Giving back through volunteering
Waterloo School of Pharmacy recognizes volunteers during National Volunteer Week
Vivian Ng (BSc Pharmacy ’05) has been volunteering for over 10 years as a PharmD interviewer at Waterloo Pharmacy since the program’s inception. She works jointly at Grand River Hospital (GRH) and St Mary’s General Hospital (SMGH) in the Integrated Clinical Pharmacy Lead Informatics Specialist role.
As a University of Toronto Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy graduate, Vivian loves feeling a connection to both her alma mater and Waterloo Pharmacy. Seeing how the curriculum has developed over the years and networking between both Schools makes Vivian proud to be part of both organizations.
"When I got into pharmacy, I was really young. I had only completed my first year of my undergraduate degree when I decided to apply to a rigorous program and felt I did not have the maturity or world-view of my peers. It’s incredible to see the breadth of students applying, from younger students to those undergoing a complete career change."
"For me, seeing what they’ve already accomplished is one thing, but their capacity for growth and recognition for self-improvement is quite another. Having students approach me years later and tell me that they remember I interviewed them is an incredible way to feel connected and to give back to pharmacy."
“The Waterloo PharmD admission interview process has been the cornerstone of the admissions process since the School’s inception,” Kaitlin Bynkoski says, director of admissions and undergraduate affairs at Waterloo Pharmacy. “Every year we interview over 240 applicants for the PharmD admission cycle and involve over 90 volunteers. The Waterloo interview process continues to thrive through the contributions and service of our dedicated volunteers.”
Ng started volunteering with Waterloo Pharmacy to see what the new School had to offer as she wouldn’t have an opportunity to attend herself. “It’s been incredible to witness the caliber of applicants that I’ve interviewed and it’s exciting for me to have a chance to see what types of individuals the future of my profession will benefit from,” Ng says.
Prior to her current role at the hospitals, Ng was one of the student coordinators at GRH. She interviewed for co-op work terms, oriented and provided support for at least 10 students each term.
Ng is fortunate to have seen the growth of students as they journey through their own academic and professional careers.
“The students ask great questions and they challenge me. Seeing them grow and shine in their co-op opportunities is wonderful to witness,” Ng says.
Ng looks forward to volunteering as a PharmD interviewer as she enjoys gaining insight into where the profession is heading, what kind of attributes the School is looking for in students, and reassures her that she is practicing within the continually evolving confines of the profession.
“I’ve been fortunate to have mentors and people I could lean on to help guide my career. I wanted to give back in the same way to future generations,” Ng says.
National Volunteer Week in Canada runs April 16 -22 this year. The theme, Volunteering Weaves us Together, focuses on celebrating all individual and group actions to build a unified and vibrant community. All of our volunteers help bring the pharmacy community together through the School. We are highlighting and celebrating Waterloo Pharmacy volunteers this year through #NVW2023 #WeavingUsTogether. Visit the School of Pharmacy website for more volunteer highlights.