Raymond Koh Jun Kiat graduated from the International Medical University (IMU) in June 2014 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Pharmacy (BPharm, Hons). He is currently working in Kotra Pharma (M) Sdn Bhd. “Upon graduation, it became my best interest to initiate my professional career in the pharmaceutical industry as soon as possible. With good grace, I got accepted into Kotra Pharma (M) Sdn Bhd as a provisionally registered pharmacist (PRP). The job description of a young pharmacist growing in the pharmaceutical industry is everything but mundane. After being rotated to diverse departments (Production, Research and Development, Quality Assurance, Quality Control, Logistics, Regulatory, Sales and Marketing) throughout the year-long span of my practical training, I have gotten a bird’s eye view of the interlinked complex processes in a pharmaceutical company. Few of the many aspects of my practical training that continues to excite, as well as perplex me to date, are the dynamic nature and the ever present intricacies of a tightly regulated manufacturing industry. My daily work regime which revolves around continual change and improvement provides me with challenges upon challenges, and this became an effective instrument for growth. In addition to that, the presence of various mentors and colleagues at the workplace also served as an excellent guiding tool for measured progress. Generally, few of the many challenges in the industry include making snap judgments and educated decisions at the workplace. Since every decision made could bring commercial impact to the company, therefore the ability to make smart firm decisions would prove to be an asset. Moreover, pharmacists are trained to be all-rounders as we are constantly interacting with personnel from diverse backgrounds such as engineers, IT experts, chemists and biologists to get things running smoothly.
Incidentally, the most enjoyable time at work happen to be during the time of crisis or when challenges arise. This is because I would be able to hone my skills and competence in the process, and the experience gained from these are not less than satisfying.
Now that my year-long practical training as a PRP has ended, I am currently assigned to the Research and Development Department with a managing role. My primary job description as a formulator involves ANDA design and development while spearheading the expansion of product range in the company. I treat this as one of my success stories in the company as I’ve gotten the opportunity and trust to manage and work with an international team of brilliant formulation scientists. To wrap this up, the pharmaceutical industry is a great platform for personal and career development. To coin that the learning curve in this setting is steep would be a gross understatement. However, this should be treated as an incentive as one will emerge much stronger and more competent than the rest.
I urge all young pharmacy students and graduates whom are attracted to personal growth and strong career development to rise up to the challenge, and seriously consider the pharmaceutical industry as a career option. All the best!”