In the typical mentor mentee system, faculty members will provide pastoral care to individual students under their care. This includes personal support, advice and help on academic matters. However, there are limited opportunities to network with working chemists and gain exposure to career opportunities. Following the Professional Practice Fellows (PPF) initiative by BPharm (Hons) programme in 2021, the IMU BSc (Hons) in Pharmaceutical Chemistry programme also implemented Professional Practice Fellows (Chemists) (PPF(C)) since 2022.
Objectives of this Initiative
1) To ease the transition from graduates to working adults,
2) To provide platform to network with alumni, and
3) To expose students to a wide variety careers and opportunities.
The appointed fellows should be practising chemists with at least minimum 2 years of working experience within their area of expertise. Currently, we have appointed three alumni as fellows under this new initiative. They are Tai Chieh Hwa and Lum Jun Rong (PC1/11 cohort), who have more than 7 years of working experience in the cosmetics and toiletries industry as well as the scientific instrumentation technology industry, respectively; another fellow is Natasha Stella Tibon, an alumna from PC2/16 cohort, who presently works as an analytical scientist in a pharmaceutical company after her graduation in 2019.
By bringing real-world perspectives to related classroom learning, they can enhance learning and development, create career awareness, and develop workplace readiness (fitness-for-purpose).
As of now, we had conducted three PPF(C) sessions, where alumni had shared their experiences and tips based on the proposed topics.
Topics for the Last Three Sessions
- Transitioning from classroom to workplace: How do you make fresh graduates employable?
- Start building your CV
- Notable and essential interview skills
These sessions were convened on 16 July 2022, 22 October 2022, and 19 May 2023, respectively. The most recent session was also held as a physical event for the very first time.
Based on the feedback received, students were generally satisfied with the organisation, delivery, clarity of information and practicality of the topics delivered. Positive and honest feedback such as “I like how I am grabbing in depth and unseen interview skills from the speakers, something which won’t be told on the internet” will continue to spur the programme to organise better and helpful sessions in the future.
Ultimately, the programme hopes the students will gain better insights and be better prepared to join the workforce after university.