I was thinking deeply about the inadequacy of my bachelor’s degree in terms of my future career advancement. I decided to further my studies at the master’s level in pharmacy or management programme. I enquired and found out that most of the pharmacy postgraduate programme requires students to attend classes on weekdays, which lacks flexibility for working professionals. As most of the campuses are in Klang Valley, it was inconvenient for me to travel as I was working in Johor Bahru then.
Fortunately, during the pandemic in 2020, I learned that IMU offers a Master in Pharmacy Practice (MPP) with classes conducted during the weekends and online due to COVID-19 pandemic. I enrolled in this programme and chose the Pharmacy Management stream. This stream fits into my choice of studying both pharmacy and management.
Prior to enrolling in the MPP programme, I held the expectation that I would be capable of juggling a full-time job alongside my pursuit of further education. With the flexibility of part-time study for 2-6 years, I was able to complete my degree in 2.5 years.
During the course, I learned to manage my time and set my priorities. As a working adult, I spent my time during the day at work and nights are dedicated to preparing for assignments. It was challenging as I needed to invest considerable effort and engage in extensive reading to gain further understanding and complete the assignments.
Besides that, it pushes me further as I leave my comfort zone to venture into something new – Research. It is something new as I had not done any research in my previous education, and I always dreamt of writing a thesis and presenting in a conference one day.
The preparation of research was tough, but my supervisors are always there to guide me and advise me. My supervisors also encouraged the research students to participate in conferences to sharpen their oral presentation skills. I enjoyed the weekly discussion with my supervisors and course mates to catch up on our research progress. The weekly discussions were bittersweet memories as we tried our best to meet our weekly target progress and prepare for the conferences and assessments.
We witness the growth in each other as we progress from having limited knowledge about research to our viva voce examination. My hard work paid off when my thesis was accepted by the examination office, as exemplified by the proverb “No pain, no gain.”