Olivia Pardue ’15 explores pharmaceutical career through spring internship

Posted by Centre News in Internships, News, Pre-Med, Pre-Pharmacy 16 Mar 2015

Olivia Pardue's internshipIt’s a Friday morning in Danville, Ky., and the pharmacy at Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center is bustling with activity as patients file in and out to pick up their orders. Helping fill prescriptions behind the counter is Olivia Pardue ’15.

“I thought this would be a great opportunity to spend my senior spring getting some hands-on experience in a pharmacy and preparing for my life after Centre College,” Pardue said.

For 12 hours each week, Pardue can be found working in the pharmacy or in the hospital’s IV room to learn more about IV solutions and admixtures. At other times, she’s receiving practical application that relates to her assigned reading for the day from her supervisor.

Pardue, a member of the College’s soccer team, used a Centre connection to find her spring internship, which is worth three academic credits.

“I learned of this internship through a teammate on the soccer team. Her father works as a pharmacist at Ephraim,” Pardue said, “and because she knew I was interested in pharmacy, she suggested I contact her dad if I ever wanted to do an internship.”

Pardue reached out to her Centre connection at the hospital, spoke with her advisor on campus and then worked with Mindy Wilson, the assistant director of the Center for Career & Professional Development, to make it all come together.

“Ephraim’s pharmacy has been a strong internship site of students for years,” Wilson said, “We always love to see what our students learn while working with their outstanding staff.”

An internship or research opportunity is one of the three main tiers of the Centre Commitment. This spring, the College has 49 students participating in a total of 50 internships for academic credit, which is a record number of students for the spring and fall terms.

“The College is offering two or three credit internships for the first time this year,” Wilson explained. “The option for reduced hours is often easier to fit into a student’s schedule, and so this change may be responsible for the dramatic increase in internships this year.”

With plans to go to Belmont University’s pharmacy school this autumn, Pardue said she is glad to have the chance to work with other pharmacists and residents who are currently in school.

“Working so closely with the residents at Ephraim McDowell has allowed me to pick their brains about options prior to pharmacy school,” she said. “My talks with them have raised my interest in possibly applying for a residency after I graduate from Belmont.”

Even though the internship has its challenges, Pardue said Centre has helped her to feel capable and confident about her abilities to do well at Ephraim McDowell this spring.

“Centre has equipped me with a variety of skills that have allowed me to succeed in this internship.

“These skills include working well as part of a team, working efficiently and knowing how to time manage, in addition to being innovative in the work atmosphere,” Pardue continued.

This is Pardue’s second internship during her time at Centre. She went abroad to Merida, Mexico, in 2013, where she worked as an intern at a hospital.

Learn more about academic internships at Centre.

Learn more about the Center for Career & Professional Development.

by Anne Evans