Starting Pharmaceutical School? 5 Tips for Success

Pharmaceutical laboratory

There is no better way to land a great job and a secure financial future than with a college diploma. And studies show that demand for specialized professionals in the healthcare support field is rapidly growing. Pharmaceutical school is a great way for you to get the technical and practical skills you need to jumpstart one of these competitive careers.

While enrolling in a technical college can be a big decision, since you’ll have new schedules and responsibilities to adjust to, there are a few ways that you can simplify the transition.

Whether you are considering enrolling in pharmaceutical courses, or you have recently started your program, read on for five ways to guarantee a successful training experience.

1. Time Management: Plan and Prioritize

Once you start your program, instructors will lay out what you’ll learn in the coming weeks. They will also discuss the exciting career paths you’ll be eligible for once you earn your diploma. This will give you an idea of what to expect, and how the lessons will be paced.

Take advantage of this information and create a new schedule around it. Write up “to-do” lists and try to have the same routine every week. Scheduling regular review time will optimize your learning, and taking breaks in between to deal with other aspects of your life will help the material sink in.

2. Stay Organized In and Out of the Pharmaceutical Laboratory

Take Notes: your instructors are all pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical experts and they have valuable things to say! Active, organized note-taking will help you remember their wisdom and review key lessons throughout your training and career.

Since you’ll be working with tons of materials like books, online texts, and a state-of-the-art pharmaceutical laboratory during your program, it’s important to keep everything organized. Try to keep the materials you need for class—from your notepad to your lab coat—in a designated spot in your house, and file school documents in your computer hard drive. This promotes an organized mind and a healthy school/life balance.

3. People Power: Quality Assurance Experts and Peer Support

Some pharmaceutical colleges, such as AAPS, offer mentorship programs to help connect you with professionals who practice quality assurance in pharmaceutical fields. Those who understand the Canadian healthcare, pharmaceutical and food industry from the inside are amazing resources for guidance and advice.

Some students find group study to be very effective. Try to reach out to your classmates at the start of your training to find out who might be interested in studying together before important labs or quizzes. When it comes to memorizing US-FDA and Canadian TPD regulations, two (or more) heads are better than one.

There are many great pharmaceutical student blogs that you can follow. In fact, the American site NursingSchools.net has gathered a list of 100. However, you might be interested in starting your very own blog. Posting online about your time in pharmacy training lets you commiserate and celebrate with students in similar positions around the world.

4. Manage Pharmaceutical School Stress

Don’t cram. Even when you have other responsibilities on the go, it’s important to avoid procrastination. Review your lessons as you go.

Getting out of the pharmaceutical student headspace by exercising or going out with friends is an important part of student life. You’ll be taking in a lot of new information and launching yourself into an exciting career—taking some time to relax will help you avoid becoming overwhelmed.

5. Exercise Your Interest in the Pharmaceutical Industry

There’s almost always something about pharmaceuticals, food safety, or quality assurance in the science and business sections of newspapers and news websites. Reading and keeping up on innovation will help you understand the broader industry, and give your studies an even greater sense of purpose.

If you keep your eyes open to this dynamic industry and use the tips listed above, you’re guaranteed to get the very most out of your time in pharmaceutical school.

Are you interested in pursuing training at a pharmaceutical school? Visit AAPS for more information or to speak with an advisor.