My name is Chiang Jun Wei, and I am currently studying the Bachelor of Science (Hons) Medical Biotechnology at the International Medical University. Studying biotechnology wasn’t my first choice at all initially, as I have always wanted to be a doctor since I was a small kid. So, you may ask, what made me change my mind and finally choose to study Medical Biotechnology at IMU?
Well, for me, the reason why I wanted to become a medical doctor when I was young was because I have been suffering from asthma since I was 3 years old and what I knew at that time was, medical doctors actually save me from enduring all the troubles and suffering brought about by asthma until I was 15 years old. Those were the years that I started admiring the doctors who could actually help people like me, and I wanted to be like them one day when I grew up.
However, when I was at the crossroads of choosing my undergraduate degree, I learnt about biotechnology and it looks really interesting to me! Biotechnology is a modern area of biology based on technology. Medical biotechnology harnesses cellular and biomolecular processes to develop products or drugs that help improve our health and provides breakthrough products to combat debilitating and rare diseases. Today, globally, there are more and more biotechnology healthcare products and vaccines available to patients with many developing and innovating new drugs for previously untreatable diseases, such as HIV vaccines, drugs for Alzheimer’s, cancer, diabetes etc. After a long consideration, I finally chose to study Medical Biotechnology at IMU instead of studying medicine, because in medical biotechnology, I can learn about the manifestation mechanism of diseases and treatment strategies. I picked IMU to study for my biotechnology degree because IMU provides a medical major biotechnology degree instead of a general biotechnology degree. Besides that, IMU provides internship for its biotechnology students in a lot of biotechnology companies in Malaysia, such as CryoCord Sdn Bhd, Fisher Scientific and Biocon Sdn. Bhd. IMU also provides overseas internship opportunities with notable institutions in countries such as Singapore, Australia and Taiwan, which provides the students with some working experience with more employment opportunities in the future, and this is another reason why I picked IMU. In my opinion, IMU is actually a good university as it provides good facilities and environment despite it being a small campus compared to other universities.
Now, I know that studying Medical Biotechnology could make me to be someone that I wanted to be, to help alleviate suffering of people through innovation of drugs to treat diseases. In fact, as I learn more about biotechnology, I find out that being a biotechnologist is not just a job which one will only work in a laboratory as a researcher, but it actually provides a lot of job opportunities in many different field, including government agency for policy regulation, pharmaceutical and technology companies, as a product specialist, etc. Personally, I would like to work in a laboratory after my degree as I prefer to do research in the future, but however if in the future, I want to explore my career in different field, biotechnology would provide me alternative ways to get jobs and this is precisely another reason why I chose biotechnology as my degree. I believe that everyone is in charge of their own future and people are responsible and should take ownership of their decisions to make sure that they don’t regret them. I hope that choosing to study medical biotechnology will give me the ability to be responsible for my own future, and I hope that others will be able to find theirs as well.
Photos by Chiang Jun Wei (MB1/18)