Aliaksandr Savin remembers the day he got accepted to the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Alberta. He was attending his brother’s convocation when he got the email everyone hopes for when they’re anxiously awaiting acceptance to a program – the one that starts with “congratulations.”
“I was working on campus that summer, and I remember walking through the halls of the Edmonton Clinic Health Academy (ECHA) knowing that in just a few months I would be there as a pharmacy student,” Aliaks recalls. “It was an incredible feeling.”
Fast-forward to June of this year, when Aliaks was presented with ACP’s 2017 Leadership Development Award at the annual Celebration of Leadership event in Edmonton. Created to support the development of professionalism, leadership, and citizenship in pharmacy, the award provides up to $5,000 to advance a student’s leadership skills through participation in a leadership development opportunity such as a conference, course, or workshop.
“It’s very humbling to be chosen for the Leadership Development Award,” said Aliaks. “It’s more than just monetary. It provides you with the opportunity to pursue something of interest to you that will inspire your practice to be different.”
In addition to his current role as President of the Alberta Pharmacy Students Association (APSA), Aliaks has gained leadership experience through his volunteer work at the Misericordia Hospital and Campus Food Bank. He also organized APSA’s annual Mr. Pharmacy event in support of Movember Canada while in the role of Vice President External for APSA. To students who are looking to build their leadership, citizenship, and professionalism skills, Aliaks has some good advice to share.
“Step outside your comfort zone and see where it takes you. My first volunteer experience was with the Campus Food Bank. I got to work with a lot of vulnerable populations which was really eye-opening,” said Aliaks. “Seeing where these individuals come from and what they have to go through can definitely influence the care you provide.”
Now in his fourth year of the pharmacy program, Aliaks looks forward to using his award for a leadership development opportunity that will add value to his practice and inspire those around him.
“It would be interesting to find an opportunity that is unique in the sense that we haven’t had much exposure to it in Canada,” said Aliaks. “We’re fortunate to have the scope of practice we do in Alberta, and there’s a lot we can share with our peers around the world, but there’s a lot we can learn, too. I think it’s important to keep seeking out and sharing best practices so we can help our patients as much as possible.”
Are you interested in building your leadership capacity? Learn more about ACP’s Leadership Development Award and how to apply at https://pharmacists.ab.ca/acp-awards. Deadline to apply is March 1, 2018.