On Wednesday 9 October, APPEL held its inaugural Cultivating Connections event. The event was organised to offer APPEL placement providers and pharmacy students with an opportunity to meet each other in a relaxed setting and build lasting relationships for the future. Hosted in the RCSI’s Examination Hall, guests had the opportunity to meet past and present classmates, colleagues, peers, and friends, while also learning new networking skills.

Over 130 people attended the event, with representatives from Boots, Lloyds Pharmacy, McCabe’s, McCauley’s, Novartis, HSE Addictions Services, the PSI, and more showcasing the career and development opportunities in their organisations. 

Guests attending Ms Caitlin O’Connor’s presentation

There were also academics, researchers, and the Heads of School from the Schools of Pharmacy in UCC, RCSI, and Trinity College, providing information on postgraduate opportunities in each institution. 

Students were hugely supportive of the event, with students from UCC, RCSI, and Trinity participating in the networking workshops, while also learning more about their future career opportunities. 

APPEL ensured Cork students were facilitated in attending by providing a free bus to and from the event. The students’ wide variety of interests in different areas of pharmacy were well matched by professionals from community and hospital pharmacy, the pharma industry, academia, regulation, and role-emerging practice settings. 

Students had the opportunity to speak with various professionals to learn about different areas where they could undertake an experiential learning placement or be employed in the future.

APPEL Practice Educator, Ms Ruth McCarthy, with the Heads of the UCC, RCSI and Trinity Schools of Pharmacy

The highlight of the evening was the networking seminar and workshop provided by Ms Caitlin O’Connor from Accelerating Performance.  Through a fascinating presentation and a series of interactive exercises, Ms O’Connor guided everyone in developing their networking skills and cultivating connections for their professional networks.

Prof Steve Kerrigan and Dr Seona Rossi discussing postgraduate opportunities in the RCSI with a student

The evening was a great success, said APPEL, with students and pharmacy professionals alike enjoying the opportunity to learn a new skill and meet new people. APPEL is currently looking to arrange more events in the future, and it is expected  that Cultivating Connections will be even bigger and better in October 2020.

APPEL events are just one of the many benefits of engaging with APPEL and offering experiential learning placements to students. If you are interested in learning more about APPEL and the experiential learning placements on the MPharm programme, see the website www.appel.ie or contact ops@appel.ie.