Learn more about the Path of Distinction in Leadership that features a core mentoring component where pharmacy leaders mentor our PharmD students.
Launching your career? We can help.
At the UW‒Madison School of Pharmacy, we don’t just give you the knowledge you need to practice in this exciting health care field; we also want to make sure you’ll hit the ground running with career opportunities that give you room to grow and advance.
To provide a holistic learning experience for our students, we offer professional development opportunities throughout the curriculum and outside of the classroom to help you grow as a professional. These practical learning experiences will help prepare you for a successful career and be competitive in the job market.
Your Quick Release Guide to Career Resources
- Job Placement Assistance Our network of employers runs deep, and includes retail pharmacies, hospitals, governmental organizations, and even research facilities. No matter where you want to work or what direction your career grows, we can help you keep moving forward, first as a new graduate and later as a working professional.
- Career Events We regularly host career development days, career fairs, and interview sessions. During these events you’ll learn about resume writing, internships, interview tips, professional etiquette, and so much more to help you prepare for your job search. You’ll also get the chance to make a strong impression with employers around the country.
- Professional Development Courses As part of your PharmD curriculum, we will introduce you to various career paths within the profession during your first year. Then in the coursework, we help you with how to contact employers, talk about your strengths, and network with industry professionals while planning your professional journey.
- Career Advising If you're not sure what kind of pharmacy practice you want to pursue, we're here to help. We can assist students with creating career plans, establishing post-graduation objectives, and developing ongoing career decision-making strategies.
- Mentoring Opportunities Your career advisors will help you make personal connections with alumni, mentors, and pharmacy professionals who can offer career development opportunities that fit your areas of interest. In addition, some concentrations, paths, and student organizations can facilitate mentor relationships with practicing pharmacists and recruiters.
We want to be sure you have every opportunity to succeed, so we do everything we can to help you find the perfect start to your career.
The School of Pharmacy’s Career Days is a 2-day annual event held in the fall at Rennebohm Hall. The Career Fair brings more than 30 employers to recruit our PharmD students. Past recruiters included Walgreens, CVS, Aurora Health Care, Froedtert Hospital, Gundersen Health System, SSM Health, UW Health, Mayo Clinic, Fort Health Care, Navitus, Epic, and many others.
The Career Development Day offers specially curated career preparation programs for each PharmD class. Past programming included sessions on:
- 1st Year Students (DPH-1): Networking, post-graduation training options, and resume writing workshops
- 2nd Year Students (DPH-2): Internships, resume reviews, creating your “elevator speech” for recruiters, and exploring elective course options
- 3rd Year Students (DPH-3): Career panels, post-graduation opportunities, making the transition from student to pharmacist, selecting clerkships (APPE), and UW Health Hospital & Clinics presentation on its clerkship programs
- 4th Year Students (DPH-4): Employer interviews, networking lunch with alumni and recruiters, resume and cover letter workshops, interviewing tips, choosing the right employer for you, and navigating the residency process
- Job InterviewsRecruiters from leading organizations come on-campus for our PharmD students during Career Days. Employers conduct interviews with students for jobs and internships.
- Career FairConducted in an exhibit format, the Career Fair is an opportunity for students to meet employers, ask questions, and learn about jobs as pharmacists and industry pharmacy positions, in addition to residencies and internships in both introductory and advanced pharmacy practice experiences.
- Career Development Panel Discussions and WorkshopsStudents learn about current trends in the job market, pharmacy career paths, post-graduation opportunities, tips for improving their resume (CV) and interview skills, and more.
- Clerkship (APPE) Networking with PreceptorsThird-year PharmD students can network with preceptors (practicing pharmacists) from various APPE sites and learn more about their rotation opportunities and clerkship experience. Plus, nationally top-ranked hospital, UW Health, provides an APPE presentation about its clerkship programs.
Leading healthcare employers recognize the quality of our top-ranked PharmD program and for producing well-prepared graduates who are ready to lead and step into patient care roles.
In addition to Career Days in the fall, PharmD students have access to more on-campus recruiting events with the School of Pharmacy’s Spring Interview Days. Employers come to Rennebohm Hall to interview our students for jobs and internships. Spring Interview Days are held in March and April.
