We had the opportunity to talk with Lindsey and see what it's like to work in the compounding pharmacy industry.
What is a typical day like at your job?
Depends on the day! We're a small but growing pharmacy; I'm currently the only full-time communications staff member. My job includes: graphic design, advertising, outreach to patients and prescribers, marketing, social media, web design, event planning, video production, writing for our newsletter and blog, copy editing, and much more.
How was the job application process for you?
Unusually simple! I signed up for daily Indeed job alerts, and completely built out my LinkedIn page. Once I narrowed down what type of work I wanted to do, the search became easy. I knew I wanted to work in communications in a health care setting in the Bay Area in California. I started to look for jobs three months before graduation. I found my current position through Indeed; applied in February, had a phone interview a week later, and flew out to San Francisco in March for a face-to-face meeting. I was really lucky because Koshland Pharm held the position for me until I graduated from grad school at Simmons in May.
Andy Porter in the Communications Department is a great resource for information when job-hunting. I highly suggest talking with him. He has a lot of connections since he's the Director of Internships.
What is your favorite part of your job?
Meeting with doctors and letting them know how much we can do for them and their hard-to-treat patients. Our pharmacy is unique because we create medications based on patient-specific needs. Every medication is handmade, in-house. We have a lot of neat dosage forms that many prescribers have never heard of before. For example, for kids that have a hard time swallowing pills, we can put the active drug in a lollipop, gummy bear, or ice pop for easier administration. Unlike mass manufactured drugs, all of our medications are sugar-free, gluten free, and lactose free. Everything is customized!
How did you know the organization was a good fit for you?
Throughout highschool I had always wanted to be a pharmacist. I was actually accepted into the PharmD program at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy next door to Simmons, where I completed one year of pharmacy school. While I liked the coursework, I felt like my creativity was being stifled. The following year I transferred into Simmons, where I could be more creative while also continuing my passion for health care with my public health minor. Transferring was relatively easy.
If you could come back and take one class at Simmons what would it be?
I am very passionate about urban beekeeping; it's what I did my graduate thesis on. Lucky for Simmons, the owner of Boston's Best Bees Company,Noah Wilson Rich is now a professor! I interviewed him for my thesis and I can't say enough great things about him. I could probably talk to him about bees for hours! As of last spring, Simmons installed a beehive on the roof of Lafavour. I encourage everyone to go take a peek - it's amazing; Especially in the spring!
How has it been transitioning into a young professional?
After graduating from my grad program I moved across the country and started working full time all within two weeks. It was definitely a whirlwind of events - but I'm so glad I did it. I'd say the only real difficult part of transitioning into a professional is that there are no summer or winter breaks. Enjoy the time off while you can!
How did Simmons help prepare you for your career?
Simmons provided me with amazing internships at both Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School (HMS). If you are a communications student, I suggest interning for HMS. My mentor Katie DuBoff was so great, and I learned a ton of things that I use in my position now. I never felt like I was doing "busy-work." I was very lucky because HMS let me continue my internship from undergrad to grad school. I worked for them for a year and a half, which looks excellent on resumes. The more experience you have, the better you'll do in the job search.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Professionally, in ten years I hope to be in some sort of management role. In addition, I'd love to be an adjunct communications professor for one of the universities out here in San Francisco. I also hope to be doing more here with urban beekeeping - my goal is to have my very own hive!
What advice would you give to the current Simmons undergraduate students?
If you're interested in grad school, do it right away. One of the great things about Simmons is that I was able to start my Masters of Communications Management program my senior year of undergrad. This allowed me to finish the program in one year versus two. I'm so glad I went right away, because going back to school later in life is much harder. I also made a lot of great friends in the program!