National volunteer week graphic
Thursday, April 20, 2023

Mentoring students helps everyone grow together

Waterloo School of Pharmacy recognizes alum volunteer during National Volunteer Week

Kim Chvala (BSc’12, PharmD’18), a pharmacist at the New Vision Family Health Team, appreciates the opportunity to give some of herself back to Waterloo Pharmacy every year as a PharmD interviewer and clinical rotations preceptor.

Kim Chvala
“Volunteers that participate in the PharmD admissions process are paramount to its success.” Becky Ewan says, academic advisor and undergraduate affairs coordinator at the University of Waterloo School of Pharmacy.

“Our pharmacist and student interviewers unique perspectives and individual assessments help us to select the best of the best to join the next cohort of PharmD students.”

Chvala looks forward to the interview process every year to meet the next generation of pharmacists as an interviewer.

“Giving back to my pharmacy community that has offered me a lot of connections and opportunities is greatly fulfilling,” Chvala says. “Being able to help choose and shape the next generation of pharmacists is an incredible experience.”

Chvala currently has a rotations student from Waterloo Pharmacy on her team. Seeing the students learn and helping them grow as pharmacists allows her to see how far students have come from the interview process.

The shared learning experiences are of incredible value to us as preceptors. Having students around me makes me a better pharmacist. They ask the hard questions and make me think outside the box. Mentoring students helps us all grow together because as they learn, we learn with them.

Kim Chvala - BSc’12, PharmD’18

Kim Chvala’s Reflection

As a guest lecturer, I always feel an incredible sense of connection when a student approaches me excitedly to tell me that I was the one who interviewed them. There are two parts to why I volunteer every year as a PharmD interviewer. Initially, when I was a student I wanted to give back to the School. When I became a pharmacist, I wanted to continue to give back as I did in the past but I also wanted to maintain a connection to the School. What better way to do so than to volunteer and interact with future pharmacists. I feel honoured to be a small part of choosing the next generation of pharmacists.

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 Waterloo Pharmacy volunteers this year through #NVW2023 #WeavingUsTogether. Visit the School of Pharmacy website for more volunteer highlights.