I got to know about the ISPE poster competition through a friend in my university and I thought I will give it a try. I presented my poster in the ISPE Conference in Singapore earlier this year and received very positive feedback from the judges and was declared the winner. Meeting and being congratulated by the experts in the pharmaceutical industry was an overwhelming experience and I enjoyed every second of it. Besides winning the competition, what excited me more was a trip to the USA sponsored by ISPE to present my poster in the international finals. The international final was held during the 2011 ISPE Annual Meeting from 6-9 Nov in Dallas/Ft. Worth (Grapevine), Texas.
After a long flight, I arrived in Dallas on 5 November. I attended the Young Professional Lunch on the following day where I met the participants from other countries. There were undergraduate and graduate students from China and Turkey, besides the USA. It was a good opportunity to meet and network with professionals in the pharmaceutical industry. What I really liked was the fact that ISPE took special care to make sure that there was good interaction between the students and the industry professionals and students were not left out of the conference. There were student mentors, who were working professionals that volunteered to guide the students and share their experiences.
All the participants had the opportunity to discuss their research with each other, which was followed by the welcome reception. The next day was the big day of the competition. There was a lot of enthusiasm among all the participants, who were more than ready to share their research work. All of us gave our best and the day ended with a great dinner with more interaction and laughter.
The final day was the Membership Luncheon and Awards Ceremony where Diane Darlington (North Carolina Central University) and Ryan Lojek (Villanova University) were announced winners of the poster competition in the graduate and undergraduate category respectively. ISPE has provided a wonderful platform for students to not only improve their presentation skills but also to network with other pharmaceutical professionals and scientists.
What started as a simple poster competition actually turned out to be much more than that. I joined the Executive Committee of the ISPE student chapter as the President in September 2011 and got involved in more ISPE activities. During the ISPE Annual Meeting, I got the chance to interact with the Executive Committee members of other student chapters, which gave me fruitful insights about organising various events. In the coming year we have exciting site visits to pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer, Merck etc., a stimulating quiz night and an inspirational career session and many more events planned. We aim to further increase the ISPE student membership and take ISPE Singapore student chapter to the next level.
To sum up, it has been a great learning experience and I would encourage all young engineers to grab the opportunity and participate in the ISPE poster competition. If given a chance, I would love to participate again. Finally, I would like to thank Fiona for taking care of every little detail and making the entire experience so memorable. I am also grateful to Dr. Prasad and Dr. Julia Gandhi for their guidance. And thanks to ISPE (Singapore Affiliate) for giving me this opportunity!
“It was a good opportunity to meet and
network with professionals in the
Mitali Kakran shared her experience in
attending the Annual Meeting.