2023 Pharmacy CAREERxPO Offers Students the Opportunity to Shape Their Futures

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October 24, 2023 | Downers Grove, IL

Pharmacy students met with recruiters to learn more about various opportunities.

The College of Pharmacy on the Downers Grove Campus held its annual CAREERxPO, where recruiters from over 35 retail pharmacies, hospitals, and other healthcare organizations made themselves available for students to ask questions about full-time careers, part-time jobs, internships, residencies, and other pharmacy career possibilities. The recruiters included those from several retail pharmacies, a few hospital systems, a remote patient-monitoring company, a pharmacy staffing company, as well as 25 residency programs, many of whom represented multiple programs, and included opportunities in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan, and Iowa.

Some of the recruiters previously worked with Midwestern University College of Pharmacy alumni. Diane Erdman, Pharm.D., Director, Ambulatory Care Pharmacy Services, Residency Program Director, Ascension Medical Group, Wisconsin, said, “I’ve had a few residents from Midwestern University. They were all very well-prepared for residency pharmacy.” Dr. Erdman added that they are looking for pharmacy residents for their Racine and Milwaukee locations. “We think our programs have a lot to offer for students. It’s exciting to see the new generation of pharmacists coming through.” Dr. Erdman also said the students came in fully prepared to speak with the recruiters.

A variety of recruiters representing a plethora of healthcare organizations lined the lobby of Cardinal Hall.

Dani Schuyler, Pharm.D., Resident Pharmacist University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics said she was impressed with the students. “They knew the questions to ask, even the ones who didn’t quite know what they want to do.” The University of Iowa representatives made their inaugural appearance at the CAREERxPO, with the goal of expanding their outreach to a wider field of schools and increasing awareness about their institution and programs.  Dr. Schuyler said they are interested in letting more students know about their residency opportunities.

Jen Boehm, Pharm.D., Emergency Medicine Clinical Pharmacist, Elkhart General Hospital, Beacon Health System (Indiana and Michigan), and 2013 alum of the College of Pharmacy added, “It’s exciting meeting different levels of students, and what they’re looking for in their future. I’m getting an idea of what they’re also aspiring to.” Dr. Boehm continued, “I graduated from pharmacy school in 2013. I received a really good education here, and I appreciated my professors and my education at Midwestern University. I highly recommend it.” She reflected on the Midwestern students she has worked with in her professional career. “I think they’re 100 percent on par with where they should be when they graduate, respectful and knowledgeable. I would love to take on more at our hospital.”

Salma Ziauddin, Pharm.D., Clinical Coordinator and Residency Program Director, Ascension Resurrection, Chicago, and 2013 alum of the College of Pharmacy added, “The professors are very knowledgeable and help you grow in your career.” Dr. Ziauddin added that past Midwestern University students have been great residents on their teams, and they would like to have more Midwestern University students in their residency program. “It is one of the strongest schools from which we recruit.”

Numerous Midwestern University alumni came to the CAREERxPO to recruit students for a variety of opportunities. Damienne Jugovic, M.S.Ed, MBA, Assistant to the Dean, Adjunct Instructor, College of Pharmacy, and CAREERxPO Director said, “We love to see all the alumni that join us for this event. It’s great to see them back on campus, talking with our students, sharing their own experiences, as well as answering questions about future career possibilities.”

Recruiters discussed residency opportunities with students.

Students were appreciative of the opportunity to meet with the healthcare recruiters. Milan Hotchkiss (CPDG ’25) said her experience was “very informative, especially the community pharmacies. The recruiters have been helpful, explaining things, getting us interested.” Milan was grateful for the opportunity to have a head start in her future career as a healthcare professional. “It’s nice being able to hear about all this now.” Bianca Chen (CPDG ’25) also spoke well of her experience at the CAREERxPO. “It’s been very informative. They explain what they offer and what to expect. It’s a free opportunity to talk and network.” Mayur Patel (CPDG ’25) shared that his experience at CAREERxPO was very positive. “It’s an opportunity to explore what the recruiters are thinking about, and an opportunity to talk to the ambulatory community care pharmacy.” Naquib Rahim Bux (CPDG ’24) said it was a great chance to “see a lot of residency jobs, especially going into the residency cycle.” Martin Sornat (CPDG ’24) added he appreciated the variety of residency sites that came to the fair. William Jordan (CPDG ’24) said he is interested in a community residency. CAREERxPO offered the opportunity to “get more information about something I want to do and see the different aspects of each one, and what they offer.”

Residency programs, employment opportunities, and other possibilities piqued the interest of the pharmacy students. Mayur said he was particularly interested in the Franciscan Alliance ambulatory specialty with diabetes. Mayur shared that he was inspired to study pharmacy because his mother lives with diabetes, and he would like to help patients who struggle with diabetes. Another option Mayur was drawn to was Kroger Health/ Mariano’s. Milan is interested in the career offered by CPS Telepharmacy. The opportunities of an informatics residency at NorthShore University Health System and the Jewel-Osco/ Albertsons residency particularly interested Bianca. Naquib is particularly interested in ambulatory care and cardiology. He added the residency with Advocate Health at Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center in Wisconsin appealed to him. Timothy Krafcisin (CPDG ’24) liked the opportunity of “a teaching certificate for the residency programs.” And Sydney Waskin (CPDG ’24) shared her future career path. “I’m very passionate about oncology.” She said it was important for her to receive a good foundation in PGY1 to go into PGY2.  

Recent alum Gabby Rizko (CPDG ’23) attended CAREERxPO and said she is looking for a residency program. “Attending this event is easier than researching online. As a recent August graduate, the career fair helps me focus on what I want to pursue.” Gabby added she is interested in going for a residency in chronic disease management such as diabetes and hypertension.

Midwestern University offers CAREERxPO free of charge to students to help them prepare for their careers as healthcare professionals. Midwestern University offers Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree programs on both the Downers Grove and Glendale campuses.