If someone were to ask me why I am doing Pharmaceutical Chemistry for my degree, I will be outright honest with them and tell them that it was not my first choice to begin with. And then, I would often end up getting confused faces from them. Well, they may think that I am bragging because I managed to adapt well and excel in this course even though it was not my first choice. Truth be told, I was left with no choice but to take up this course. It all started out with my dream to serve in the healthcare industry and dentistry was my first choice. I fought for it and even received an offer to be enrolled for the course. However, I did not manage to secure a scholarship and I did not have enough resources to support my dream to be a dentist. I then made up my mind to take up Pharmaceutical Chemistry, so that I could be a part of the healthcare scene, with a focus in the field of drug synthesis. I chose to study this course at IMU because this degree from IMU is accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), UK, the world’s leading chemistry community and professional body, ensuring that the curriculum is benchmarked to international standards. Given the eligibility of the school to apply for international research funds under RSC, I was confident that IMU was the right place for me to pursue my degree. Topping it off, I was awarded a full scholarship to study the course in IMU. It must have been one of the euphoric moments of my life when I learnt that I was the only candidate awarded the scholarship.
Recipient of Tun Zahir Merit Award
I was thrilled when I was informed that I am the top student in my class, winning myself the Tun Zahir Merit Award. Winning the award was one of my goals set ever since I entered IMU for my degree. I am glad that I did not let my mentor, lecturers, friends, and family members down. It is definitely a dream come true.
In the year of 2017 and 2018, I was the winner of the BRAND’S® Smart Achiever Award for two years consecutively. This annual award recognises top achievers who excelled in both their academic and extra-curricular performance. All thanks to IMU for preparing me well in terms of my academics and involvements in extra-curricular activities, hence allowing me to emerge as one of the outstanding scholars selected from hundreds of entries to win this prestigious award. Besides, I was recently nominated by the IMU School of Pharmacy to be one of the recipients of the IKM Graduate Chemistry Medal Award from Malaysia Institute of Chemistry. I am grateful to be the representative of IMU to receive this award and to bring IMU’s name to a national level.
|Throughout these three years, I have achieved a lot. Some achievements are even beyond my expectations. My motivation stemmed from the support of my family especially from my mother and sisters, my dedicated lecturers (special thanks to Prof Mallikarjuna Rao Pichika), my closest friends whom I shared wonderful memories with. Without them, I am nobody and my life is incomplete. They have taught me that it is absolutely alright to make mistakes. There were days where you were under intense pressure. When that happens, talk to someone that you trust. Take a break from whatsoever you are doing before you carry on, and never give up.
Preparation for my Future as a Chemist
IMU Pharmaceutical Chemistry has prepared me well enough for my future. All lab skills and knowledge gained from practical sessions, lectures, group works, assignments, and research projects really pushed me beyond boundaries. Since I have plans to further my study in the field, I personally felt that the practical sessions are extremely useful. People tend to overlook the benefits of joining this course due to the small number of students pursuing the course. The number of students does not define the quality of what it offers. Recently, I secured a research position to continue my postgraduate study. Living through this pandemic, most people find it difficult to seek jobs. Fortunately, I am really grateful and proud of my course as I was immediately recruited as a research assistant after sending in my resume and had my interview session conducted. I personally do not think that it was just because of my resume and interview session that secured the position, but it was more of the learning experience of what I have gone through in IMU that has prepared me for the industry. Right now, I am preparing myself for the scholarship application to pursue my postgraduate study and I am working hard in writing review papers related to my research project. I am confident that with the knowledge and soft skills that I have gained in IMU, I will be able to secure the full scholarship again to continue my study. Upon getting my PhD, I aim to delve into the research field of the pharmaceutical industry, namely in the synthesis of active pharmaceutical ingredients.
|Advice to Students Interested in Studying Pharmaceutical Chemistry
|Here is a piece of advice to students who are interested in studying Pharmaceutical Chemistry. Do not be discouraged by the small cohort of students whom are taking this course, as most people would initially choose their choice of course only if it is popular and difficult to get in. I personally feel that it is up to the individual to decide which path we would like to venture on. If you think you are interested in drug synthesis or drug formulation (basically anything related to drugs), then you might find this course suitable for you. A few words before I end this write-up. Winners never quit and quitters never win. Life is a bumpy journey on its own, and there could be many doubtful moments awaiting you. Next, fate might have decided a lower starting point for some of us for some reason or what is not, but a setback is a setup for a comeback. And remember, you are the master of your own destiny.
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Written by Wong Xi Khai