The AZ Project iDEA Challenge aims to help students prepare for employment by providing equal opportunities for learning and growth. This year, the challenge focused on educating children and young people about chronic kidney disease (CKD) through marketing campaigns. Team PawsitiveCode comprising of 4 IMU Final Year Pharmacy students secured second place in this year’s competition by impressing the judges with their innovative idea, featuring digital ads with talking robotic pets powered by AI, as well as a unique social media challenge. Here, they share their journey throughout the competition.
Amidst our busy research semester, the 4 of us (Wayne Goo, Lim Pei Ying, Tan Wai Yee and Nur Hamizah binti Nazaruddin) joined this challenge with the goal of trying our best to discover our limits. Even though marketing is a foreign concept to us pharmacy students, we were glad to have our wonderful supervisor (Dr Yam Wai Keat), to guide us through the challenge with her experience and insightful wisdom.
The initial weeks of our preparation was mind-wrecking. The difficulty of the marketing campaign lies in conveying a difficult concept such as CKD to children and youth. At the same time, we wanted to develop a new and innovative campaign that can blow the minds of our audience. Through a series of rigorous discussions and collaborative brainstorming sessions, the PawsitiveCode campaign was ultimately brought to life.
Having surpassed numerous participants, we secured a place in the top seven teams, granting us the privilege to showcase our marketing campaign during the country finals at the AstraZeneca office in Mutiara Damansara. With only one week to prepare, we attended a pitching workshop by the organising committee, refined our presentation and incorporated attention-grabbing props, including our lovable stuffed toy dog – Paws.
As the day of the country finals arrived, anticipation filled the air as we stepped into the impressive AZ office for the very first time. The event proved to be a unique showcase, with students from various backgrounds, including medical bioscience, data analysis, and business, each bringing their own flair and focus to their presentations. Despite one of our members battling a sore throat, we persevered and confidently shared our efforts with the fellow judges and participants. As the winners were announced, we felt proud of our journey, which concluded with an enriching visit to the different floors of the AstraZeneca office.
“Through this competition, we have gained a better experience and opportunity at networking with people from the pharmaceutical industry. Networking with the staff led us to potential internships or job offers, and insights into career paths within the pharmaceutical sector – a territory that is hard to tap into especially for undergraduate pharmacy students with barely any experience to begin with.”
“Not only that, by joining the AZ Project iDEA challenge, we applied our theoretical knowledge that we’ve learnt in our classroom towards real-world scenarios. We seamlessly combined medical knowledge from our Pharmacy course, marketing skills from our Pharmaceutical Management and Entrepreneurship module, and the digital health exposure gained through our digital health elective module to address the challenge with innovative solutions. Therefore, gaining further experience in solving any problems that comes our way.”
We hope our story encourages fellow pharmacy students to venture beyond their comfort zones and fearlessly embrace new challenges.
“If we can do it, you can do it too.” – Team PawsitiveCode 2023.