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Young Leader in Pharmacy Thorrun Govind: "Find mentors who aren’t like you and learn from them!"




Qualified solicitor

Masters in Law, Business and Management

Graduate Diploma in Law

Masters in Pharmacy

Current role

Chair of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, England

When you graduated, what did you envision for your future? And how has your career evolved since your graduation?

From 2010, I started using Twitter to promote the profession I was entering. This proved fruitful, as in 2015 it helped me land my pre-registration place in community pharmacy! Do make the most of your pre-registration year, it's the opportunity to learn what the whole pharmacy team does. This will help you with delegating when you are qualified. With lots of new services being offered in community pharmacy, you can't do everything. So, you have to utilise the whole team in the best way.

I continued to use Twitter and other networking opportunities like the Pharmacy Show to network with other members of the profession. Networking opportunities outside the profession also presented and I actively sought ways to promote the profession in the media.

In 2016, I received my letter to say that I had passed the registration exam. I will never forget that feeling of getting up early and refreshing the computer screen for the list of those who had successfully passed the exam. I joined the register as a pharmacist in September 2016. 

How do you represent the profession?

I’ve been able to represent the profession on media including BBC Newsnight, BBC Victoria Derbyshire, BBC News, Sky News and Radio 1. Such opportunities have arisen due to my persistence and my appreciation that it is important to network outside the profession too. I remember spending my whole journey to the Chemist and Druggist Awards, where I was up for the Pre-Registration Graduate award, trying to get a journalist to write about a particular issue and include my comments. Whilst I didn’t win the award, the piece I had pitched was in national newspapers that night! 

How has your youth affected your career?

In 2018, I was elected to the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s English Pharmacy Board and I was re-elected in 2021. As the youngest elected board member, my age was highlighted to me by various people. I am now proud to chair the board. Please don’t let your age stop you from applying or making progress with your goals. For companies and organisations to survive and thrive, they have to make succession and continuity plans. They need people like you to engage and contribute to such plans. However, you also have to respect experience and learn from those who have been in a role longer than you. Nevertheless, don’t accept ‘this is the way it’s always been done’ as an answer. Remember though, if you are going to challenge, you also need to offer practical solutions! 

How have you enhanced your pharmacy career?

I continue to provide healthcare and pharmacy comments to the media. In 2017, I studied for a Graduate Diploma in Law full time whilst working in community pharmacy. In 2019, I finished my full time MSc LPC in Law, Business and Management course with Distinction, again balancing this with pharmacy and media work. Exams have never been my forte, but I do know that it is worth putting the effort in and making short-term sacrifices for your long-term goals. There is no substitute for hard work. 

I recently qualified as a solicitor and I currently balance pharmacy with this role. Being able to support healthcare professionals, including pharmacists, in the legal sphere is extremely important to me.

How important is mentoring in your career?

We naturally are drawn to people like us. Find mentors who aren’t like you and learn from them! Mentoring is so important to me and it is also important to give back – mentor someone else.

As a dynamic leader in the profession, what continues to drive you?

Setting short-term and long-term goals drives me. Plan how you are going to achieve your goals and review them regularly. 

What advice would you give to new pharmacy graduates?

When I first got involved in pharmacy, I realised that the profession didn’t really shout about what it does. I was determined to study for my degree at King’s College London. Whilst I was studying, I met the editor of Chemist and Druggist Magazine and started writing pieces for them. My tip from this is, if you are interested in something then ask to get involved; the worst that can happen is you get told no! 




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