More than 40 St. John’s University third-year Pharmacy students participated in a special evening featuring networking and dining tips designed to give them an advantage over their peers when they enter the professional realm.
Sponsored by Walgreens, and hosted by Cathleen Hanson, Director, The International School of Protocol, the event, held on November 29 in the D’Angelo Center ballroom, was designed to prepare students for the networking that often takes place in their sixth year when they attempt to secure residencies and fellowships.
The school provides etiquette and protocol training for business executives, colleges and universities, corporations, individuals, municipal groups, outreach programs, politicians, and schools.
“Educating our pharmacy students to become outstanding professionals requires a holistic approach,” observed Anne Y. F. Lin ’84P, ’86Pharm.D., FNAP, Dean and Professor, College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.
“Success requires more than just knowledge and skills; it also requires the ability to effectively navigate social events and interact with other professionals. This event is a fun way for students to practice these skills.”
Daniel Lewis, ’93P, R.Ph., a Healthcare Supervisor for Walgreens, spoke of the excellent reputation of the College of Pharmacy and the caliber of students it produces. “Walgreens has a great relationship with St. John’s, and we always love sponsoring events for future pharmacists. An event like this is critical because students need that well-rounded diversity to prosper in the workforce. An event like this gives them that opportunity to learn.”
He added, “I think it’s always important for any company, not just Walgreens, to be passionate about building their pipeline of future pharmacists. They are our future workforce. Building that relationship and getting to know them is important, not only as a student but as a person.”
“Tonight is for the students. It’s an opportunity for them to interact with us and gain insight from our experiences that they can apply when they graduate,” stressed Nikolina Paskoski, Pharm.D., Pharmacy Manager on Special Assignment for Walgreens. “It’s for them to get as much as they can to be more socially well-rounded and prepared for the real world.”
Addressing the students, Ms. Hanson noted that the COVID-19 pandemic caused the world at large “to get a little rusty” regarding their social skills. While virtual spaces were now commonplace, she explained that face-to-face interactions are still important and critical to a student’s future success. Throughout the evening she moderated opportunities for conversation and a simulated event featuring sit-down dining.
As he waited for the event, student Ivan Fernandez said, “This is going to be great for us because it is particular to pharmacy students.”
“I haven’t been to many of these events, so it’s helpful for me to get a lay of the land when it comes to interacting with my peers and industry professionals,” observed student Daya Biju. “We hear a lot about professionalism in the classroom, but this is a chance to put theory into practice.”
“If I make one connection with someone here tonight, I’ll consider myself successful,” noted student Javeria Amir. “An event like tonight’s will help me be more open and comfortable with others.”