med77

5+ Year Member
Feb 4, 2013
64
33
Sorry if this is a stupid question, but how important are all of those on campus clubs and activities for getting a retail position after graduation?

I am currently under the impression that the most important thing that I can do to secure a job in 4 years (I'm a P1) is to work a lot as an intern in retail pharmacies. My school is having a fair today for the various clubs on campus. They all pretty much do the same thing (synergy! and other marketing terms!), but with various prices/dues.

I didn't join any clubs in undergrad and did pretty well. I kind of lone-wolfed it and got to do way more things than most of my peers, but undergrad is a different beast.

So, thoughts? Should I be joining these organizations just to pad my CV?
 

lcow2004

10+ Year Member
Nov 11, 2008
136
43
New York
Status
Pharmacist
See my other post but I'll say that clubs/activities/grades/research don't mean anything. When I'm hiring pharmacists, all I care about is how much experience you have and does it reflect that you can do the job. That's it. The more hours you have under your belt, the more confidence I have in this. This is the only thing I care about when I'm hiring. I want to know that you can keep up with the business volume and process as many scripts as quickly as possible while keeping up with metrics and minimizing mistakes. All of this just takes practice and experience that you can't get it from any club/class.

The key to getting a job right out of graduation is to get work experience while you're in school. I would say work at least 1-2 shifts a month. Once you've developed a long term track record with an employer and have shown that you can do the work, you will be in high demand. I work and precept students all the time in one of the most saturated cities in the country. I always make every effort to keep my students after graduation and make them full time pharmacists because they've demonstrated themselves but that doesn't always happen because they often get snatched up by other employers. From what I've seen, the ones that have work experience always have multiple job offers lined up and have their pick of where they want to work and this is happening in a supposedly very saturated city.
 
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med77

5+ Year Member
Feb 4, 2013
64
33
See my other post but I'll say that clubs/activities/grades/research don't mean anything. When I'm hiring pharmacists, all I care about is how much experience you have and does it reflect that you can do the job. That's it. The more hours you have under your belt, the more confidence I have in this. This is the only thing I care about when I'm hiring. I want to know that you can keep up with the business volume and process as many scripts as quickly as possible while keeping up with metrics and minimizing mistakes. All of this just takes practice and experience that you can't get it from any club/class.

The key to getting a job right out of graduation is to get work experience while you're in school. I would say work at least 1-2 shifts a month. Once you've developed a long term track record with an employer and have shown that you can do the work, you will be in high demand. I work and precept students all the time in one of the most saturated cities in the country. I always make every effort to keep my students after graduation and make them full time pharmacists because they've demonstrated themselves but that doesn't always happen because they often get snatched up by other employers. From what I've seen, the ones that have work experience always have multiple job offers lined up and have their pick of where they want to work and this is happening in a supposedly very saturated city.

Thanks for the reply! Okay so I'll be okay without the clubs. My classmates look at me like I'm doing something terrible for my career when they ask which clubs I want to join and I say "none." Most of them are gunning for residencies though so maybe that's where the disparity lies.
 

Litha

2+ Year Member
Mar 26, 2016
148
110
Pacific NW
Status
Pharmacist
If you want to work retail after graduation, clubs do not matter. Work experience does. So spend your free time at a job and not at an organization or club since it doesn't really matter in the long run. Your future employer wants to know that you know what you are getting in to and have experience in the real world.
 
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bacillus1

10+ Year Member
May 27, 2008
2,810
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If you want to work retail after graduation, clubs do not matter. Work experience does. So spend your free time at a job and not at an organization or club since it doesn't really matter in the long run. Your future employer wants to know that you know what you are getting in to and have experience in the real world.
Real retail interview question when I was interviewing with Rite Aid in case I didn't match:
"You have all these positions in all these clubs, so I know you can be a leader. However, can you also follow?"

--So yeah, they just want robots.
 

mentos

7+ Year Member
Nov 22, 2009
1,796
2,307
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This guy in my class was president of 5 or 6 clubs but had no work experience. He tried to get a job in my district in CVS, I don't think he was hired.
 

gwarm01

10+ Year Member
Oct 7, 2009
2,456
3,229
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Pharmacist
Thanks for the reply! Okay so I'll be okay without the clubs. My classmates look at me like I'm doing something terrible for my career when they ask which clubs I want to join and I say "none." Most of them are gunning for residencies though so maybe that's where the disparity lies.
I had leadership roles in a couple of clubs and it literally never came up in any interview, not even for hospital positions. They were interested in my three years of intern experience.

Just remember that your fellow students, regardless of how confident they seem, have no real world experience as pharmacists. All they know is what your professors tell them, and they are often as clueless as students on certain matters.
 
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Digsbe

7+ Year Member
Aug 6, 2011
1,368
994
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Pharmacist
Unless you have leadership or community service through a club I don't think most employers will care. None have cared about clubs I was in apart from me having a leadership role in one of them for a year. Interning is probably the best thing you can do. Be warned though, saturated markets can't absorb all their interns. At one of the major chains in my area they couldn't take roughly 75% of their graduating interns.
 
