The Alternative Pharmacy Careers Conference

The Alternative Pharmacy Careers (APC) Conference is a new initiative designed by a team of undergraduate students in the School Of Pharmacy at the University Of East Anglia. Conference founder Aditya Aggarwal had previously realised that although the MPharm degree provides excellent teaching and support to enter careers in community, hospital and industrial pharmacy, there is a general lack of information available to students regarding the range of career paths pharmacists can take both within and beyond these sectors. After recruiting a team of students to the organising committee and with the support of dedicated UEA lecturers, the APC Conference was born.

The first ever APC conference was held on a sunny Saturday at the end of January 2016. It consisted of a series of talks and workshops delivered by a fantastic range of speakers each with their own unique and colourful career path all of which originated from the completion of their MPharm degree. The welcome address was delivered by the President of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, Ash Soni, with keynote speeches by Brendan Martin from KPMG and Ravi Sharma from GreenLight Pharmacy and Head of Primary Care Integration. Further speakers throughout the day included:

  • Christopher Robinson, Gilead Sciences – Navigating the Data: From Papers to Patient
  • Robert Prosser (standing in for Rachael Rose), Careers Central – How to Network into Opportunities
  • Mohammed Hussain, NHS England – How to Build a Digital Career
  • Jan Flynn, Rosemont Pharmaceuticals Ltd – What is Pharmaceutical Marketing and Sales?
  • Navin Sewak, Pfizer – Pricing it Right: Innovative Medicines at What Cost?

The day was a great success, and attendance was in high demand with all of the 200 tickets available to both undergraduate and pre-registration pharmacists being sold out in advance. Delegates had the option to attend different breakout sessions covering a range of topics throughout the day. This provided the opportunity to gain more information in specific areas, making the day more personal and productive for the individual. Furthermore, during the lunch hour delegates were able to network amongst stands of employers from various companies including: The British Army, Bristol-Myers Squibb, GlaxoSmithKline, Rosemont/Perrigo UK and the Industrial Forum. All companies kindly sponsored the conference.

After concluding with an open question and answer panel with our speakers and sponsors, the APC Conference certainly proved itself to be a fantastic opportunity for both current students and those who have finished the MPharm to gather further information and inspiration regarding the various career paths that they can take.

Looking forward to the next year and the next APC Conference, the team has evaluated the encouraging and insightful feedback that was received and will be organising APC 2017 accordingly. A new range of speakers will be attending with different topics to those that were previously explored, with further information being released before tickets go on sale. The date is set for the 18th February 2017 so keep it in your diaries! For more information, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter – @AltPharmCareers.

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