by Michelle Lam
The USC Pre-Pharmacy Society (UPS) is joining forces with graduate students at the USC School of Pharmacy to establish a new mentorship program for pre-pharmacy undergraduates.
The UPS E-board is currently corresponding with Jessica Louie, a second-year student pharmacist at the USC School of Pharmacy. Louie is serving as the primary liaison in the mentorship program and making efforts to get her fellow classmates involved.
According to Louie, there are currently 15 to 20 graduate students and 60 to 70 UPS members participating, and they have a lot of opportunities to make the most out of their mentorships. Other pre-pharmacy students who are interested should contact the UPS E-board to be included.
“[This will be] more informal and more of a social-based mentorship program,” Louie said. “Mentors and mentees will go out to dinner together and get to know each other.”
Louie, a former UPS Vice President and the creator and director of the USC Mock-Interview Workshop, states that she expects her peers to demonstrate their leadership and mentor skills in order to motivate pre-pharmacy students to become excited about the pharmacy field.
“I think [the mentorship program] is important because the field is always growing and changing, and we look forward to the pre-pharmacy students entering pharmacy school and bringing their enthusiasm and innovation to the organizations, impacting their peers, and continuing the leadership USC has in the field of pharmacy,” Louie said.
According to UPS Public Relations Chair Tiffany Zing, the idea for this program was formed by a few members of the UPS E-board after they met with graduate students at a USC Mock-Interview Workshop hosted by the pharmacy school in November. Undergraduates had the opportunity to gain a firsthand perspective on what they could look forward to in their next four years.
“[UPS] President Jonathan Palar and Vice President Stephen Lee thought it’d be great to have a mentorship program where we could have a grad student come over and head a small group of UPS students,” said Zing.
Zing hopes that pre-pharmacy students will be able to bond with their classmates, as well as connect with their mentors and ask them questions about how to prepare for and be successful in pharmacy school.
“[Such questions include] what being a pharmacy student is like—what they’re going to learn, what the student life is,” said Zing. “We shouldn’t just be choosing pharmacy because it’s a good career. Yes, it’s a good career, but what about the road that leads up to it?”
This mentorship program will give UPS members the chance to get their questions answered. Furthermore, Louie believes that it is a great opportunity for all participants to form lasting friendships.
Said Louie, “Pre-pharmacy students can look forward to fun gatherings with student pharmacists, events to get to know us better, and learning more about the field of pharmacy.”