you would like when you get ready to graduate.

The other poster is quite correct - market is completely saturated in Atlanta for right now, P4 interns who had worked with companies long-term even before they started pharmacy school are not all getting offers, etc. Unlike just a few years ago, there is virtually no incentive for the the chains or other employers to hire a lot of interns or to treat them well.
 

rxlynn

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Oh - one other thing. My experience at Mercer was that at the beginning of the year a fair amount of intern openings would get sent to the class listserve, so you might get e-mails about jobs that way right before and right after school starts. However, with the job market the way it is right now there may not be as much of that this year.
 
Jun 11, 2009
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dirty h0t south
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Thank you for the info... I currently work for Publix with the Miami district (not in Miami though, that's just our district) and I do like it there, but I'm not sure if all the stores are the same (I'm guessing they aren't, at least as far as volume/etc goes). The place I'm at now is only open 9-9 on weekdays, 9-7 on Saturdays, 10-5 Sundays, and closed on national holidays, so it's a pretty nice schedule IMO.

I understand the Atlanta area is really saturated just like south Florida so this is why I'm worried. I want to work a little in pharmacy school, so I'm trying to start early and figure out what to do. I know I can't get my license until school starts, but I can't move to Georgia until then anyway because I'm replacing someone on maternity leave over the summer down here. I received an email about an Atlanta hospital looking for students to work, but since I can't be there for the summer training I don't think that is an option for me to apply. :(
 

CUpharmD2013

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Mar 20, 2010
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It depends on the company. I know CVS has a form to fill out online and then the intern program manager will contact you via email. Otherwise it's good to go to the local pharmacy, talk to the pharmacist, and tell them that you're looking into internship opportunities. They will most likely tell you who the pharmacy district manager is and you should contact them. I think the best bet is to stay with the company that you currently work for if there are opportunities in your new location. I just recently got an internship but have to say that the search process was very frustrating.