Julie Spangler said she was excited to attend ASHP's Midyear Clinical Meeting & Exhibition last year. A primary focus: the Personnel Placement Service (PPS), pharmacy’s largest job fair.
At the time, Spangler was finishing a health-system pharmacy administration and leadership residency in Pittsburgh and looking for a position as an operations or clinical manager. With solid prep work and a positive, professional attitude, Spangler landed a position as the inpatient pharmacy operations manager for University of Wisconsin (UW Health) University Hospital in Madison.
“What really interested me in PPS was being able to meet face-to-face with multiple employers, which gave me a feel for what the employers were all about — what the institutions believed in, what their values were, and if they were a good fit for me,” she said. “I thought that was a really good opportunity to take.”
Spangler, an ASHP member, said the PPS online portal made it easy to set up a profile and upload a CV. “I had multiple people review my CV, so it looked nice and was [tailored] for the jobs I was looking for.”
Next, she reviewed all the open positions, selected those that interested her based on the job description and location, and fired off meeting requests. She used the PPS integrated calendar to track her appointments.
The PPS experience
“I was trying to catch some of the CE sessions at Midyear, but between those, I dressed up in a nice suit and met with potential employers,” Spangler said. “I took notes on each place, the hospital size, what services they offered, and then tried to find out more about the open positions and patient populations they serve.”
Spangler noted that while the PPS experience offers a professional atmosphere, it is less formal than an interview, which can be a more comfortable way to get to know a potential employer — and for them to get to know you.
After PPS, Spangler sent thank-you notes to each institution. If she was particularly interested in a position, she mentioned that. She entered the interview process in January, and in mid-March, she received an offer from UW.
“I really love my job so far,” she said. “I’m still in the onboarding process, but I feel really excited. This was just the right opportunity for me. I’m really grateful to work at this institution.”
A positive endorsement
“I definitely recommend PPS because it gives you an opportunity to get straight what you’re interested in, and even eliminate jobs that may not appeal to you,” she added. “If you follow the recommendations and instructions the PPS website provides, it really helps guide you to follow the correct path.”
Spangler offered the following additional tips to others planning to attend the 2023 PPS:
- Register early. Take advantage of early-bird pricing to make the experience even more cost-effective.
- Have a lot of people review your CV so it looks professional and clearly presents your accomplishments.
- Prepare for each meeting by looking into the different institutions and reviewing the job descriptions they provide.
- Be yourself. “Be professional but still show your personality, your passions and interests, and that you care about patients,” Spangler said.
For more information about PPS or to register, visit PPS Candidates — ASHP Midyear Conference.