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What’s it like to be on the British Pharmaceutical Students’ Association (BPSA) executive?

Osenadia Joseph-Ebare

SO, where do I begin? September last year was when I first heard about the British Pharmaceutical Students’ Association (BPSA)? The day that I was elected as Southern Area Co-ordinator?

Being on the executive, you, together with eighteen other elected members have a mandate to represent almost 15,000 pharmacy students and pre-registration pharmacists across Great Britain. This does sound breathtaking, but the BPSA is dynamic.

It has been so for the past 74 years of its existence, and it always will be too. The executive is bursting with independent, creative thinkers, who are always trying to do something new. Being on the executive has taken me to places I never imagined visiting: Stoke-on-Trent, Liverpool, Wolverhampton, Colwall, Portsmouth to name but a few.

The road towards being on the executive began when I applied to be a BPSA representative at my University. I’ve always loved being part of something bigger, and the opportunity to represent the views of King’s College School of Pharmacy stood out to me as invaluable. I played parts in organising OSCE style competitions, and alongside other BPSA reps, I engaged my year group in events such as area conferences, and local practice forums.

I first gained an insight to what it was like to be on the BPSA executive from president, Lottie Bain, President, Amit Parekh and Stephen Messham (vice president and public relations officer respectively) at a BPSA training day. The executive is formed of students from as early as second year, leading up to first year qualified, and we all come from a wide range of different universities. The new academic year has only just begun, and my work as the Southern Area Co-ordinator begins with visiting all six of the universities within my constituency and welcoming the new students who have just begun their journey in the MPharm degree. The BPSA executive has a responsibility to promote the profession, to educate our members, and to support students in having the best possible start to their (hopefully) long and careers as pharmacists.

This October I intend to hold a conference on cancer at Medway School of Pharmacy, and I’ve been in contact with the British Oncology Pharmacy Association (BOPA), the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS), and the International Society of Oncology Pharmacy Practitioners (ISOPP) in a hope to invite inspiring oncology pharmacists for students across the country to come and learn something new.

Last April, I made a promise to over one hundred delegates at the BPSA annual conference. I want to show students the dynamics of pharmacy that they hadn’t seen before, and organising certain things will be a logistical nightmare. However, with eighteen other members of the BPSA executive by my side, I believe that there’s nothing we can’t do.

Osenadia Joseph-Ebare is a pharmacy Student at King’s College London and the Southern Area Co-ordinator for the BPSA 2015-16

Follow Osenadia @OsenadiaJE

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