In March 2023, IMU Nutrition and Dietetics Student Association (INDSA) had the great honour of hosting the Malaysia Dietetics Intervarsity event. This was a long-standing legacy event that was initiated in 2009 by our fellow IMU Dietetics alumna, Sing Ean and her previous team. The event aims to unite all future Malaysian dietitians by providing an excellent opportunity for inter-university and inter-cohort learning, as well as professional development through several activities. This year, we had a total of 130 participants from 7 universities taking part, namely IIUM, UiTM, UTAR, UKM, USM, UPM and IMU.
For the opening ceremony on 11 March 2023, we had Prof Hoh Boon Peng, the Associate Dean of IMU School of Health Sciences, Prof Barakatun Nisak and Dr Nurul Huda, the representatives from Malaysian Dietitians’ Association, Charmaine, INDSA Club Advisor, and me (Jean Ann Sau Jing En), the director of the event to deliver their opening speeches and welcome the external participants.
An ice-breaking session was then placed for the participants to mingle and encourage early bonding. We could clearly see the excitement and the atmosphere warming up, as we witnessed the budding friendship between the participants.
Talks on Career Pathways
The next agenda was the career path talk – where 5 guest speakers from different dietetics fields were invited to share and provide advice to the young dietitians. We had the pleasure of hearing the experience of Dr Kanimolli Arasu from academia field, Mr Chong Koy Seong from clinical field, Lim Yi Chien from entrepreneurial field, Tania Lee Xu Yar from sports field, and Georgen Thye from digital and private sector field.
We had received an overwhelming number of positive feedback from all participants, and we were happy that this forum was greatly enjoyed and appreciated by them.
Activities: Station Games, Case Study, and a Cooking Session
After the lunch break, there were a few activities prepared for the participants, including station games, a case study, and a cooking session. Each group of participants were required to complete all activities. The participants were grouped randomly, ensuring that each group had a balanced mix of students from various universities, as well as students from different semesters, both earlier and later.
There were 4 station games which consisted of “True or False” and “Guest the Nutrients” which conveyed nutrition and dietetics-related knowledge, whereas “Flip the Cup” and “Juice Pong” was aimed to create a fun and relaxed atmosphere to the participants.
Besides that, a case study was prepared as an early exposure to Medical Nutrition Therapy among the junior participants with the seniors providing them with guidance. Based on the given case study, the participants would need to prepare a dish during the cooking session. It was really astonishing to see the participants gathering in N&D lab to prepare the meal.
The last agenda for the day was the closing ceremony. Prizes were given to the top 3 teams with the highest scores from the station games and a cheer competition was also held to enliven the ceremony. Lastly, MDI 2023 marked its end with a photography session for all the participants and committee members.
“Apart from organising the event, MDI has also truly enhanced my connection with working dietitians and other future dietitians all over Malaysia. It was a dream come true having the opportunity to learn from such amazing professionals and gain insight into the field of dietetics. It was also interesting to see the slight difference in each institution’s module structure and how it’s reflected in the students’ competence in different aspect of dietetics, even though we’re all studying the same course. I also loved that the event allowed me to see other people who are just like me, who wants to make a difference in the world and help their fellow human beings. There are so many different types of people there – some with backgrounds as diverse as their interests, and everyone has their own story. It was endlessly inspiring to witness everyone’s passion towards the dietetics field, and it pushes me to better and improve myself too,” says Jean Ann Sau Jing En, INDSA (DN121).
Overall, MDI 2023 was a beautiful success with the hard work and effort from all committee members, as well as the overwhelming support from all participants, sponsors, speakers, IMU N&D Faculty and IMU school departments such as Student Services Hub (SSH), Facilities Management and Administration (FMA) and IT. Although the process of organising MDI can be hectic at times, it ended up being a very rewarding and fulfilling experience as we watched the bright smiles on each participant and know that they enjoyed the event we worked hard on.
On behalf of INDSA, I am extremely grateful for all the support and the opportunity provided by IMU to host such a meaningful event for the student dietitian community.
Written by Jean Ann Sau Jing En