Meet Ali Goldensoph, a fourth-year student pharmacist in the Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program who is currently completing final-year rotations. Ali recently spent a five-week rotation at Eli Lilly and Company.
Name: Ali Goldensoph
Hometown: Chariton, Iowa
Degree Program: PharmD, May 2024
Rotation Site: Eli Lilly and Company
Rotation Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
My preceptor and the rotation at Eli Lilly offered a flexible experience to address my areas of interest. I typically would attend meetings with my preceptor’s functional team, work on my rotation projects, and have 1:1 meetings with Eli Lilly employees who worked in the functional area that I was interested in. Eli Lilly also organized meetings with presentations from a variety of areas for all APPE students to attend.
My absolute favorite part of this rotation was having the opportunity to work with the clinical trial supply team who supported my student projects and made it evident that my success was a priority to them. My preceptor and his supervisor invested their time in my own professional development to a level that exceeded my expectations.
The biggest lesson/challenge that I learned related to the development of my soft skills. Coming from a very clinical background and a university that makes professionalism a priority, I had to adapt to an office environment where the communication methods appear more casual and are different than that of a hospital or pharmacy. This may seem like a small thing but as a student, you are constantly reaching out and messaging new people and working very closely on projects with people who are your superiors. Business casual communication and ‘managing up’ are skills that should not be overlooked.
When I first became a pharmacy student, I did not quite realize the scope of an industry pharmacist. Some functional areas, like regulatory sciences and clinical trial supply strategy were not of interest to me simply because I did not know that was an area a PharmD could excel in.
I was surprised by the things that people took interest in pertaining to my own background and skills. Being a student who has studied abroad and who has a master’s degree in public health was of immense interest to those around me. I am glad I took advantage of those opportunities while I was at Drake. It helped me to communicate with global Lilly colleagues who worked in a variety of countries.
I would say that the biggest thing that Drake did to prepare me for a rotation at Lilly was the team-based learning that is implemented. Communicating with peers and having discussions is again a huge skill to continuously improve on. In addition to that, the curriculum at Drake also allowed me to have multiple presentation experiences which helped me to feel more comfortable when I was presenting my final project at the end of the rotation.
As of current, I am exploring either a career in the pharmaceutical industry in regulatory affairs or a PGY1/PGY2 residency route with a focus on infectious disease. Completing my clinical rotations is already playing a big role in that final career decision that I am working to make.
I would advise them to focus on themselves during their rotation process. Do not be afraid to complete rotations outside of Iowa so that you can have opportunities and experiences that will help you figure out your career and future. Do not limit yourself. On the same note, focus on your own experiences and do not choose a rotation solely based on what other previous students’ experiences were like or what your classmates are saying. Do what is best for you and create preferences and a schedule that you will love and that will set you up to be a competitive applicant.
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