By the time you graduate kindergarten, you will already know the most important things you need to succeed: how to read, how to write, how to share and how to use your imagination. Our school education is important – nobody can deny it. Many view it as tedious, some frustrating, others heartbreaking, and plenty view school as stressful. Some become more motivated than they have ever been, others become afraid of failure, but everybody feels stressed at some point in this process. Trust me, education is knowledge gained. Education gives us knowledge of the world around us and changes it into something better. Why Nutrition? What is nutrition? Nutrition is the intake of food, considered in relation to the body’s dietary needs. Nutrition awareness among Malaysians is worrying where obesity and non communicable diseases are increasing in every age group. The Sun Daily reported more than 45% of Malaysians are overweight and about 15% are obese. It is a shocking figure, isn’t it? It is actually a starting point where I am interested in nutrition and I wish to make some changes. Every end has a new beginning. When I left home, 4 years back I wasn’t sure what I will get in return. I was excited but at the same time a little scared of the new reality. I was prepared to learn, explore, make new friends and get to know me as an individual self. Today (3 November 2018) as I graduated, I am proud to say that I had made the right decision to undertake the nutrition programme at IMU. Experience at IMU The most unforgettable experience during my undergraduate life was the time I was having my internship. Before I started my internship, I was really excited to apply my knowledge into practical and to have valuable opportunity for being exposed to the real working world as a nutritionist. During my internship at both a health clinic and private industry, I met a lot of new people and had the chance to liaise with different functions or departments to work on the project. Other than that, I delivered nutrition counselling to the patients, something that I love the most. Nutrition counselling allows me to engage with patients and to know their situation in detail which then allows us to provide practical ways to achieve the goal. It makes me feel like I am really helping people in need. I was also given the opportunity to have small group education and give talk to a big crowd. It definitely helps to overcome my fear of public speaking. Through the internship experience, the most significant thing that I have learnt is to translate technical terms to layman terms when communicating with individuals which are not from science background. As a healthcare professional, I think it is very important to ensure clients or patients understand the information that we are trying to convey. On the other hand, I have gone through a lot of difficult times when being assigned challenging tasks. However, I am grateful to have my friends as we support each other to face the challenges. I also appreciate much on the guidance and support from the lecturers, especially Dr Sangeetha Shyam which is my mentor and research supervisor. She is very approachable and she always provide constructive feedback on me which allows me to self-reflect and to keep improving. I believe one who pursues degree in university can achieve not only holistic education, also to enhance the most valuable thing in the society, sociability. The nutrition programme at IMU has exposed me to a wide range of modules which is very useful for me to apply knowledge and contribute my part in future roles. Besides the core knowledge, sociability is the biggest present I had throughout my study life in IMU. The tasks or assignments given during my degree teaches me a variety of soft skills such as teamwork, leadership and communication skills, in which all are highly valued in the corporate world. It is nothing like getting along with a colleague that you didn’t fancy at all. One of the many benefits of receiving an education is the opportunity that it will give a person to help others in this community. Great power comes great responsibility can here be applied to me and my beloved friends have armed us with the power that knowledge gives through attaining our university education. With the various skills and knowledge, I, who has earned an education, can now give back to community by finding ways to use the acquired skills to aid those around me.
My Motivation Success is triumphing over hardships – willing yourself over anything and everything to achieve the best for yourself and your family. With the JPA full scholarship, it did help with me to fully focus on my studies, instead of worrying about the financial burden studying for my degree would have for my family. This scholarship had been an investment in my education to create a fully rewarding education experience for myself. Motivation makes things happen. If you ask what is my greatest motivation for this achievement, I would definitely say my family. They always give me emotional support and help throughout my undergraduate journey. Aside from my family, I personally think it is very important to have passion and positivity to achieve success.
|Passion||When you are passionate about something, you will think about it all the time. You will be willing to wake up early and sacrifice your sleep for it. I spent a lot of time on self study and extra reading to keep myself updated on health issues. This habit leads me to work independently.|
|Positivity||I am willing to pursue my dream, whether in terms of any aspect of daily life. Always fill my day with the colors that define me, set my aim and do what I am really good at, what makes me feel ecstatic. It is never too late to be a painter besides being an architect; this hobby can make you perfect your profession.|
Words to Fellow Graduates Graduation is not an end goal in itself; it is instead a part of the larger journey of life. Wherever your future takes you, let it take you somewhere. Life is a journey, and all accomplishments we achieve during this programme should be taken as starting points for further achievements. Our graduation should serve as a launching point, projecting us to wherever our future is meant to take us, whether we land ourselves a career, take up a trade, or continue our education. Written by Tan Ying Wen
Ying Wen graduated with a First Class Honours in Bachelor of Science with Honours in Nutrition on 3 November 2018 and is the recipient of the Tun Zahir Merit Award, an award given to a graduating student who has shown outstanding academic excellence.