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Nicole Foo: My Memorable 5- year Journey at IMU

23 Nov 2022

I’m Nicole Foo from the cohort BP118 and have recently graduated with a Bachelor of Pharmacy (Hons) degree programme from the International Medical University (IMU). I chose IMU as my study platform back in 2017, when I first started my Foundation in Science (FIS) as I believed that IMU is not just a well-known and well-established health sciences university, but a university that is alive and full of joyous, warmest, and compassionate people who will guide and walk together with me throughout my journey at IMU. The first one year at IMU, doing my FIS was the hardest initial phase of my journey, but it indeed became an unforgettable year which successfully prepared me for my next journey in life.

After I completed my FIS, I finally started the BPharm (Hons) programme in September 2018, when I realised that I was one step closer to my dream. Although there were times when I felt like giving up or stopping in the middle, I kept myself motivated as there were always people around me who pushed me forward and kept me going throughout the way. I always believe that IMU BPharm (Hons) programme not only instilled in me the skills and professionalism that are crucial for my future career, but also attitude and self-esteem, that are important in life. Not to forget, my pillars of strength (family members, lecturers, and friends) who nurtured and cherished me with all the support throughout the years in making me who I am today.

I still remember before the pandemic struck, the first two years of my undergraduate life in campus was indeed exquisite! – meeting new friends’ day by day, cracking our heads after tutorials, leisure at the library, endless discussion before exams, etc.


Although my friends and I used to nag about the tiny little things but looking back, those were the things which I miss the most now. When the pandemic struck, everything had to be shifted online and the students and lecturers adapted to the online environment very quickly although we did face some difficulties during the transition.


The online learning experience enabled the students to be more independent in their learning at their own pace and indeed drew a closer relationship between students and lecturers. When I recall the times when exams were getting closer, not just students who were nervous and worried but in fact, the lectures were worried too, and they prepared us with everything they could do for us. Lecturers would stay up late or even online throughout the whole night to prepare us for exams the next day. This truly touched me as the care and perseverance that the lecturers have portrayed proved to me that IMU is not just an institution that prepared me for my future career, but it is a home that has grown me up and instilled me with all the qualities that I needed in life.


In my final year of the BPharm (Hons) programme at IMU, we had the opportunity to undergo attachments at the hospital and community pharmacy settings and from the  experience during these attachments, I realised that community pharmacy was interesting as this is where I got to meet different customers with different conditions every day.

The experience at the  hospital pharmacy attachment was different, where there were endless patients every day with different complications, and they all required the help of a team of healthcare professionals. These exposures indeed put me in a dilemma when it came to deciding for my journey ahead.

To overcome that,  I sought opinions  from lectures, pharmacists, family members, friends, and peers and in the end realised that there was no right or wrong decision and it is all about having faith in yourself and knowing what you want to achieve in life. This also makes me remember a phrase that a lecturer at IMU told me “Life is all about taking challenges, restarting, and making the impossible come true” and therefore I decided in choosing the hospital pharmacy setting, as I wanted to challenge myself and be a part of the team in the hospital with the knowledge and professionalism that IMU has instilled in me for serving the community.


Fortunately, I was awarded the IHH Healthcare scholarship in my Semester 8 which I could never forget. The hard work and determination all these years had finally paid off and I remember what my parents always reminded me throughout the years. They said, “the amount of effort you put in is directly related to the number of gains you’ll make” and this phrase is also one that keeps me going further without giving up.


Now, I have the opportunity to work and continue learning in a private hospital pharmacy setting. So, why not have faith in yourself, enjoy every moment in life, and live the best you can.


I am  a graduate now and I feel that it all happened in the blink of an eye, and it is heart-breaking to think that the life at the university has come to an end for now and I strongly believe that the expertise and knowledge IMU has generously instilled in me will surely lead me further in my coming journey. Lastly, I always have faith in my journey as I believe that everything happens exactly as it had to, to get you where you’re going next.

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