It’s an exciting time to be a Pharmacist in Canada.
The profession has experienced more change over the last five years than in the past century, and Pharmacists’ roles and responsibilities continue to expand with more programs and services being offered in pharmacies than ever before, such as the MedsCheck program in Ontario, flu vaccination injections in British Columbia, and prescribing for minor ailments in Saskatchewan.
“With constant changes in the pharmacy landscape, we want to prepare our future Pharmacists with the most current and up-to-date pharmacy regulations and policies.”
—Jacqulyn Edwards, Corporate Recruiter, Rexall
To ensure the profession is meeting patient demand and remaining at the forefront of these ongoing changes, pharmacies are training pharmacy students, investing in their education and encouraging them to stay when they complete their pharmacy degree. The demand for new Pharmacists is higher than ever.
This year alone, for example, leading Canadian drugstore chain Rexall hired 31 Pharmacy Interns to help them complete the three- to 12-week internships required to become a licensed Pharmacist in most provinces.
“It’s important to our organization to build the pharmacy leaders of tomorrow,” says Rexall Corporate Recruiter Jacqulyn Edwards. “We recognize the value each Pharmacy Intern brings to Rexall in assisting us to continually improve, grow and develop pharmacy health care.”
Each September, Rexall and other major players in the retail pharmacy and healthcare industries head to the eight schools which offer the Bachelor of Pharmacy degree in Canada to recruit the next round of Pharmacy Interns, often returning in February to reach students who were on clinical rotations in the fall.
While pharmacy students are lucky to have so many top employers who want to hire them, the choice can be overwhelming and there are many questions to consider: Who has the best pharmacy internship program? How do you figure out which pharmacy is right for you? Should you complete a community pharmacy or hospital internship? How will your choices impact your career in the long-term?
What you need to know about Rexall’s Pharmacy Intern program
“With constant changes in the pharmacy landscape, we want to prepare our future Pharmacists with the most current and up-to-date pharmacy regulations and policies,” Jacqulyn says. “We evaluate our intern program each year to ensure we are meeting the needs and expectations of interns who work at Rexall.”
All new hires participate in an onboarding day where interns from across the country have the opportunity to meet each other, as well as Rexall’s regional directors, recruiters, pharmacy services staff and divisional vice presidents. “The session allows interns to ask questions about their experiences, expectations or concerns, and receive dedicated responses from the right people,” says Jacqulyn.
The work environment at Rexall is also pretty unique: you’ll be working in a fast-paced, modern retail pharmacy, but there is always time to slow down in order to focus on patient care. Rexall’s Pharmacists are trained to interact with patients and customers, and help them take greater control of their overall health through programs and services such as diabetes awareness, food intolerance testing, nutrient depletion identification, MedsCheck and more.
Pharmacy Interns also have the opportunity to complete on-the-job training and online classes, as well as continuing education courses from the Canadian Council on Continuing Education in Pharmacy (CCCEP).
Meeting Rexall on campus
Chances are, Rexall will be visiting your pharmacy school this fall between September and November for career fairs, events and interviews. If you’re interested in joining Rexall’s Pharmacy Intern program, it’s essential that you meet representatives like Jacqulyn while they’re at your university. “Students who make a lasting first impression are those who are passionate about the profession, and have an idea of who Rexall is and what they stand for,” she says.
Jacqulyn’s top three tips for meeting Rexall on campus:
- Be prepared to ask questions about the internship program and work environment
- Demonstrate that you’re looking for a place to start your long-term career – that kind of attitude is attractive to recruiters, employers and Rexall
- Don’t just ask for a job
Submitting a Pharmacy Internship application that will get noticed
Jacqulyn says Rexall uses a Staff Pharmacist profile as a benchmark to measure the competencies and skills of pharmacy students who apply for the Pharmacy Intern program. Here’s a list of the some of the things they look for so you can make sure to include them when you apply:
- Interest in patient-focused services, including experience with MedsChecks, Pharmaceutical Opinion, and patient counseling, and a strong customer service focus
- Interest in pharmacy advocacy, including an understanding of regulation changes and how it affects the profession
- Leadership skills
- A commitment to life-long learning and continuing education, and an interest in disease states
- Work and volunteer experience, such as active participation in student organizations or other professional memberships, and experience in a community pharmacy setting or other applicable pharmacy experience
- Demonstrated passion for and dedication to the profession
Preparing for a job interview with Rexall
Rexall’s interviews are conducted on-campus through the schools’ campus career centres. First, you’ll meet with a regional director or recruiter, and if you’re successful, you’ll move on to a second interview with the regional director who manages the region you’re interested in working in. “The recruitment process moves quite quickly from the initial interview to the offer of employment,” Jacqulyn says.
There are two ways to get ready: research Rexall and prepare questions. “The interview is a two-way street,” she says. “Not only is Rexall interviewing you to determine a fit for the organization, but you are interviewing us to ensure this will be the right career move for you.”
Not sure how to prepare? Complete this checklist before your interview:
- Get to know the vision, mission and values of the organization
- Find out how many stores and employees Rexall has
- Check the news for information about any acquisitions, mergers or downsizing
- Learn about Rexall’s CEO and the stability of the organization
- Do a store walk-through to better understand the layout of Rexall’s pharmacy and front shop
- Find out which pharmacy technology and systems Rexall uses in their stores
After your Pharmacy Internship
Jacqulyn says Rexall typically hires Pharmacy Interns after they have successfully completed their internship and licensing exams. “We want to retain the talent we have invested in and allow them to begin their work experience with us.”
Fill your pharmacy career goals at Rexall! Learn more about the exciting career opportunities with Rexall.