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How IMU Pharmaceutical Chemistry Degree Prepared Me for My Current Role as a Formulator

21 Feb 2022

Since I was young, I have always been interested in the generation of ideas and thinking out of the box to overcome obstacles. Therefore, I always wanted to be involved in a career whereby I would be able to experiment different trials and put forward solutions. When I came across BSc (Hons) in Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the International Medical University (IMU), I was intrigued and interested in how I could work in the chemical industry. During my Foundation in Science, I took my time to research on the programme and learned that it was well suited for me.


During my final year, I undertook my internship in the Research and Development Department of Novugen Pharma (M) Sdn Bhd and I continued working with them as a formulator under the Research and Development (R&D) Department after the internship. At Novugen Pharma (M) Sdn Bhd, we develop generic drugs for solid dosage form such as tablet and capsule. Each time we completed a batch, the drugs will be sent for analysis such as assay, related substance, dissolution, and water content. Then, we will further optimise the batches based on the results received.


Ho Keat Zhee (second from left, back row) during her internship at Novugen Pharma in 2018 

The modules in the Pharmaceutical Chemistry programme have helped me in my current role working as a formulator in the pharmaceutical industry. All the modules have been important to my current work especially Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Engineering. If I were to describe – Pharmaceutics is like the recipe to the ‘dish’ while Pharmaceutical Engineering helps me to understand how to use the equipment required to prepare the recipe. Both these modules have helped me a lot throughout my journey to where I am now.



Besides that, the Business module have also helped me to prepare me well as a team player and in my communication skills. I think these skills are important especially when you will be working in an environment with people from different backgrounds. It is very crucial that information is to be transmitted well to other departments to ensure that the workflow will not be interrupted.


During the programme, I am also grateful that we are required to prepare and do presentations on various topics. This has prepared me well as my work requires me to do presentation on our batches’ trial from time to time. With that all said, I have gained a lot from the Pharmaceutical Chemistry programme which has prepared me well for the beginning of my career journey. However, it is also important to gain experience in the work field once you are out there.


My Advice for Juniors 
Grab whatever opportunities given and don’t let anything get you down. I understand it will be hard to be positive if you’re at your lowest point but that is the crucial moment for you to think that it can’t go lower than it will be.

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