Joining a professional association as a student is an excellent investment in your career. You will learn about trends in the field, interact with industry professionals – both seasoned and new, as well as have opportunities to further your education even after you finish your degree. For those of you looking to stay in CT, this association will be integral in your success as a new pharmacy professional. Even if you will be moving out of state for your first job, getting involved while pursuing your degree will be invaluable when you are ready to transition, due to your having gained critical skills and networked with key people along the way.
The website, CPA: Connecticut Pharmacists Association, is quite extensive, with numerous tabs and information sheets to guide you in this field. If you are interested in legislation surrounding your chosen profession, go to the Advocacy tab. How about searching for an internship or job? Try out the CPA Career Center. There are volunteer roles too, which is an ideal way to connect with full-time professionals in a more relaxed atmosphere.
Did you know that student membership is just $5.00? This fee is extremely low. According to the website, for this low membership fee, you “… receive bi-monthly newsletters and member mailings from CPA to keep you up-to-date on what’s going on in your future profession. You also have the opportunity to come to any CPA events or conferences for free – a great networking opportunity for your future (and current) employment. Plus CPA is at your fingertips for getting involved with everything from Disaster Preparedness to helping patients sign up for Medicare Part D. CPA is heavily involved in protecting the future of the pharmacy profession. Joining now gets you started on the road to advocating for your profession as a New Practitioner Member (1/2 dues your first full licensed year!) and Active Member.” (http://www.ctpharmacists.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageID=3823)
Getting connected to CPA is essential to your career. Joining as a student is just smart and staying in the association even after graduate is smarter. Make sure it is clear on your résumé/CV and LinkedIn profile that you are a member, as well as list out any relevant activities you have done with the association. Questions on how to network or reach out to this or any other professional association can be directed to the Center for Career Development staff in WCB 202.