IMU Pharmaceutical Chemistry Degree: A Stepping Stone Towards a PhD

I am Tey Hui Yin and here is my journey after I completed my degree at IMU. After completing my studies in pharmaceutical chemistry at IMU, I thankfully got my job offer from Biocon Sdn Bhd before the convocation. Without much consideration, I joined the largest insulin manufacturing plant in Asia as Quality Control (QC) analyst in November 2016 (within one month after the convocation). In the blink of an eye, I have already spent two years in the biopharmaceutical industry. I appreciated all the opportunities given and the experience I have gained in the workplace. Nevertheless, all these fruitful experiences have never stopped me from pursuing my postgraduate study.


The decision to join the pharmaceutical industry before pursuing my postgraduate study was inspired by Dr Nagashekhara Molugulu in Business Administration module (renamed as Entrepreneurship since 2017 curriculum). The industry experience that he shared during his lectures were interesting, and I know this working experience will benefit me and my future students if I am to join academia. Also, thanks to the motivation from IMU lecturers, especially my mentor, Dr Raghavendra Sakirolla, I decided to pursue my PhD after gaining industry working experience during my final year of my first degree in IMU.


Working life with stable income and comfortable lifestyle was indeed attractive. There are tons of advice from my friends, my colleagues and my superior when they came to know that I was resigning from the position and decided to pursue my PhD. I understood the importance of working experience in the industry as well as the hardship of undertaking research. However, with my determination, persistence, and perseverance, I am still keen on my plan and my dream which is to gain working experience in the industry and to pursue PhD. Hence, I began looking for opportunities to continue with my postgraduate study in 2018.


With the interest in pharmaceutical research field, I have obtained offers from USM (drug interaction research) and opportunity from UTM (analytical chemistry research). My working experience and knowledge gained in IMU make me successfully passed the interviews for both positions as fast-track PhD candidate. After many considerations, I have decided to accept the offer from UTM and started my research in the area analytical chemistry.


Besides being a postgraduate student, I was also the graduate research assistant working under my PhD supervisor, A/Prof Dr See Hong Heng. Three years of undergraduate study in Pharmaceutical Chemistry at IMU and two years’ working experience in industry have given me an extra edge to my research and my role as graduate research assistant.


The theory that I have learned in Pharmaceutical Analysis module gave me better insight in the method development and method validation. In the module, I have also learnt the basic theory on the separation science, including the high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and gas chromatography (GC) systems – I would say that my undergraduate study has provided a strong fundamental knowledge in analytical chemistry, while working in the QC analytical department was a great platform for me to be familiar with the HPLC, GC and other analytical instruments.

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