"It was while walking down the hall in the science building at Campbell University when I first heard about ISPE though I wasn't really familiar with what it all had to offer. A flyer was attached to a bulletin board advertising free pizza and extra credit for students majoring in pharmaceutical sciences, and as the case with any college student I was there. Little did I know at the time how ISPE would soon change my life and point me down a career path of success.
"To be honest, I can't even remember who the speaker was that night or the topic that was spoken on at that meeting, but towards the end of the presentation, the speaker shifted gears and began describing the vast number of benefits of being a member of ISPE as a student. Needless to say, I was mesmerized by what all ISPE had to offer a student within its organization so that night I joined.
"A few months went by and the newness of getting free pizza and extra credit to attend the ISPE student chapter meetings was beginning to wear away, and I was becoming bored. Looking back now, I can pinpoint the reason to my boredom to the fact that I was not involved. I was merely a benchwarmer filling a seat in an auditorium. It wasn't until one night when I was working in the hardware department at Wal-Mart that I bumped into Mark Yates, an industry member in ISPE, and began talking with him about school and ISPE. Funny enough Mark was also my college advisor my freshman year before he left the world of academia to work in the industry. As we were talking, I remember mentioning to him that I had a few credit hours to fill for the upcoming fall semester so I was toying with the idea of getting a minor in chemistry. He immediately responded with the statement that I should consider teaming up with a professor at school and doing some independent research instead and present it at the local ISPE poster competition, as it would help differentiate my resume from others when looking for a job after college.
After some thought, I decided to take his advice. In the spring of 2003, I presented my poster at the local CASA meeting and won an all-expense paid trip to the ISPE Annual Meeting in New Orleans in November to present my poster again. I went on to win the Student Poster of the Year for Undergraduate students as well as a cash award.
"Since becoming involved in ISPE, I have taken advantage of the many opportunities to attend many
conferences and leadership forums. In doing so, I have met and networked with many professionals that have
helped refine my career path, which has enabled me to be successful today. In fact, through different
contacts and help from the people I met, Wyeth recruited me for a full-time position before I had even
graduated from college. With that being said, I leave this advice. Get involved! Whether it is participating
in the poster competition, attending the Leadership Forum in Washington or Annual Meeting, or serving as an
officer in a local student chapter, the opportunities are endless! The people you meet and the knowledge you
gain along the way can make all the difference in leading to a successful career!"