'The best decision of my university life'

Chloe Lim Xiu Yu

BPSA Annual Conference Organiser 18/19

Until now, the fact that more than 4 months have passed since my conference hadn’t sunk in. I started university as an ordinary pharmacy student, just like everyone else. Moreover, being an international student, I never imagined myself becoming an Executive member of the BPSA responsible for representing the voice of 15,000 students in the United Kingdom.

I clearly remember when my colleague, Hieu and I stood in the Executive election and won the bid to organise the 77th Annual Conference at our university, The University of Nottingham. Despite getting grilled by countless questions, we managed to perform our best with thorough preparation. That was the moment I found out I made the best decision of my university life.

Throughout my mandate as an Annual Conference Organiser, I worked closely with Hieu to organise day events and social events for the conference week. It was fun as we got to create the conference that we wanted. We decided the theme of the conference would be global pharmacy, and the activities for the social events. I really enjoyed working with Hieu. We learnt a lot together, and we would always talk to each other when things went wrong. I am glad that we became close friends at the end of the conference. In addition, we also worked closely with the school and the conference centre to organise the logistics of the conference, such as accommodation, room bookings, packed lunch and dinner orders.  We also had regular meetings with different staff at the university. I learnt a lot about communication such as negotiation and networking, and I built long-lasting relationships with the Head of School, lecturers and staff at the university. I am grateful for the support from the school, they are always ready to provide help and support.

As BPSA executives, Hieu and I worked with the whole Executive team to organise different aspects of the conference such as sponsorship, finance, speaker invitations and promotional content for the conference. We had to attend weekly virtual meetings to catch up with the things that happened within the organisation, and to update on the work that we had done that week. I enjoyed the meetings a lot, and it was always nice to catch up with other members.

After one full year of effort into preparing the Annual Conference, the day finally came. We were pleased to have more than 150 students from 28 different universities attend the conference in Nottingham. The conference week itself was stressful compared to the preparation stage, as we worked from the morning until night to organise both day and social events for the delegates. We constantly had to deal with last minute ‘crises’ from the delegates, and tried our best to ensure that our events could run smoothly, but it was all worth it in the end. I met so many like-minded people from across the country and made life-long friendships. I received so much love and appreciation from the delegates, our sponsors and the team. People came to me and told me how much they enjoyed this conference and how the conference has inspired them.  Never would I have thought that I could inspire people to be more passionate about pharmacy.

I don’t think I will ever forget these wonderful moments. I would say this is one of the highlights of my life, and I genuinely feel so happy that I am able to make an impact on people life by organising a conference.


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