Student Success Story: AkshayVilivalam

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Making a Difference!

"As an ISPE Student Member, I gained an incredible amount of exposure to the pharmaceutical industry. These experiences helped me determine exactly what the pharmaceutical industry really is and afforded me the advantage of meeting and talking to many industry leaders while I was still in school. I joined the Student Chapter at my university and attended ISPE local Chapter programs and the ISPE Annual Meeting, and participated in courses.

"ISPE is not just a professional organization, it is more like a family, a huge extended family where everyone is willing to help you and where you can also have some fun. I first attended a Delaware Valley Chapter program two years ago and as a student member, the local meetings were free. I have attended almost every meeting since then, including the ISPE Annual Meeting. You are offered the opportunity to attend educational courses, get credit for them, and ISPE members are really happy to see that you take an avid interest in the pharmaceutical industry at an early stage.

"The pharmaceutical industry is an excellent employer. Almost every major discipline can help you find a place in this industry. If you are an engineer, you can work in the manufacturing area. If you are a science major, R&D is a great place to work. If you are marketing major, there is a need for people in that field also. The best part of working in the pharmaceutical industry is that you can make a difference! You are helping people, saving lives, inventing new drugs, and marketing them to reach all ends of the globe.

"As any student in the last year in college, graduate or undergraduate, I was keenly looking out for a position in the industry. Through ISPE, I was able to meet people, get to know what their companies did, sit down for lunch with them whenever possible, and pass along my resume.

"Participating at my Chapter's Annual Poster Competition gave me the chance to show case my work to people in the industry and maybe impress a future employer. I received feedback and ideas on my research from people in the industry. The winners of local competitions receive a free trip to compete at the ISPE Annual Meeting where almost every pharmaceutical company has someone in attendance. A multitude of people get to see your work and your circle expands.

"I attended courses focusing on engineering trends in the industry, validation courses from a practical perspective, research trends in the industry, drug delivery, and many others. These courses helped me understand what would be expected of me if I was to work in the pharmaceutical industry. It cost nothing or very little to attend any of these courses; all you need is the desire to learn more about what's out there.

"For me, all this paid off because I have been hired to work for a company and a boss who I met at an ISPE meeting. I had passed along my resume to him, and he kept me in mind. Later when a position opened up, I was called in for an interview. The ultimate goal fulfilled, now I look back and say, if it was not for ISPE and its Student Chapters, I wouldn't be doing what I love - Making a Difference."


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