7 Nov 2017 Gaining Internship Experience in Singapore
3 April to 30 June 2017 – As part of the IMU Medical Biotechnology (MB) curriculum, I was given the opportunity to enrol in an internship programme either locally or overseas for approximately 3 months. I was very fortunate to have come across and to undertake my internship under the supervision of Dr Toh Wei Seong from the Faculty of Dentistry, National University of Singapore (NUS), whose research primarily focuses on regenerative medicine. In fact, I was extremely delighted the moment I received the acceptance letter from Dr Toh regarding my internship application because it was a dream came true, as I have always wanted to go abroad to gain some exposure.
In my opinion, it was a truly remarkable experience as I have the opportunity to collaborate with other researchers from various countries to work on the same project and support each other along the way. This helps to improve my communication and collaborative skills significantly because working together requires mutual understanding and good communication among the group members. Besides that, this internship has also given me the opportunity to acquire new skills such as Western blotting and various kinds of staining including Haematoxylin & Eosin (H&E), toluidine blue as well as Immunohistochemical (IHC) staining. On top of that, the tasks I performed during my internship also allowed me to apply what I have learned in the University to a real-world environment. This internship has definitely increased my interest in pursuing a career in research.
Although I have been facing a lot of problems in Western blot when I first started, I do not see them as failures but rather learning experiences because I firmly believe in the saying that “every mistake made is a lesson learned”. With that being so, I tried to figure out the possible causes for the errors and then I tried to troubleshoot each of them accordingly. In addition to optimism, I personally think that a researcher should also be patient, observant and resourceful because research is not just about getting the results every single time but more importantly, to know how to optimise the protocol to obtain the best possible results and also to troubleshoot the problems faced along the way.
Prior to this, upon completion of my pre-university studies, I decided to enroll myself into Medical Biotechnology (MB) programme is because I love the idea of utilising living organisms to come up with products to improve our lives. I chose to study MB at International Medical University (IMU) because it is an established private healthcare university with its curriculum benchmarked to international standards.
As a matter of fact, its intensive curriculum structure has taught me well in handling pressure and staying focused because I got to keep track of all the deadlines and examinations from time to time. Apart from that, I really appreciate the teaching style in IMU that promotes lifelong learning because it motivates me with the desire for more knowledge and self-improvement, which I think is rather crucial because research is an ever-changing field.
This article is written by Cheow Yi Ann from MB1/14.