Student Voices: The Impact of Co-Curricular Activities

First-year student Amanda Bowlin shares her experience of what the School has to offer beyond the classroom

Story by Amanda Bowlin | Published March 7, 2023

Amanda Bowlin headshot outside

Student Voices gives first-person perspectives written by the students of the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. For this piece, we hear from Amanda Bowlin, PharmD candidate ’26, on how student organizations and co-curricular activities have enhanced her experience at the School.

As a first-year student at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, I knew I was interested in pursuing co-curricular activities; however, I had no idea how many organizations were available. My cohort was encouraged to attend a Student Senate carnival within the first week of school. I was thrilled and intimidated to be exposed to over 20 professional pharmacy organizations at the event. This experience spurred me to consider how my personal and professional interests and goals aligned with those of various organizations. I wanted to both make an impact and to be impacted by the organizations in which I chose to become involved.

After careful consideration, I elected to pledge the professional Pharmacy Fraternity Phi Delta Chi (PDC), and join the Industry Pharmacists Organization (IPhO), Student Senate as an Alumni Ambassador, and the Recruitment Ambassador Program (RAP). When compared, these organizations and activities are unrelated. I viewed them as individual opportunities for social interaction, mentor and mentee relationships, and professional development.

As a member of Phi Delta Chi, I have been overwhelmed by a sense of community. I have made strong friendships and discovered a support system with others in my field. I strongly value the alumni network to which PDC has connected me. I value the Industry Pharmacists Organization (IPhO) as I believe that I am interested in the industry aspect of pharmacy practice.

Membership in the IPhO organization has and continues to expose me to opportunities within the industry space. I appreciate the sharing of professionals related to their journeys, experiences, and positions. Information exposure assists me in determining what I do and do not care for with various roles of industry.

As a member of the Student Senate, I have been given opportunities to connect with alumni by volunteering at events and speaking with members over the phone. I thoroughly enjoy these communication experiences and look forward to making more connections in the coming years. My choice to join the Recruitment Ambassador Program (RAP) has been rewarding in more ways than I imagined. It is my favorite co-curricular involvement because it allows me to interact with prospective students. I value everything that the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy has to offer, and I look forward to sharing my experiences with others in this way. Members of RAP were valuable to me as an ESOP candidate and I value the opportunity to encourage others in the same ways that were offered to me.

The co-curricular activities offered at UNC have enhanced my PY1 year greatly. I have developed professional skills, alumni networks, communication skills and supportive friends because of my involvement. I look forward to assuming leadership positions within the organizations I have joined. I also look forward to growing organizations and activities so that they may continue to benefit the Eshelman School of Pharmacy students of the future.