In the hushed halls of International Medical University (IMU), four years ago, I began my journey as a dietetics student. Timid and introverted, I was initially the kind of student who rarely spoke up in class, shying away from asking questions. Little did I know that my time here would be a remarkable period of personal and professional growth.
The Dietetics with Nutrition course at IMU proved to be much more than a traditional academic programme. It became a crucible – evolving in a transformative environment in which I not only acquired knowledge related to dietetics but also honed my critical thinking abilities and a heightened ability to approach problems from various angles. It encouraged me to explore issues from various angles and instilled in me a deep sense of empathy, especially when it came to helping patients.
This transformation became even more evident during my internship, where I had the opportunity to put my learning into practice. It’s during this period that I truly felt like a competent dietitian in the making.
Throughout this incredible journey, our lecturers and mentors played a pivotal role in shaping our path. They constantly checked in on us, ensuring we were on the right track and offering valuable advice when needed. Even the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, which shifted our studies from physical to online sessions, couldn’t deter our progress. It only made us more resilient and adaptable.
Yet, my journey in dietetics went beyond academics. IMU has been an institution that generously provides a wealth of opportunities. These go beyond the conventional classroom learning and extend into the realm of practical soft skills, which are often learned through experience.
Inspired by the encouraging environment at IMU, I summoned the courage to take the initiative and became an active participant in various activity committees. This journey also led me to assume the role of a class representative. In these roles, I embarked on a voyage that not only developed my leadership skills but also refined my communication abilities and deepened my understanding of teamwork.
As the culmination of my efforts drew near, I was deeply honoured to be part of the dedicated team that brought the student-led dietetics clinic to life. This achievement fills me with immense pride, and I am humbled by the trust and responsibility vested in me. These experiences have not only enriched my academic journey but also instilled a sense of gratitude for the opportunities provided by IMU.
These four years have been transformative for me. I’ve witnessed personal growth that goes beyond academics. It has shaped me into a more compassionate, capable, and confident individual. I owe my heartfelt gratitude to IMU and all the faculty members for providing me with this invaluable opportunity.
My Aspiration for the Future
Looking ahead to the future, my humble aspiration is to further enhance my capabilities as a dietitian. My goal is to provide guidance and unwavering support to individuals who are committed to making sustainable improvements in their nutrition. As I glance at the horizon, I am heartened by the growing awareness and consciousness about the importance of proper nutrition among Malaysians. It is a promising trend, and I am eager to be a part of this positive change, ensuring that the right information is applied to dietary choices.
With dedication and a commitment to the health and welfare of individuals, I hope to contribute to a brighter, healthier future for all. In this journey, I remain grateful for the opportunities that have brought me to this point and look forward to the impact that lies ahead.
To those who will follow in my footsteps, I offer this advice:
Embrace challenges, never shy away from self-improvement, and be unafraid of making mistakes. This journey may present obstacles, but with the right attitude and support, you will emerge as a more capable and resilient individual. IMU has been my crucible of transformation, and I wholeheartedly believe it can be yours as well. Embrace the journey, and it will reward you with growth and opportunities beyond your imagination.
Written by Yap Zi Qian, who will be graduating with her degree on 4 November 2023.