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Moving into a Different Career: My Journey from Accounting to Pharmacy

31 May 2021

Cheng Miaw Chin PC114 (Left) with her IMU Pharmaceutical Chemistry lecturer, Dr Lee Choy Sin.

I was an accounting graduate working in accounting field for some years before joining the IMU BSc (Hons) in Pharmaceutical Chemistry programme. I always have passion in pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences, hence decided to start from scratch by doing STPM science stream as a private student. In 2014, with the STPM qualification, I enrolled to the BSc (Hons) in Pharmaceutical Chemistry in IMU with the aim of continuing to a Master of Pharmacy in University of Sydney. Another reason for pursuing pharmaceutical chemistry degree in IMU is that I would like to learn more about chemistry behind drugs and hope to venture into drug research one day. The entire Pharmaceutical Chemistry 3 years study in IMU is my most unforgettable experience as it has never crossed my mind that I am able to become a student in a Pharmaceutical Chemistry programme with my previous accounting qualification and working experience. I enjoyed the entire learning experience at IMU as I acquired knowledge that I had long desired in each semester and even each day of my study life in IMU. I was excited to be able to learn about chemical structure of drugs, medicinal chemistry, natural product in medicine, pharmaceutics and formulation knowledge in understanding the properties of drugs and drug production related processes as well as some component in biotechnology. I am thankful to all academic staff in IMU for their efforts in teaching, coaching and guidance which had contributed to my achievements in winning the Tun Zahir Merit Award (an award given to a graduating student who has shown outstanding academic excellence). and Institut Kimia Malaysia Award for my academic achievements in BSc (Hons) in Pharmaceutical Chemistry programme. I also relate my achievements to my continuous effort, never give up spirit and determination.

After graduating from IMU BSc (Hons) in Pharmaceutical Chemistry programme in 2017, I decided to pursue the Master of Pharmacy (MPharm) at one of IMU’s partner universities, University of Sydney. I received prompt support from IMU International Office and lecturers to coordinate with University of Sydney on my application and credit exemption applications which resulted in tuition fees reduction and reduced study burden.

During my MPharm studies, I found that the fundamental in Pharmaceutical Chemistry programme has prepared me well, modules like medicinal chemistry, pharmaceutics, microbiology, biotechnology, drug metabolism, and pharmacology are helpful for me in coping with the MPharm programme.

I have successfully completed my MPharm study in Dec 2019 and I applied for provisional registration internship training in a community pharmacy in Victoria state of Australia to gain sufficient supervised practice hours. After that, I took the written and oral examinations in Oct 2020 and Feb 2021 respectively and in March 2021, I am officially a fully registered Pharmacist in Australia!

I am thankful to my family and friends for their unconditional support and care and my gratitude also goes to my preceptors and colleagues for their guidance leading to my success to be a fully registered pharmacist. My immediate career goal is to practice as a pharmacist in Australia and my long-term career goal is to pursue a research-based postgraduate programme while continuing to practice as a pharmacist. I have strong interest in R & D even before I joined the BSc (Hons) in Pharmaceutical Chemistry in IMU and my interest intensified as I progressed in the Pharmaceutical Chemistry programme and graduated from this programme.

Advice for Pharmaceutical Chemistry juniors when undertaking the three years PC programme:
I would like to advice and encourage my Pharmaceutical Chemistry juniors to fully utilise the 3 years to acquire knowledge as it is a very worthwhile experience and will form a solid foundation for their future career.

I hope my experience will inspire my PC junior to appreciate their opportunity to study in this programme and perform as best possible.

Shared by Cheng Miaw Chin PC114 (Graduated from IMU in 2017 and currently working as a Pharmacist in Australia).

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