March 15, 2021

One of the enduring strengths of the University of Michigan College of Pharmacy is its network of engaged alumni. Pharmacy professionals across the career spectrum gathered virtually with our P3 students to connect, mentor, and help hone key skills. Alumni were matched with a small group of students in 15-minute blocks; students had the opportunity to get a peek into various career paths, ask questions, and learn in an informal, supportive setting.

“When the idea was first brought up, we decided Career Gateway, our career fair, would be the perfect place to test a speed networking event and that P3s would be the right audience,” explains Amber Morin, Assistant Director of Pharmacy Advancement. “By the third year of study, many students have already broadly decided what their path will be, but are now looking to zoom in on their specialty. For example, they know they want to go into Industry, but do they want to be a medical liaison, work in marketing, or maybe be a medical writer. We polled the P3 students to find out what areas they wanted to learn more about, scheduled the alumni accordingly and held the first in-person event in 2018. We surveyed the alumni and students after the event and they all found it to be exciting, informational, and beneficial.  The next year we made minor adjustments, welcomed a few new alumni to fit the needs of the students, and it was a success.” 

“Going virtual for the 2021 event allowed us to bring in alumni from around the country,” continues Ms. Morin. “This was exciting because we have out-of-state students who are curious about the job market outside of Michigan.  Some students had requested new specialties like government and regulatory pharmacy so we were able to invite alumni from the Washington D.C. area. We were able to check a few more boxes for students and engage some new alumni.”  

“I am thankful to be a part of a program with such an extensive alumni network,” says Michelle Y. Kim, PharmD’22. “I came into this networking event not exactly sure about my plans after graduation or how I'll get there. I was paired with three incredible alumni who answered all of my questions with patience and shared from their personal experiences. While I'm still not a hundred percent certain what my career path will be, I feel more confident in the next steps I should take to get there.”

“Events like this are beneficial for students as it can show them that, in addition to the support they have from faculty and staff, there is a network of alumni who are available to help them too,” adds one of our participating alumni Katie Cho, PharmD’17. “Being ‘Leaders and Best’ means paying it forward and supporting others.”

“As an out-of-state alumnus, I’ve been grateful for the opportunity to meet with current students virtually and share my own journey in transplant pharmacy,” notes Maxwell Norris, PharmD’18. “Because of limited time and resources, I otherwise wouldn’t be able to travel to Ann Arbor to meet with the amazing students enrolled in the PharmD program. One of the incredible qualities of our institution is the global diversity and far reach of our alumni, so I am thrilled that we have a platform to leverage this for the current students’ benefit!”  

Those interested in volunteering or connecting can contact Amber Morin.