July 8, 2019, by Editor
My BPSA journey as the BPSA 77th Annual Conference Organiser
This blog has been written by 4th year undergraduate student, Chloe Lim Xiu Yu.
Until now, I couldn’t believe the fact that more than 2 months have passed since my conference. I started university as an ordinary pharmacy student, just like everyone else. Moreover, being an international student, I could never imagine myself becoming the executive member of the British Pharmaceutical Students’ Association (BPSA) to represent the voice of 15,000 students in the United Kingdom.
I can clearly remember my colleague, Hieu and I standing in the executive election and we won the bid to organize the next conference at our university – the University of Nottingham. Despite being grilled with countless questions, we managed to perform our best by carrying out thorough preparation. That was the moment I found out I had made the best decision of my university life.
Throughout my mandate as an annual conference organiser, I worked closely with Hieu to organize day events and social events for the conference week. It was fun as we got to create the conference that we wanted to bring to the students. We decided the theme of the conference would be global pharmacy and we planned the activities for the social events. I really enjoyed working with Hieu. We learnt a lot together and we would always talk to each other when things went wrong. I am glad that we became close friends at the end of the conference. In addition, we also worked closely with the School and the conference centre to organise the logistics of the conference such as accommodation and theatre room bookings, packed lunch and dinner orders. We had regular meetings with different staff at the university. I learnt a lot about communication such as negotiation and networking. I built long-lasting relationships with the Head of School, lecturers at the university and staff. I am grateful for the support from the School – the staff are always ready to provide help and support.
As BPSA executives, Hieu and I worked with the BPSA executive team to organize different aspects of the conference such as sponsorships, finance, speaker invitations and promotions for the conference. We had to attend weekly virtual meetings to catch up with everything that had happened within the organisation and we also updated the work that we had done for the week. I enjoyed the meetings a lot and it was always nice to catch up with other members.
After one full year of effort into preparing for the annual conference, the day finally came! We were pleased to have more than 150 students from 28 different universities coming to attend the conference in Nottingham. The conference week itself was stressful compared to the preparation stage as we worked from morning until night to organize both daytime and social events for the delegates. We constantly had to deal with last minute “crises” from the delegates and tried our best to ensure that our events ran smoothly but it was all worth it in the end. I met so many like-minded people from across the country and made life-long friendships. I received so much love and appreciation from the delegates, our sponsors and the team. People came to me and told me how much they enjoyed this conference and how the conference has inspired them. Never would I have thought that I could inspire people to be more passionate about pharmacy.
I don’t think I will ever forget these wonderful moments. I would say this is one of the highlights of my life and I genuinely feel so happy that I was able to make an impact on people’s lives by organizing a conference.
Chloe Lim Xiu Yu
Master of Pharmacy Year 4/BPSA 77th Annual Conference Organiser
University of Nottingham