Student Spotlight: Sandy On

Meet fourth-year PharmD student Sandy On, who is the recipient of the California Society of Health-System Pharmacists (CSHP) Student Leadership in Health-System Practice Award and the CSHP Student Leadership Award for 2018. Sandy shares her plans to pursue an acute care residency, why she enjoys attending national conferences, and what leadership means to her.

What attracted you to the field of pharmacy?

My love of chemistry triggered my initial pursuit of a career in health, but I struggled to find a career that would utilize my chemistry background and offer me opportunities to educate. Eventually, I realized that getting a doctor of pharmacy degree and becoming a pharmacist would give me the flexibility to explore a number of diverse opportunities.

What do you like most about USC School of Pharmacy?

Community plays a huge role at the School. From the very beginning of my journey as a USC student, it was easy to see that the student body was one I would easily fit in with and work well with. Within my class, I am glad to have found peers who have continually pushed me to be a stronger student clinically and professionally.

You are the recipient of the CSHP Student Leadership in Health-System Practice Award and the CSHP Student Leadership Award for 2018. Can you talk about your involvement with the organization and what leadership means to you?

My involvement with CSHP started with joining our school chapter as a first-year representative. Throughout my involvement with CSHP and as a past president of our student chapter, CSHP has given me the opportunity to produce several large-scale networking events, manage a 35-member board, and coordinate health fair services that served more than 1,000 community members. With the help of mentors I acquired through this organization, I slowly learned what it meant to be a leader and forged my own leadership style. Being a leader to me means inspiring others and giving my team members the tools and guidance needed to achieve their goals.

What are the advantages of studying in a place like Los Angeles?

I find Los Angeles to be one of the most culturally diverse cities, indicated by the different restaurants, shops, and of course, people. I have always connected with Los Angeles and appreciate its proximity to neighborhoods with strong, distinct character such as East Los Angeles and Koreatown. I believe that studying in a city that is brimming with so much energy and creativity has helped me advance and develop as a pharmacy student.

What are your career aspirations?

The faculty at USC has played an integral role in my learning experience. They have inspired my interest to practice at the top of my degree and pursue a career in clinical pharmacy following graduation. The first step toward this aspiration will be applying for acute care residency programs this fall.

What is one of the most memorable experiences you’ve had at USC so far?

Some of my most memorable experiences at USC happened while attending conferences. After attending more than 10 conferences across five or six different states, I have come to love networking with different pharmacists and students, exploring new cities, and getting to know my fellow USC student attendees. One of my most memorable conference experiences was representing USC at the 2017 APHA Annual Meeting in San Francisco, California by participating in the national counseling competition.

What is a fun fact about you that not many people know about?

I will be running my first half marathon in November!