(Part Two) Cedric Chua Chong Jie’s decision to study pharmacy was sparked by the availability of opportunities in this profession. Not only does pharmacy entail the rewarding opportunity to work in a myriad of professional settings such as hospitals, pharmacies and the pharmaceutical industry, it also represents a noble gateway to making real impact in patients’ lives. Cedric’s decision led him to start his studies in pharmacy at IMU in July 2011. He later transferred to University of Queensland for completion of his degree and graduated in December 2015. Currently, he is working as a marketing executive at a private pharmaceutical company. In 2016, the 1st Malaysian Innovative Healthcare Symposium (MIHS) is a special initiative by the Malaysian Pharmaceutical Society-Young Pharmacists Chapter (MPS-YPC) under Cedric’s leadership. For his effort in this, Cedric was awarded the MPS-YPC Most Outstanding Committee 2016. He shares with us his experience in this. How did you feel when you were awarded MPS-YPC Most Outstanding Committee 2016? To be recognised by fellow committee members for my contribution and effort is a great honor to me, and one that will further spur me to better my endeavors for the benefit of the profession, people and industry in future. This award is a tribute to those who have worked tenaciously with me to achieve our common goal, and I regard it as a testament to our ability, determination and hard work. Describe your experience as Chairperson of the inaugural MPS-YPC Malaysian Innovative Healthcare Symposium (MIHS) 2016 and sponsorship lead for the inaugural MPS-YPC Malaysian Community Pharmacy Business Forum 2016. The MIHS was designed to cultivate and hasten the pace of innovation in the local healthcare sector and as the chairperson, I was extremely pleased that the objective has been achieved. Not only was it a well-run programme in terms of operation and finances, it has also successfully installed MPS-YPC and the profession at the forefront of tackling the innovation conundrum that has blighted our healthcare industry for decades. For that, it was a significant milestone for my society. Managing a team of 30 personnel over the course of 4 months was a true test of tenacity, a role that truly demands competency, strengths, leadership, teamwork management, analytical thinking, decision-making as well as problem-solving skills. Kudos to the 4 outstanding team leads who aided and complemented me in so many ways. We received much praises for our exemplary delegation of task, of which job prioritization and superb time management were strictly adhered to on top of the strong fundamentals of effective communication and accountability.
With many young students in my work group, I tasked myself with the responsibility to groom them through the provision of constructive feedback and mentoring. Today, I am heartened by the fact that 5 of them have assumed the mantle of organising the 2017 edition.
As the person-in-charge of sponsorship for MyCPBF 2016, I am really glad of the way things worked out. Back then it was a frantic race against time to secure funding and there I was, juggling between establishing contact, negotiation and finally, execution of sponsorship. The feat of attracting 9 sponsors that comprises key health related businesses has raised more than a few eyebrows. How do you allocate your time between work and all these other activities? With my formal job taking up the bulk of my day, I dedicate most of my off-work hours and weekends to coordinate and plan for these projects. On reflection, I believe the main reason I have been able to achieve this balance is because I am extremely organised; I love to work on task lists, to which I stick to a devised regiment and follow it through till completion. Effective time management and prioritisation are crucial in helping me find purpose in my day, preventing me from spending time on frivolous matters and only focus on impactful things. Having too much on one’s plate always comes with a certain amount of stress, and to overcome it, I exercise regularly to de-stress and to sharpen my mind. Being a goal-driven person helps me in staying focused on what I want to accomplish, but the fact that I enjoy what I am doing takes the edge off the daunting task a great deal. Through this I manage to strike a balance between work and life. Your future plans The pharmaceutical industry is entering an exciting new digital era and in years to come, I wish to assume more management responsibilities and be involved in strategic decision-making for a well-established organisation, like my current one. I also have plans to further my involvement in relevant professional groups to develop extra skills, broaden my knowledge and build meaningful networks. You advice to inspire future and current pharmacists
Be curious, proactive and maintain a positive attitude toward opportunities, change and innovation; you never know where that might lead you.