7 Oct 2015 IMU Pharmaceutical Chemistry Student at an Industrial Attachment in Uganda
Pharmaceutical Chemistry students at International Medical University (IMU) are exposed to industrial attachment where they would gain valuable industrial experience and build their professional network, giving these graduates an advantage in their future careers. This is what one of the students, Annette Nangendo Zake, did at her home country, Uganda.
“I thought of trying out the work life in Malaysia but that was changed when my interest diverted to my country, Uganda. Having studied away from home, I wanted to see if what I learnt could be applied in the companies back home. With the ‘blessing’ from the industrial placement coordinator, Dr Keng, I applied to a pharmaceutical company called CIPLA Quality Chemicals Ltd and to my surprise, I was given an offer to train for 2 months.”
CIPLA Quality Chemicals is a pharmaceutical industry that manufactures Anti-retrovirals (ARVs) and Anti-malarials (ACTs) medicines. It is a World Health Organization (WHO) approved facility which enables it to not only manufacture medicine for Uganda but other countries in Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo).
“I was eager to go back home but nervous as well as to how the training programme was to be laid out and to my great pleasure, I was not disappointed. I was given the opportunity to go through rotations in different departments which included:
• Production department consisting of granulation, compression, coating and packing.
• Quality Assurance department
• Quality Control and microbiology department
• Engineering department
• Stores department
The programme required me to go through each department, go through briefing of what is done, read Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for further knowledge and of course, have hands-on experience. We were also required to write a departmental report and carry out a company project with the help of the supervisor. My project was on ‘How to Utilize Manpower Utilization in Granulation’ which was a mixture of pharmaceutics, business management and ethics. Something I didn’t expect to encounter and was worth the experience. “
“Having studied Pharmaceutical Chemistry, I would say that this course was like a ‘guide to the working life’. This course not only provided theoretical and practical experience in Chemistry but also had an indirect system where one had to become a multi-tasker. Recalling how I had to plan my time attending lectures, finishing assignments and also preparing for tests or exams around the same time frame, I know that this has helped me be more flexible during my internship when I was working and carrying out my company project at the same time to mention but a few.”
“There is so much I learnt during my experience especially the necessity of being ethical at your workplace. I am also grateful for this opportunity as I got to spend time with family and friends after being away from home for close to 3 years. It is something I won’t forget and will forever be thankful to the lecturers, my supervisor, Mr Sam Opio and my seniors at the industry who made it possible for me to achieve this.”
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