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ChapKid

2+ Year Member
Jul 5, 2014
18
14
Status
Pharmacist
Work experience and networking definitely mean so much more than whether you were involved in a club or not. During my interview with Target they focused more on the fact that I was a Signing Team Member before leaving for pharmacy school. It also helped that the STL at my store eventually made her way up to District Team Leader and remembered me.

Also as said by other posters I this thread, try to get as much intern experience as possible. And treat all your IPPEs and APPEs like long term job interviews. I had several offers lined up from my old preceptors after graduation.
 

Trishna28

2+ Year Member
Jan 9, 2015
108
45
Status
Pre-Pharmacy
I have a similar question as well but with a twist (I think?). When interviewers/recruiters emphasize on club membership on a resume, is that because they want to know if the student can demonstrate leadership, inter personal skills etc? If that's the case, then wouldn't doing something else (that still requires leadership skills) other than clubs hold equal weight? I ask because I'm a P1 who is interested in residency but this semester it really does not seem like I would have any time for organizational activities. I teach in the evenings Mondays-Thursdays and have classes and labs at the COP all day. I'm also hoping to find an intern position at least one day during the weekends after I get my intern license (hopefully soon). What advice would you guys have for someone like me? What should my priority be at this point in time? I appreciate any advice. Thank you.


Sent from my iPad using SDN mobile app
 

radio frequency

5+ Year Member
Dec 18, 2012
1,001
617
Status
Pharmacist
Experience is king. Having stories to tell during an interview is also important. Literally nobody cares about clubs outside of pharmacy school (this from somebody who was definitely active -- I wouldn't do it again). Make your connections through clubs, but save your efforts for work.

Do join a frat though. Those are fun and a great way to connect with your classmates.
 

Trishna28

2+ Year Member
Jan 9, 2015
108
45
Status
Pre-Pharmacy
Experience is king. Having stories to tell during an interview is also important. Literally nobody cares about clubs outside of pharmacy school (this from somebody who was definitely active -- I wouldn't do it again). Make your connections through clubs, but save your efforts for work.

Do join a frat though. Those are fun and a great way to connect with your classmates.
This makes me feel a lot better. Thank you.


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Erbium

1st Year Pharmacy Student
2+ Year Member
May 25, 2014
35
18
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Pharmacy Student
I'm glad someone started this thread. I just started PY1. I'm an older, non-traditional student (very lone wolf during undergrad because of having to work and family life) so the pressure to join all the clubs is weirding me out. I'm thinking I will rush a frat because I do have to get to know people and network. I will also join a couple of pharmacy associations for CE dinners and the like but take it easy on the clubs. I am also looking for an intern position, but it looks like I will have to wait until a job fair coming up because so many students!

Does anyone think this is a good plan or have any other advice? Btw, I've worked in pharmacy for 12 years already.
 
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Amicable Angora

Lagomorpha
7+ Year Member
Oct 5, 2012
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I'm glad someone started this thread. I just started PY1. I'm an older, non-traditional student (very lone wolf during undergrad because of having to work and family life) so the pressure to join all the clubs is weirding me out. I'm thinking I will rush a frat because I do have to get to know people and network. I will also join a couple of pharmacy associations for CE dinners and the like but take it easy on the clubs. I am also looking for an intern position, but it looks like I will have to wait until a job fair coming up because so many students!

Does anyone think this is a good plan or have any other advice? Btw, I've worked in pharmacy for 12 years already.
Do exactly that and you should be fine.
 

radio frequency

5+ Year Member
Dec 18, 2012
1,001
617
Status
Pharmacist
I'm glad someone started this thread. I just started PY1. I'm an older, non-traditional student (very lone wolf during undergrad because of having to work and family life) so the pressure to join all the clubs is weirding me out. I'm thinking I will rush a frat because I do have to get to know people and network. I will also join a couple of pharmacy associations for CE dinners and the like but take it easy on the clubs. I am also looking for an intern position, but it looks like I will have to wait until a job fair coming up because so many students!

Does anyone think this is a good plan or have any other advice? Btw, I've worked in pharmacy for 12 years already.
Completely a good idea. This is what I wish I had done. I do somehow have a dream pharmacy job with no residency, but club activity has never come up in my interviews. Mostly my luck in the job market was from being in the right place at the right time and knowing the right people.
 
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Erbium

1st Year Pharmacy Student
2+ Year Member
May 25, 2014
35
18
Status
Pharmacy Student
Completely a good idea. This is what I wish I had done. I do somehow have a dream pharmacy job with no residency, but club activity has never come up in my interviews. Mostly my luck in the job market was from being in the right place at the right time and knowing the right people.
I appreciate the feedback. I hope I have your luck, radio. I'd love to go into nuclear pharm, but I know it's a tiny specialty.
 
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