18 May 2021 An IMU Alumna’s Interest in Chemistry Leads to a Career in a Healthcare Group

When I was still a kid, so many grown-ups asked me what I want to be when I grow up. I remembered answering them, “Doctor”, “Nurse”, “Scientist”. As I was growing up, my dreams and aspirations kept changing when I developed a new interest. I did not have a clear set of goals, until I started learning chemistry during my secondary school years. Chemistry is a central science as it nestles perfectly between other science subjects and connects the interdisciplinary concepts. For me, chemistry is like a magic, it felt like a potion class of J.K Rowling’s Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, while I wished to be Prof Severus Snape, the Potion Master of Hogwarts.

When I first successfully obtained a pale pink solution in my titration experiment, I was truly amazed by it and I was eager to understand the theory behind each natural and synthetic processes that have been around us all along. I was truly attracted to chemistry and had developed a keen passion for chemistry. Hence, the Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Pharmaceutical Chemistry programme at IMU caught my eye when I was in the midst of choosing the right undergraduate course after completing a pre-University programme.

Pharmaceutical Chemistry programme at IMU provides a very good opportunity for students who is interested in chemistry and wants to serve in the healthcare industry. During my 3 years at IMU, I was well prepared by the breadth and depth of chemistry knowledge, as well as practical skills associated with drug development, drug synthesis and drug formulation. There were a lot of practical sessions and practical examinations which prepared us for a strong fundamental grasp of theories that underlies the profession. I also managed to improve my soft skills, such as communication skills, leadership skills, multitasking, and time management through a series of group/ individual presentations, portfolios, and problem-based learning (PBL) sessions.

I also had the opportunity to conduct a research project during semester 6, which further strengthened my technical skills, critical thinking, oral and written communications.

My experiences at IMU truly solidified my love for chemistry and broaden my horizon about my future workplace. The programme is taught by a passionate team of lecturers – that, to me, is incredibly rewarding and fulfilling.

An IMU Alumna shares on how her interest in chemistry led her to a degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry and to her current employment.

Apart from curriculum, I also took part as student helper during University Open Day. We set up a booth at the atrium area (of the IMU Bukit Jalil campus) and introduced our programme to the visitors, through simple yet fun chemistry experiments using everyday household items. The experience of being a student helper was enjoyable as I had the opportunity to meet and interact with lecturers, peers from different programmes, parents and the public in general.

Besides that, I also joined IMU Korean Culture Club during my freshman year, where I was actively involved in organising events such as movie night and fund-raising activities during my tenure as Event Manager for the club. My social skills such as interpersonal, communication and problem-solving skills are mostly credited to these experiences of voluntary work.

Throughout the 3 years in IMU, I have gone through many laughter and tears, but I pulled through and graduated.

On top of that, I was in the Dean’s List of Graduands with High Academic Achievement and was a recipient of the Tun Zahir Merit Award, an award given to a graduating student who has shown outstanding academic excellence.

Meanwhile, I was also awarded IKM Graduate Chemistry Medal 2019, which was out of my expectation.

To be frank, the path seemed intimidating to me during the first year and I had no confidence at all that I could made it through. With the support from my family and the inspirations of lecturers, who had fostered my interests in the programme, I am very proud that I had stuck it out all the way and ultimately graduated with flying colours.

After graduating from IMU, I was struggling to decide between further study or work. Nevertheless, I am currently working at BP Healthcare Group as Business Manager cum Dispenser at Kluang (Johor) branch. Indeed, the programme and IMU as a whole, have prepared me well for my current job.

I think multitasking and time management are important in the workplace because your abilities will reflect your working productivity and efficiency.

The future is full of uncertainties, but it also come with endless possibilities. Although my dream of being a “Potion Master” is put on hold, but to me, “a brief pause” could be the best way to move forward.

Lastly, I would like to advise all to have faith in yourself. Life is all about peaks and troughs, and for every trough, there will be a peak. We should keep the faith and look forward to cross over these obstacles and believe that everything will better. Do remember, no pain no gain. All your hard work will be paid off if you persevere to the end because success is only reserved for those who persist.

Written by Kiew Wei Qi, PC116 Alumna

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