If I could choose one word to describe my fourth week at AACP, it would be practical. This past week was the most eventful yet as Jen, Katie, and I traveled to San Francisco, California, for the second of two WebAdMIT training sessions. I would like to preface my reflection by expressing sincere thanks to Jen and Katie for allowing me to join them on this adventure to the west coast – it was a very enjoyable experience and I learned a great deal about what AACP’s role is with respect to the pharmacy admissions process. Despite the fact that only fourteen representatives from colleges of pharmacy were in attendance, it was apparent that the session was necessary and helpful very early in the programming. The audience was diverse, as there were members from local California colleges as well as admissions personnel that traveled all the way from Buffalo, New York! The WebAdMIT portal is a new service through Liaison and Academic Software Plus and provides a great resource for AACP members. Since this system is new for the upcoming admissions cycle, it is vital to train the necessary personnel at each school and college of pharmacy so that they may utilize all of the tools to gain the most benefit from this service – a very practical approach.
There were several important dimensions that I noted while observing the programming over a two-day timeframe, the most obvious being the important role Jen played. Although Tonniele and David (from Academic Software Plus) were the main presenters, Jen was the AACP representative present greet those in attendance and also available to help trouble-shoot. True to form, Jen was able to add important pieces of relevant information throughout both sessions, and every time she spoke there were heads nodding in agreement and verbal appreciation expressed. It was obviously very important that Jen was available to serve the members with her expertise and be the helpful link between our vendor representatives and our member representatives.
Another dimension of this programming was the importance of having an in-person session. Although the system is electronic, it was apparent that most in attendance had varying levels of exposure to the new system; it was very practical to hold a real-time session so that questions could be asked in the appropriate places and trouble-shooting could occur for all to follow along and participate. It was also beneficial for networking purposes, as having a smaller group created a higher level of comfort and the members were able to bond and share success stories, as well as situations to avoid. Overall, I listened in as the members spoke to each other and heard only positive feedback in their candid conversations. Several individuals thought it was a lot of information in a short amount of time, but this was necessary in order to bring everyone up to speed and familiarize them with the resources to utilize if they run into future problems with the system or even with applicants through PharmCAS.
Finally, the meeting was not all work, as we were able to enjoy the sites and culture that San Francisco has to offer. We enjoyed walking around the embarcadero and dinner on the pier next to the Bay Bridge (see pictures below). Even though some of us were not as prepared for the weather as we should have been, it made for a fun shopping stop on the way to dinner on Thursday night’s festivities. All things considered, the trip was a success professionally, personally, and practically.
Picture 1: Stopping to enjoy a garden in between buildings on the way to the embarcadero. In order from left to right is David, Tania, Katie, Kelley, Jen, and Tonniele.
Picture 2: Jen, Katie and I enjoying the sight of the Bay Bridge on the pier at dusk..