University of South Florida

Taneja College of Pharmacy adds new resource for student success

A new resource within the Taneja College of Pharmacy – Industry Advisory Council(TCOP-IAC) will provide students networking and interprofessional opportunities with professionals in the pharmaceutical industry, experience that could help shape the careers of these future pharmacists.

This new grass-roots type effort, called the Pharmacy Industry Netork, or PIN, allows students to spend time with industry experts to gain valuable insight into that lane of the pharmacy profession.

PIN, who will meet bi-monthly, held its first meeting on April 16 and had an excellent turnout. Attendees included first- through fourth-year pharmacy students, faculty, staff, alumni, and industry partners. Discussion items included research, collaboration, and education collaboration. The goal of the first meeting was to gain the attendees’ input to create future goals for PIN to strive for, to determine the needs of the attendees, what they can contribute to the network, and what they would like to see the network do in future meetings.

Overall, attendees loved the idea of having the opportunity to network with one another within the network, happy to have the interaction with the industry, and would like to see guest speakers during these meetings according to Shyam Mohapatra, PhD, TCOP-IAC chair, and TCOP associate dean and professor.  Attendees were sent a brief survey following the meeting as an opportunity to share additional feedback and to gauge how PIN will move forward.

The PIN aims to provide these opportunities to TCOP students early in their academic journey to help guide them toward specific career paths in the industry and to help them better plan internships and other learning opportunities, Dr. Mohapatra said.

“Having hands-on experience and strong networking skills are important in the pharmacy industry,” he said. “The PIN allows students the opportunity to gain that necessary experience earlier in their academic careers, making them stronger candidates for jobs when they are ready to enter the workforce.”

Some of the industry partners working with the TCOP-IAC and University of South Florida include BioNTech, Pfizer, Bristol Myers Squibb.

The TCOP-IAC was established in 2020 to fulfill the college’s mission of revolutionizing health.  The IAC is comprised of partners with pharmacy, nanotechnology, biotechnology and life science industries, and other non-profit and for-profit research institutions.  The mission of the council is to:

  • Strengthen industry-academia partnerships within Florida.
  • Establish joint career, research, and educational collaborations and pipelines.
  • Foster and promote entrepreneurial activities.
  • Provide a network of industry contacts for stakeholders, faculty, and students.
  • Ensure education programs are effective and relevant for meeting the needs of industry affiliates and the community.

The next meeting of the PIN will be sometime in June.

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