“Hi Rachel”, a message from Dr Anil came through on my phone. It’s been over a year since I had graduated and last stepped into IMU, the message reminding me of the time when I was an undergraduate of the IMU Biomedical Science programme for three years. I am proud to say that it was one of the best decisions for my studies and career growth.
Initially, I was sceptical to see how IMU will prepare me for my future due to the limitations in campus size and facilities provided. However, it was interesting to see how this small building was designed, fully utilising the available space, and I had witnessed many surprises behind each door or wall. In addition, the University has its own specialty clinics where consultancies with health professionals possessing specific expertise can be arranged.
I am Rachel Hoe from BM118. Fast forward to the present time, I am currently doing my Master’s in Science programme at the National Central University, Taiwan with my principal supervisor, Prof Chen Su-ching. I would like to take this opportunity to thank A/Prof Dr Chye Soi Moi for her recommendation to Prof Chen, as well as Dr Anil Philip Kunnath, A/Prof Dr Lim Chooi Ling, and Dr Koh Rhun Yian for their continuous support throughout my applications to further my studies. Of course, not forgetting all the lecturers in the programme for their dedication and professionalism in guiding the BM118 cohort; we did not make it easy for them in those 3 years.
The IMU Biomedical Science programme prepared me very thoroughly to go further, be it in academia or in the industry. I was trained in critical and analytical thinking skills during all the self-directed learning and problem-based learning sessions back at IMU, which helped me to be more detail-oriented and to always question the rationale behind every step. Instead of following the protocols blindly in my research study, I questioned every step and was able to apply troubleshooting skills efficiently to gradually improve on my techniques.
Having been through the final year in this programme, the research project module has greatly honed my skills in basic research skills and techniques, also providing me a decent foundation in carrying out a research study. Studying in a postgraduate programme is not as simple as ‘ABC’. Unlike the laboratory practical sessions at IMU, postgraduate students are expected to design and work out their own research outline, and thus having prior experience in carrying out a research study, albeit a small topic, confers one a strong advantage compared to students without experience.
Apart from academia, being involved in our very own society, the IMU Society of Biomedical Science (ISBS), was a great experience and promotes teamwork in every way, both within my own cohort and with our juniors. It helped to develop my interpersonal skills and leadership as the team worked together closely, navigating through the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure that Biomedical Science Day 2020 and the 11th MYSYMBIOS in 2021 were executed successfully. The journey was not easy as we had to be independent, working in remote (isolated) environments and have the self-discipline to manage both studies and extracurricular activities efficiently within a stipulated time frame.
I am sure that my journey with IMU had cultivated me into who I am today, giving me a competitive edge and always striving to perform better wherever I am. The IMU Biomedical Science programme equipped me well with the necessities to go forward with my postgraduate studies, getting me into one of the leading universities in Taiwan where the competition is fierce, and standards are stringent.
Written by Rachel Hoe