Runu Hann is on a journey towards an international career in pharmacy and is enjoying all the opportunities RMIT opens up along the way. Here are her highlights.
How did you get started in studying pharmacy at RMIT?
I’ve always had an interest in the health industry – especially in medicines and their effect on the body – which led to my interest in pharmacy. When I finish my studies, I’d love to be able to practise pharmacy overseas and in particular in the UK.
I chose to study in Melbourne because it's the closest city to my hometown. And out of the universities in Melbourne, I chose RMIT because of the professors I met on Open Day. They were all very friendly and took the time to talk to my family and describe RMIT’s pharmacy program to us in detail.
So, what are three things you’ve enjoyed about RMIT so far?
1. Open Day!
Open Day was a really fun day. There was so many things to look at, so I’m glad I planned it. The country vibe of the Bundoora campus had me at ease from the moment I arrived and even though my family and I got lost a couple of times, everyone was so nice and took the time to answer any questions we had.
2. Practical learning, placements and the opportunities to put what you learn into practice.
Now that I’m in my degree, I’m really enjoying it.
I love learning about things that I have a genuine interest in, and learning how to recognise and treat certain diseases and having the knowledge to be able to contribute to the community is really satisfying.
The practical learning at RMIT is a highlight. The campus has dispensing computers and compounding laboratories that pharmacy students can use, and tutorial sessions where we can practise patient interactions and test our drug knowledge.
We’re also able to go on placements in different pharmacy settings. I just finished up a placement at Barwon Health and it was amazing – the pharmacy team was full of knowledge and seeing the things I’d been learning used in practice was great. This year [third year], we undergo placement in a hospital setting, which will be another great opportunity.
I was also lucky enough to receive a scholarship from the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, which assists pharmacy students from rural Australia in their studies and encourages extracurricular learning through self-sourced mentors.
In the summer holidays, I work in a community pharmacy to practise what I’m learning. Pharmacy isn’t just sticking labels on boxes – its making sure that the medication prescribed is suitable for treating the condition, and is suitable for the patient. It is also about doing extra things like offering lifestyle advice on how to manage conditions and ensuring our patients are educated on their condition.
3. Making connections – professionally and socially
While I’ve been learning, I’ve also found other opportunities to help me in my studies and make sure I still have a life too. Through the Association of Pharmacy Students, I’ve been able to attend NAPSA Congress, which is a huge educational event with loads of networking opportunities.
The best thing about university though would have to be all the friends I’ve made through staying at the student accommodation and through the pharmacy program.
I’ve also played netball with the RMIT Netball Club, which is another great way to meet people. I would definitely recommend joining it, or another sporting club if netball isn’t your thing!
Any advice to students thinking about studying here?
Attend Open Day! It's a great way to get a feel for the university. It’s also a good idea to plan your Open Day so you can see stuff relevant to your interests.
And once you’re in, sign up to clubs! They are a great way to meet people and it’s guaranteed to be a good time.