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Photo of UHCOP's Industry Pharmacists Organizaiton members
Officers of UHCOP's Industry Pharmacists Organization, from left to right, Brian Nwokorie, Gifty Gyebi, Chiemeka Ike, Angelica Asadi and Pooja Ojha.

Expanding Career Options

New UHCOP Chapter of Industry Pharmacists Organization Established to Expose Students to Pharmaceutical Industry Jobs

One of the great benefits of pursuing a Pharm.D. degree is the broad range of career options for pharmacists, and a new student chapter of a national organization is aimed at exposing students to the unique and rewarding opportunities available within the pharmaceutical industry. 

Established this academic year, the UHCOP Chapter of the Industry Pharmacists Organization (IPhO) is drawing interest from students whose career aspirations skew away from direct patient care and into such fields as medical science liaison, health economics and outcomes research, and leadership/management positions.

The UHCOP chapter is one of more than 40 student chapters of the IPhO, a national professional organization with more than 3,000 students and 10,000 industry pharmacists among its members. One of IPhO's chief missions is to help industry-based pharmacists maximize the value of their academic and hands-on training for career advancement.

Serving as the chapter's inaugural president, Pharm.D. candidate Chiemeka Ike said she was first introduced to industry pharmacy after seeing her father work in various marketing and sales positions.

As a Pharm.D. student, she noticed that her peers were interested in learning about different career opportunities in the pharmacy profession, so she thought that establishing an IPhO chapter at UH would be beneficial.

"Throughout pharmacy school, I met other students like me who did not feel they 'fit' the traditional pharmacist roles in either retail or hospital pharmacy," Ike said. "More and more students (in the college) were gaining interest in industry roles for Pharm.Ds."

Ike and chapter faculty advisor Marc Fleming, Ph.D., MPH, R.Ph., said they are eager to use this organization to help students expand their professional networks and develop a better understanding of how to pursue a career in industry pharmacy.

"I also want to get the students to also think about our (Pharmaceutical Health Outcomes and Policy Ph.D.) program as another avenue to an industry career," Fleming said.

Going forward, the UH chapter will also be looking to usher in professional development components, such as CV workshops and training to help improve the students’ presentation and communication skills.

-- by Ameena Rasheed