Make the most of your placement

marias-photoI would have never believed it if someone had told me that come my 2nd year of studying Pharmacy I would be working at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s publishing body, Pharmaceutical Press (PhP). Their logo was everywhere, from my lecture slides to reference books, which is what made the interview so surreal – I was sitting in a room, meeting the editor of one of the major pharmaceutical publications, the Martindale. It was overwhelming; I was at the heart of where the most treasured publications are created.

So, how did I get the position? Three things come to mind – passion for my field, willingness to learn and confidence in my abilities. I wanted the job, I was hungry to learn new things and I was confident that I could do it. Once I got the role, I knew I needed to show that I was willing and able to do a good job.

More than ever before I wanted to make the most of this opportunity that had presented itself to me, and these are the key learnings that I came away with…

Time management

I quickly learned that this was key for all editorial tasks. Given the duty of checking the doses for each drug chapter, I had to write my start and finish time to keep track of how long I was spending on each task. This ensured I was being more productive and used my time more efficiently. I highly recommend this practice be applied to any task that you think might not be time efficient, just to learn for yourself where you can improve.

Make notes

I sat in on meetings where I learned of the elaborate processes behind the Martindale and received detailed introductions to various publications by the lead editors. This was a lot to absorb and no one expects you to remember everything off the top of your head. I also made it a habit to write down a quick summary of daily proceedings, lessons learnt and discussions. Having everything to come back to made it all less overwhelming, and meant I was able to catch up quicker!

Be proactive

Taking an interest in those working at the RPS was a great way of making long lasting connections. All the editorial staff were more than happy to share how they came to work there and the roles they carry out on a daily basis. This curiosity meant that I was offered the opportunity to blog for the Pharmaceutical Journal, as well as being interviewed for a media project. Make sure you take the time to look around you and learn from your environment and your peers; many new insights and opportunities may arise from curiosity!

I hope this is useful to students looking to make the most of their placements, wherever they may be, and helps them make the most of such an incredible experience.


Maria Victoria

3rd Year Kingston University Student

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