An Interview with Amy Laflin
1. Please could you start by telling us a bit about your career and journey so far?
I started in Pharmacy at 16 years old as a counter assistant in a community pharmacy whilst at college studying Childcare. However, after 3 years at College, I decided to continue pursuing Pharmacy instead. I have worked in a wide range of sectors including Hospital, health in justice, general practice and Pharmaceutical industry before moving into academia 6 years ago having been an assessor within the NHS Trust I was working at. I loved supporting the team to achieve their qualifications. I have been lucky enough to have the opportunity for lots of personal development within my roles and therefore have obtained many qualifications in education, teaching and leadership. I am extremely passionate about education as I love watching people learn, grow and develop and not just with the qualification and apprenticeship but with their own personal characteristics and behaviours.
2. What are you most proud of?
I am extremely proud of having had the opportunities that I have had. It is and has been hard work but I am so proud of getting to where I am in my career to date. My mum has always said that nothing worthwhile is easy.
I am proud to be a part of the amazing teams that I am apart of within a variety of organisations including delivering the Level 2 and Level 3 Pharmacy apprenticeships as well as the Science Manufacturing Technician course to Technical services as part of the HEE pilot (and other cohorts) at West Suffolk College where I am programme lead for Pharmacy, Dental and Science. I also have the pleasure of being Director of Education for APTUK and holding roles for end point assessment, quality assurance for end point assessment and senior standards verifier for an Awarding organisation.
3. What has been one of your biggest professional challenges and how did you overcome it?
My biggest professional challenge has been adapting to the environment of being in a room surrounded by people who I have looked up to for a long time, to be able to sit, talk and engage ideas with them is a pleasure. Having to build confidence to feel comfortable to be able to voice an opinion in a room of such greats of the pharmacy world has been my challenge. This will be something I work on for a long time, although I am not shy, having been told by teachers at school that I couldn’t achieve or do much made an impact and so it’s a continual challenge to work through these ideas and not feel imposter syndrome. To overcome this, those than know me, know I like to ask lots of questions. Information and communication is key to any personal growth and so I am not afraid to be the one to ask.
4. What piece of advice would you give your younger self?
To push the boundaries of what you believe you can achieve. To fight hard for things you believe in and stand up for those that need help or support in any format. To work to ensure equity and inclusion is at the forefront of what you do to ensure that everyone has access to education to be able to support the future pharmacy workforce.
5. What is something you would like others to know? For example, a piece of advice you would like to give women that are at the start of their pharmacy career
If I was to provide advice to women at the start of their pharmacy career, I would say; be yourself, ask questions, achieve your dreams, everything is possible, show the patient you care and that they are at the heart of everything you do.