My name is Vasilios Sotiropoulos, 4th Year Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) student from the University of South Australia. I am currently the Executive Director of Internal Affairs for NAPSA, and Vice-President of the South Australian Pharmacy Students’ Association (SAPSA).
I have served NAPSA well, on both the state and national level, throughout my four years as a student. I have held an executive role on the SAPSA committee since my first year of my degree, where I was elected Treasurer. From there, I developed networks throughout the SA pharmacy community and progressed to the role Vice-President. Notable achievements within this role include sourcing several new sponsors for SAPSA, establishing greater links with the Pharmacy Guild (SA Branch) through a student mentoring program, creating Education Chair and SHPA SA/NT observer positions, and having SAPSA greater recognised and respected as a professional organisation amongst SA pharmacy stakeholders. My service as two terms as the Vice-President concludes in October, however I can reflect on the impact I have made on my association.
I was elected to NAPSA firstly as Pharmacy Awareness Chair in 2016 at the NAPSA Annual General Meeting. This position has allowed me to apply my skills and experience developed in my time on a state students’ executive committee to the national platform. As a representative of NAPSA, I have held positions on a number of advisory/steering committees, including the Pharmacy Guild, the Pharmacists’ Support Service, and for a Pharmacy Trial Program application. I have also attended APP2017, PSA17, NAPSA Congress 2017, and Pharmacy Connect Conference, where I have expanded my networks to pharmacists around the country. As Executive Director of Internal Affairs, I aim to improve our internal communications to increase NAPSA’s throughput by utilising all members of the Board, Chair committee, and Advisory Council. I am committed to driving research within NAPSA, and have done so thus far as lead author of NAPSA’s very first citable article in a high-impact, peer-reviewed, research journal. Furthermore, I intend on working with my sub-committee to produce NAPSA’s first study, retrospectively investigating variations in perceptions of students towards pharmacy in relation to the timeline of changes occurring in profession, by utilising National Pharmacy Students Survey data.
In 2018, I hope to continue to contribute to my future profession by remaining involved with the professional pharmacy bodies as an intern. I recommend all students be involved within NAPSA, whether as a NAPSA committee member, state branch committee member, or active member of their local university pharmacy association. It is never too early to be involved, and the experience that you have will only benefit your prospects for employability, will develop you as a well-rounded health professional, and will change your life for the better!