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´╗┐Company: Shoppers Drug MartPosition: pharmacistEmployed: 1.5 yearsWhere did you go to school? What program did you attend?I attended the University of Toronto's pharmacy program.What drew you to your current field?I always knew that I wanted to go into healthcare. I wanted a career where I wouldn't have to worry about job prospects. Working as a pharmacist offers so many options. I can work in the community, in a hospital, or in industry. And, it's such a versatile career.How did you find your current position? Recruiters visited our campus in my fourth year. I was looking for a company to intern with and I chose Shoppers Drug Mart. Once you have been selected for the internship, the company locks you into a one year contract. This means that for at least one year after graduation, you must work for the employer. The employer can place you within a certain geographical region - mine was the GTA. The recruiter then gives you a list of stores who are hiring and it's up to you to arrange the interviews. I actually lucked out, the recruiter called me to tell me she had found an opening and had recommended me to the owner.Tell us a bit about your responsibilities.I run the dispensary. I sign prescriptions and counsel patients about prescriptions and over-the-counter products like cough and flu medicine and vitamins. I deal with doctors. I also supervise my technicians to make sure they're entering things correctly ÔÇô supervising is critical because you have to ensure the pharmacy is running smoothly.What is the most rewarding part of your job?I've been here for over a year so I've developed strong relationships with my patients. It's such an amazing feeling to have a patient come in and say, ÔÇÿOh thank goodness you're here. I only want to deal with you.' To know that you've been able to help your patients and to know that you've made a difference in their lives is incredibly rewarding. The coolest part of my job is definitely that 28 hours is considered full-time. The rest of the time, I am able to operate as a business and freelance at other pharmacies or, of course, to take the time off.What skills have you learned through your work experience?Communication skills, organization skills, leadership skills and patience. Patience is huge. Working on the retail side, people can be very demanding.What advice do you have for students looking to land their first job in your field?Work in a dispensary before you actually enroll to become a pharmacist. It will give you a feel for what it's like and allow you to see if it's something you will enjoy. Volunteer if you have to or get a summer job. It's a great career but it's not always what people expect. jpSponsored by Rogers