Our PharmD students have access to the job board and job search tool called Handshake, a recruiting platform used by over 200,000 employers across the country where employers post jobs and internships, schedule on-campus interviews, and more. Whether you’re a first-year student looking for a part-time pharmacy technician job or a fourth-year student ready to change lives as a pharmacist, Handshake offers access to employers in a variety of healthcare settings so you can find the job best for you.
Another resource is the School of Pharmacy Career Connection newsletter — chock full of career advice, guidance on maximizing career events, help with career planning, access to special discounts on professional clothing, helpful career management articles, and many other useful topics. This monthly newsletter is designed to support you with resources and information that will help you launch the career you want.
The Professional Development and Engagement (PDE) curriculum helps PharmD students develop personally and professionally through various activities and a weekly colloquium series. The PDE curriculum is required of all students in the first three years of the program and provides opportunities for students to:
- Identify, evaluate and select career options (PHM PRAC 461 — Pathways in Pharmacy Practice)
- Assess and communicate personal values, skills and strengths (PHM PRAC 462: PDE I — Developing Your Professional Identity)
- Compose and prioritize professional and educational goals (PHM PRAC 463: PDE II — Cultivating Self-Awareness)
- Navigate the residency, fellowship, education or job acquisition process (PHM PRAC 463: PDE II — Cultivating Self-Awareness)
- Recognize healthcare needs of diverse populations (PHM PRAC 464: PDE III — Promoting Professional Engagement)
- Demonstrate professional behavior (PHM PRAC 464: PDE III — Promoting Professional Engagement)
- (PHM PRAC 465: PDE IV — Embracing Continuous Professional Development)
Professional Engagement Communities, informally known as “Houses,” are composed of pharmacy students from all classes. Houses foster community, leadership, professionalism and collaboration among the PharmD classes by providing additional leadership, mentoring and service opportunities. The program involves all current and future students.
All students are randomly assigned during New Student Orientation to one of five Houses—Green, Orange, Purple, Yellow and Blue but participation in House activities is voluntary.
Each House has four House Representatives that are responsible for planning events with the assistance of a Faculty and Pharmacist House Mentor.
All House members will have an opportunity to compete in the year-long House Cup Competition. Events include:
- Wearing House colors at SoP events
- House Olympics
- One House meeting each semester
- More social events throughout the year
- Mentoring and community service opportunities
Interhouse Council (IHC)
The Interhouse Council (IHC) is the governing body of the houses and consists of four elected students from each of the five houses. Individual members of the IHC are collectively called House Representatives. House Representative are elected annually by the IHC and Student and Academic Affairs staff.
Within the IHC, the office positions include:
- Community Engagement Officers (CEO) — 2 positions
- Finance Officer
- Student Senate Representative
- Communications Coordinator — 1 per House
- House Cup Coordinators — 1 per House
- Community Engagement Liaison — 1 per House
With more than a dozen pharmacy student organizations available, you can find a community that shares your interests and passions. Meet new people and expand your network as you develop leadership skills and build critical professional experience through outreach.
Among the many pharmacy student organizations that provide leadership and professional networking opportunities, the School of Pharmacy has an active chapter of the national pharmacy leadership society Phi Lambda Sigma, which offers a Leadership Development Track and a Mentoring Program. PLS’s Community Service Challenge is also designed to develop leadership skills for pharmacy students.
Some other health-oriented professional and/or pharmacy-related student organizations include:
- Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA)
- Health Professions Society
- Multicultural Affairs Program in Pharmacy (MAPP)
Plus, there’s over 800 other student organizations on the UW‒Madison campus so you can explore everything from sports and health/wellness to arts and cultural opportunities. Check out your options on the Wisconsin Involvement Network web site to see all UW student orgs.
In this professional development opportunity, Class Council offers a unique leadership role to represent the PharmD class as well as work with other PharmD students as peer mentors.
Each PharmD class (DPH-1, DPH-2, and DPH-3) is represented by a council of 4-5 students from each class, including the two class officers. The groups meet with the academic advisor to share updates on positive developments and arising concerns within their class. Council members make announcements and send emails to their class regarding the most important information.
The Class Council program aims to:
- Develop a proactive approach to facilitating communication between the council members and their respective class and between students, faculty, and staff
- Enable students to creatively and collaboratively solve problems
- Provide a space for positive feedback as well as constructive suggestions
- Strengthen communication and improve climate within the school
All PharmD students are assigned an academic advisor who can assist with, or provide appropriate referrals for, academic and personal issues, time management, test-taking techniques and study skills.