EPISODE #5: NELLIE’S PHARMACY INTERNSHIP EXPERIENCE!

Yes darlings, I know it has been a while I posted from this series. I saw all your likes and comments on the previous posts and I get it,okay..

 Thank you all for everything and for that one lady that has been disturbing me to post her experience,oh well not today 😒 I know how long I kept disturbing you for your own experience too but my dear please keep calm and catch your sub😂

Continuing the Pharmacy Internship Experience on the blog is Nellie giving us a glimpse of how her experience went and guess what, this isnt a Lagos story unlike previous episodes.

The first time Nellie told me where she was working,I was confused because I had never heard of the place,neither did I know such an establishment in Abuja offered placement for Interns. So you can imagine my joy when she agreed to share her experience with the blog.
Please enjoy her experience and feel free to drop your comments below.

Tell us about  yourself

My name is Bastos Oluwaseun Nellie, born and raised  in Lagos. I am working as an intern pharmacist in National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD), Idu Industrial Lay-out, Idu  Abuja. I graduated from the university of first choice ‘University of  Lagos’ I am a lover of people and I enjoy company and team work in  bringing about  innovative ideas for the sustainability of my field of practise.

My favourite part of pharmacy school was when the broadsheet or any list carried the graduating students headline. A random fact about me is that I am a lover of good power sound motor cars  and power bikes. I love speed but I can’t withstand being in a vehicle that’s moving at 160km/hr.

How was the after school struggle to get a placement?
The struggle and hustle was real, but God was faithful. I didn’t apply to many places, I wanted LUTH, had written the exam some months back and was expectant. I wanted LUTH because they have all the department you can think of as relating to hospital pharmacy  in Nigeria as at today, while my colleagues were on the street submitting letters here and there, I was at home flexing and reading some inspirational books, confident that LUTH OR NOTHING. 

After I realised that LUTH had released a second list and my name was not on it at about three months after induction ,I  jumped on my feet, and contacted my close friends luchy cakes and Ebalunosemen and asked them for the way forward.

 At this time,about 40% of my colleagues had gotten placements in National Agency for Food and Drug Administration Council (NAFDAC ) , applications for National Hospital Abuja, Aro  Psychiatric Hospital, Federal Medical Centre Ogun State had closed and they had written their exams.

 I was devastated, then Luchy cakes informed me about Ify who was working as an intern at NIPRD Abuja, and that she has submitted applications on her behalf. Hence I called Ify a who asked me to waybill my credentials, but due to logistics I had to scan them all to her as she heard shortlisting process for batch B interns was about to be done.

 She submitted my credentials on  Monday  6th July 2015 and voila to GOD be the glory, I received a text on Thursday  9th July 2015 to come to Abuja for an interview slated for 13th July 2015 at NIPRD COMPLEX ABUJA. 

At this point I was ready to start anywhere, I frankly didn’t want to leave Lagos but I had to, I later got placement in LUTH. (If you missed Bolu’s experience at Luth, read here

Did you know someone/ve connection? 

YES I had connection for LUTH. No I didn’t know anybody for NIPRD. GOD made a way, He opened the door, he made sure I got NIPRD before LUTH, because if I had gotten LUTH before NIPRD, I wouldn’t be contributing to this blog neither would I have gotten the experience and privileges I have enjoyed till date. 

YES THERE ARE JOBS OUT THERE WHERE YOU DON’T HAVE TO KNOW ANYBODY, BE CONFIDENT ABOUT WHAT YOU KNOW AND BE WILLING TO LEARN MORE. CONNECTION ISNT THE ONLY RULE OF THE JOB HUNT. LET GOD BE YOUR  FIRST CONNECTOR BEFORE MAN. #Word🙌

How was the application and selection process? 

I do not know what the selection process was to be honest. Gist has it that persons who submitted applications with cover letters were automatically disqualified, persons who had electronic signatures too were disqualified, persons who had hand written application letters were short listed, persons who were inducted more than 6months to the time of short listing were disqualified.

The interview was brief. It was an oral interview,introducing yourself and discussing in brief what your undergraduate project was.

 The selection process might be different this year though, so don’t get too excited. The applicants last year were not many, because the last time they accepted interns was in 2010 and so a lot of people were unsure of placement.

How did you feel when you eventually got in? 

I was over joyous, when I received the text that I should come for an interview. 

The wait for the response of the interview took a week thanks to Ify who usually answered all my questions and always reminded me that it will work out for good.

 Nine interns were needed for batch B, and eleven were present for the interview.The wait was finally over, when I received a text to come for documentation and acceptance letter on Monday 20th july 2015.

Enlighten us on the day to day activities you carried out. 

NIPRD is a research institute, they are known worldwide for the development of Phytomedicine.

 I resumed 20th of  July 2015 and was posted to 6 departments, in each department I spent six weeks except for my department of interest where I will be spending three months, and an outside posting to National Hospital Abuja for six weeks. The six departments were:

1) Medicinal plant research and traditional medicine which is synonym to pharmacognosy, in this department my day to day activities varied from carrying out Phytochemistry(you remember pinkie Anthraquinones abi),Extraction using the Soxhlet apparatus to chromatographic techniques and Pharmacognostic analysis of plants  like microscopy and proximate analysis, where you establish the crude fibre, crude lipid, ash values e.t.c, it felt like been in cognosy lab, but this time you are very relaxed and working at your own pace.

 2) Medicinal chemistry and quality controll synonymous to pharm chem: I participated in the qualitative and quantitative analysis of orthodox drugs and herbal drugs using HPLC, this was my first department. 

