Scroll to top

Developing Potential at Consumer Regulatory Affairs (RA) Department Internship

09 Sep 2015

International Medical University (IMU) Pharmaceutical Chemistry student, Khor Fang Jin had the opportunity to do his internship at the Consumer Regulatory Affairs (RA) Department of Johnson & Johnson Sdn Bhd in Petaling Jaya. He relates to us his experience during his internship. “I started my internship on 1 April 2015 at Johnson & Johnson Sdn Bhd in Petaling Jaya. I was attached to the Consumer Regulatory Affairs (RA) Department for my internship. Currently, the department has only two persons in the team which is my supervisor and myself. Until today, my fourth month in this company, I experienced a lot of things during these 4 months. In the first week of my internship, I was only given some simple tasks like scanning, photocopying, filing and also creating a product catalog. At first I felt like I was wasting my time doing work which has no relevance to regulatory affairs. In my second week of internship, my supervisor told me that she will be away for 2 weeks to attend a conference in Jakarta and I need to help her out in preparing all the documents for the coming audit by Health Authority. During this period, I will need to handle all the cases that could happen alone since my supervisor is not be around to guide me along. 20150803_160159 At the very beginning, it is really a big challenge for me to handle some of the complicated cases, I was stressed up as I have no idea what is going on and what action is needed from my side to solve all these problems. I ended up tried my very best to contact the RA team from other countries (Singapore, Korea and Philippines) for help. I am grateful that all of them were very kind to share their experiences and advice with me. Their feedbacks had given me enough confidence to make decisions and solve all the problems. Besides that, I am able to handle some of the simple cases that are related to our products, this is because of the task that I did in my first week which was creating a product catalog for our entire company products. Only at that moment did I realise that the task which I thought was a waste of time can actually help me understand more about the products. This really taught me a lesson, I have to be serious on every single task that are assigned to me even though it seems simple and irrelevant at that moment. It could be the groundwork or stepping stone for more challenging tasks in future. After these 2 weeks, I had grown up to become more independent and understand better the responsibilities of RA personnel. My supervisor was very pleased to know that I am able to handle the tasks and cope with the stress when she was not around. The very first big project I handled in this company was the Health Authority Audit; it took me about 3-months to prepare a complete set of documents for 13 products. During this preparation, I had communicated with colleagues in other manufacturing plants located in Thailand, China, Korea and Philippines. It was indeed a very great experience and opportunity for an intern like me to be exposed and involved in such an important audit for the industry. From my point of view, Regulatory Affairs may not be a popular job in pharmaceutical industries since not every company required Regulatory Affairs department. Hence, many people might not understand clearly the job scope of RA and think that it is a boring and routine job involving documentation.

After going through the internship in RA department, I personally think that it is not mainly about documentation but RA personnel needs to interact and communicate effectively with other people such as Health Authority Officers, Marketing team and also RA team in other countries.

For me, working in RA department is interesting and challenging. I am grateful to my supervisor Stacy Tan, who has given me the opportunity to explore my potential by involving me in various tasks such as registration of product license, Health Authority Audit, application of Free Sales Certificates for other countries, market surveillance as well as product claims and advertisement review. All of these experiences allowed me to understand further about RA and developed my soft skills especially communication and time management. Lastly, I couldn’t agree more that my three-year-degree programme in Pharmaceutical Chemistry at IMU has prepared me with both the knowledge of Chemistry and Biology in advance which allows me to adapt well in my internship as well as future career in healthcare industry. Most of the time in university, my friends and I are involved in group assessment which help me greatly in developing my communication skill. Group discussion also allowed us to be considerate and mindful in communication to avoid any conflict or misunderstanding among the members. Other than that, the Problem Based Learning (PBL) sessions in my degree also provided us with some scenarios that we might encounter in our future career, especially Ethics in Science module. During these sessions, we have to understand the learning issues behind each scenario and come out with the best solution for the respective scenario. Hence, this has polished up my critical thinking skills.

All these soft skills are equally important to the core knowledge that I learned in Pharmaceutical Chemistry programme to prepare myself for the future career in the industry. I personally think that soft skills and positive attitudes are the ones that are differentiating me from students of other courses.”

Leave Comment

Your email address will not be published.