The UI College of Pharmacy Professional Mentorship Program began in 2010 when the first group of alumni and friends walked on stage at the White Coat Ceremony to coat their assigned students. In the six years since, over 300 practitioners have shared their knowledge, experience, and guidance with future pharmacists.
The mentor program pairs pharmacy professionals with first-year pharmacy students to serve as a guidepost and point of contact to the student throughout their academic career. These relationships are a valuable resource for students, as well as rewarding and enriching for both students and professionals. Students learn practical career information, create professional contacts for future opportunities, and often set up shadowing or rotation experiences.
“It’s nice to be that trusted adviser and role model to student pharmacists. I support my students by offering suggestions and knowledge, both general and specific, even constructive criticism at times. The goal is to help them improve their skills, and hopefully, advance their careers,” said Pamela Wiltfang, ’12 PharmD, who currently mentors four UI College of Pharmacy students.
There are also numerous benefits of becoming a mentor including increased job satisfaction, increased confidence, and strengthening communication skills. The college is currently recruiting mentors for the Class of 2020.