How it all began…
It all started in 2015 with one idea and a few dedicated pharmacy students. Aditya Aggarwal and other pharmacy students at the University of East Anglia recognised that they had limited exposure and understanding of other career opportunities outside of the traditional pharmacist roles in community, hospital and industry. Although these fields are exciting and constantly changing, there was still one unanswered question – Is there anything else I can do with my degree? This is the reason why The Alternative Pharmacy Careers (APC) Conference was created.
But what is The APC Conference about?
This conference aims to raise awareness of unconventional career paths that pharmacy students can pursue in the future and to showcase how many opportunities the MPharm degree offers. With the help and support of lecturers from the School of Pharmacy and the UEA, what initially was just an idea turned into an excellent event with remarkable success. Over 350 students from all over the UK attended the previous conferences held in January 2016 and February 2017. The previous APC Conferences managed to attract a wide variety of speakers and stand holders from companies like Rosemont Pharmaceuticals, AstraZeneca and the British Army. Well-respected speakers like Ash Soni (former PRS President), Steve Howard (Superintendent Pharmacist for Lloyds Pharmacy) and many more attended the first and second APC Conferences and contributed to turning this event into an exciting experience for all the attendees.
Still not sure what The APC is? Keep reading…
Over the last four years, the APC has turned into much more than just a conference. The team organised an online webinar in 2018, which featured Babir Malik (Mr Dispenser) and Kate Enright (Humanitarian Pharmacist) and had more than 550 live viewers! Monthly blog posts, daily posts on social media and interactive challenges are only some of the ways in which we try to stay connected to students and provide exciting and educational information.
So who is behind all of this?
The APC conference is organised by pharmacy students from the University of East Anglia with the help and support of lecturers from the School of Pharmacy and former members of the committee. The APC Team changes every year and the members have a chance to take up new roles, improve different skills and challenge themselves to go out of their comfort zone. Everyone in the team shares the same passion for pharmacy and gaining a better understanding of all the opportunities we are presented with.
The APC Team currently is made up of:
Chair – Daniela Stoyanova
Vice-chair – Amelia Ellis
Secretary – Malahat Atta
Marketing team – Barbora Tomasova and Adnan Raja
IT & Design team – Todor Chergarov and Anjelina Entcheva
Finance team – Holly Gresham-Court and Vongai Takavarasha
What is it like to organise a conference?
It would be a lie to say that it is not stressful and a little bit scary, especially when you are completely new to this. It is overwhelming in the beginning, but what you get out of it outweighs all the initial worries. Planning the 2019 APC Conference came with loads of challenges, but the team has been supported by great people who helped pulled us through. If there is one piece of advice we would give to anyone planning a similar event, it would be this: Ask questions! You’ll be surprised how many problems can be resolved if you ask for help. This experience has been quite challenging but incredibly rewarding at the same time – it helped us develop so many skills, pushed us far out of our own comfort zones and helped us learn some very important lessons. This is why at the end of the day, we will walk out from this feeling grateful and inspired.
So… when is the next event and what will I get out from it?
You don’t have to wait long - the next conference is just 2 weeks away! The 2019 APC Conference will take place on Saturday 9th February at the University of East Anglia. You’ll get a chance to hear about exciting careers like GP Pharmacy, Mental Health Pharmacy, Military Pharmacy, Chief of Hospital and many more! In addition to our excellent speakers, you will get a chance to network with other student and stand holders and improve your communication skills. What’s more, you’ll get a free fresh lunch, delicious coffee and cookies during the breaks! But wait there is more – you will also receive a certificate of attendance, which can be used in your portfolio or CV.
Sounds interesting? Secure your place at the APC Conference by getting a ticket (first 50 people will get a FREE goodie bag!). All you need to do follow this link: https://www.uea.su/events/8541/7014/
What to know more about the APC or get involved?
Find the APC Conference on Facebook: Alternative Pharmacy Careers Conference