3) Pharmaceutical technology and raw material development (pharm tech), this is one department that brought out the better part of me, academically and emotionally. I am sure my fellow NIPRD interns can attest to this, I worked under the supervision of the Head Of Department in person of Prof  Emeje, trust me. I was drilled and I enjoyed the drill,  (from the suspension to the undertaking I wrote).I extracted Nano cellulose from a plant, and carried out the physicochemical properties of the extracted Nano cellulose and compared it with the commercial cellulose used in industries.

4) Pharmacology and Toxicology. I worked with the HOD Dr Tijani who finished from LUTH years before I got admission.He really had high expectations from me. I experimented on rats and mice all through, you remember pharmacology lab and the various experiments we did. Yes,I did them all within a space of 6weeks ;y- maze, elevated T maze, false swim test, ulcer studies, LD50 of plant extracts, anticholinesterase test etc. It was fun and I became interested in pharmacology.
5) Microbiology and biotechnology. Yes, here you can’t escape the smell of agars, and microbes. Aseptic techniques is key. I participated in the determination of the synergistic effect of different drugs against some microbes,this was my department of interest.

6) NIPRD research clinic. Here I worked as a clinical pharmacist, doing the basics of pharmacy practise which is pharmaceutical care. I worked in both the General Outpatient Department and Anti retroviralclinic.

At the end of each posting, I gave a seminar presentations on what I did while in the departments. There really is no smart way to heaven. You either worked or you didn’t! The question segment was something you  don’t want to look up to, it reminded me of my  project defence. Courage and Confidence was very key. 

 I didn’t have any best or worse postings. Although each department came with its challenges and I overcame. 

My colleagues were wonderful people and I have learnt so many things from them. They were simply amazing.

How were the benefits involved in terms of pay, accomodation,work hours etc.

The only disadvantage of migrating from one Station to another was accommodation. The institute doesn’t  provide accommodation, you have to fern for that but the pay was cool.

My work hours were Monday to Friday (8am to 4pm) , there was no issue of night shifts nor weekend duties, althought there were exceptions if need be.

Was the experience fun and how did the senior colleagues treat you?

Yes, the experience was fun!! 

The treatment meted out by superior colleagues was fantastic and unbiased.We all learned and gained more knowledge from each other.

Inter colleague relationship was superb, came with loads of fun ranging from educative arguments and non-research related discussion. The fun parts didn’t end at just discussion and arguments. Part of the fun to me included when I and my paired colleague had to crack our head for project topics. You search your topic online and you realise somebody in NIPRD had worked on it. You then midify the topic,get it approved and suddenly become an Heroe. 

Another fun part was me participating in the 89th Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria Conference.I worked with the local organising committee, a rapporteur for the conference. It also served ss a mini reunion with few of my classmates from  UNILAG. I also served  as an usher.

Research interns as we were called came up with end of internship activities. We visited an orphanage home, park and zoo (saw animals like BUFFALO, ANTELOPE, MONKEYS, BABOON, PYTON, 89 YEAR OLD TORTOISE, CAMEL etc.) antics village, cinema rave  and we ended the day in a fish grilling bar, where we  bought hot spicy well garnished grilled catfish and croaker fish with chips. 

We also organised a picnic at millennium park, the activity which I chaired. 

Any pros and cons of your placement?
Pros: NIPRD is an institute where professionalism and intellectualism meets Results.

Cons: Many preventive measures are not put in place by the government.

 Would you love to go back and final advice to people that are interested in the place?

Yes I would love to go back after exploring the public health world. I would then be able to combine my experience and be proficient as a public health research analyst, which is a dream that will come to reality soonest, through hard work and perseverance and of cause with Gods leading.
My advice to people that are interested in interning at NIPRD is to be submissive to your superiors, attentive,alert, inquisitive, follow and read details. Be innovative,respectful, always have a reference to prove your points, relaxed, and try your best to be happy always.

Remember that Patience is key and embrace perseverance. Regardless of the outcome of your work, just be happy and report as such. 

Describe your internship experience in one word?

 PRODIGIOUS

Thank you Nellie for sharing your prodigious experience  (i had to google the meaning guys 😑:?) I particularly learnt as her place of training was totally new to me.We  wish you all the best in your endeavour.

Nellie also  sells  Acha/Fonio/hungry rice ;a special grain grown in Nigeria and some West African countries known ti be gluten free and contain more amino acids (proteins) and minerals. 

It is a food variant that comes highly recommended for every family and individual including fit-fams. It can be cooked into different delicacies such as pudding, gruel, couscous etc and the flour can be made into dough (swallow) and eaten with any soup of choice. Pancakes, bread, cake e.t.c are some pastries with low fat content that can be made from this wonder grain. Did I mention it is safe for diabetics? Yes it is!

Interested buyers can contact her via Facebook @Bastos Nellie or call 08084841568.

Thank you for sticking till the end. I hope you enjoyed this post. Share your thoughts below and don’t forget to like us on Facebook  @thatinternist. (Don’t let a giveaway pass you by) Do not forget to share the post with someone that needs to read it also.

Xo!

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. Wow!! Just wow! This is my first time here and I’m wondering why I haven’t discovered this place earlier. You’re doing a great job fellow colleague! Nellie’s face is familiar and so when I saw Bastos included in her surname, I was able to associate her as Temitope’s sister back in LUTH then if I’m not mistaken. Her internship placement sounded like fun!

    Like

    1. Awwww thanks dear. thank you,thank you. thank you for finding us..lol

      Like

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