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My Journey as a Dietetics with Nutrition Scholar at IMU

12 Dec 2019

My name is Tan Rui Shan, Amrita and I am currently a Year 3 student, pursuing the Dietetics with Nutrition programme in IMU. Besides being a food lover, I have always been interested in how various nutrients in food interact with our body system. I got to know that people respond differently to certain components in food, for instance, some people may be allergic to seafood or intolerant towards milk products due to their body functions. Some subpopulations such as hospital patients, elderlies, athletes and others, may have specific requirements to certain nutrients as well. I begin to realize the importance of eating right and healthily, and the positive impact it brings to our health, as the saying goes, you are what you eat. Why did I choose to study at IMU? IMU is known as one of the top medical universities in Malaysia, besides being one of the few private universities that offers the Dietetics with Nutrition programme. During my first visit to IMU, I started noticing the hygienic environment and healthcare facilities provided, which was something unique as compared to other universities. I was impressed by the outstanding number of desktops provided for the students’ use and not to mention the conducive studying environment in the library and other study areas. I was also excited that I would be able to use of the Nutrition and Dietetics Lab provided especially for Nutrition and Dietetics students. Getting the IMU Scholarship! I was overwhelmed when I first got to know that I had received a full scholarship from IMU. I did not hold high expectations to myself at first as I did not want to feel too disappointed if I failed to obtain the scholarship. I would say I was lucky enough and I could not have done it without the support of my parents, who has been my pillar of strength since day one. I felt relieved as I was able to help my parents to reduce their financial burden as well. Being a scholar, I know that I need to work harder to achieve my goals and treasure this golden opportunity given by IMU. My IMU Journey For the past 2 years, I have been living my life as a student in IMU at its best. I enjoy having interactive classroom sessions, such as PBLs and workshops, as I am able to learn more effectively, rather than just solely listening to lectures. As the semester progresses, I begin to appreciate my coursework better as there are more group projects and assignments. I get to work with different groups of people in my cohort, while at the same time getting to know them better. Group studying works better for me with the right group of study mates, as discussing lecture topics with one another helps me to learn better and gain more insights. As soon as I started studying in IMU, I participated in a number of events as I personally enjoy organising events. Among the most recent ones are Chariofare 2018, TEDxIMU 2019 and Concert and Food Carnival 2019 – Nights of Lights. Regardless of whether I am part of the main committee or taking part as a volunteer, I have learned new things and gained experiences which simply cannot be taught through lectures. Besides, it is really rewarding to meet new friends from different courses throughout the events that I have participated. When it comes to relieving stress from studies and work, doing sports has always been my first choice, as I have developed a strong interest in sports since young. I was the President of IMU Netball Club in 2018 and the club was awarded the Best Sports Club in 2019. I am currently an active member in IMU frisbee team as well and have represented IMU to participate in various tournaments for the past year. an Rui Shan, Amrita shares her journey as a scholar at IMU. Besides sports, dancing is another favourite hobby of mine. I actively join dance classes organised by IMU Dance Club and have been involved in dance performances in IMU. I had also represented IMU to perform in the Unanimity Dance Showcase organised by Taylor’s University. How do I have time for everything? I always believe that having a good time management is the key to success. I find it useful to have a planner with me at all times to keep things on track and keep myself updated on important matters, such as assignment deadlines and examination dates. Heavy study workload in addition to being actively involved in non-curricular activities do make me feel overwhelmed at some point, therefore it is also important to take a short break whenever necessary in order not to overwork.

During my Semester 4, under the Food Service Management I module, we were assigned to prepare 50 healthy lunchboxes for the IMU community. It was a really fun yet challenging process as we had to serve the food on time, and at the same time to maintain the quality of our food until the food was served. My group was assigned to prepare Indian cuisine, and we had decided to serve Indian Fusion Poké Bowl with Boba Masala Chai. We were delighted to receive good feedback from our customers. Besides, I had also represented my sports house to participate in the dance event of IMU Cup 2019, being one of the choreographers and trainers for the team. It was never easy to train a team with minimal dance background and to create a choreography which was suitable for everyone. All the blood, sweat and tears during the practice sessions were worth it when we emerged as the 2nd runner-up, despite the tough competition with the other houses. Undoubtedly, there were times filled with despair and frustration, especially when unforeseen circumstances happened and it was beyond anyone’s control. However, I have learned to be more patient and to solve problems more effectively. I am always grateful that I have constant support from my family and friends.

Being a sports enthusiast, I would never miss the chance to join IMU Cup. Besides training hard, I had also challenged myself in joining new sports such as darts, bowling, pool and others. Hard work did pay off as I managed to win some medals from the events participated. I have also represented IMU to actively participate in various sports tournaments such as netball and frisbee, and we have managed to prove that IMU, as a medical university, can be as competent as other universities in sports events as well. The recent TEDxIMU event was also a big success after months of preparation work, which turned out to be one of the highest attendance rate of participants, among the other TEDx events held in Malaysia. As of now, focusing on my studies and enriching my knowledge in nutrition and dietetics are my utmost priorities to graduate as a competent dietitian. I would like to further my studies as well by pursuing a Masters programme, specialising in either sports or clinical field.

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