“Time flies”, people always say it, but never have I ever felt the phrase so vividly. Joining IMU’s Medical Biotechnology (MB) programme in September 2020, I embarked on a challenging route to complete a 3-year honours degree alongside 8 fellow cohort mates. And soon, we will become graduates in November 2023, beginning a new chapter in our lives.
My journey at IMU was never how I imagined it to be. No huge lecture halls, no large projectors or whiteboards, and no busy chattering atmosphere during breaks. Most of the time, it is just me and my computer in Teams meetings for synchronised learning sessions or just me going through the pre-recorded lectures on the University’s eLearning portal. I entered university during the mid-pandemic, and to date, I can still recall the difficult transition from conventional classrooms to online classes where the boundaries between study time and personal life are blurred.
Having no fixed weekly timetables further increased the struggle to adapt as rigid study routines could no longer be implemented. Juggling between classes, written assignments, presentations, tutorials/workshops, while preparing for class tests and end-of-semester exams was also no easy task. There were days when the workload seemed crushing, but I held on to a simple yet powerful truth: bad times do not last, just as happy times come and go.
My resilience was tested, but I was fortunate to have found solace in the unwavering support of IMU’s dedicated educators and mentors. They were easily reachable when guidance was needed, offering a virtual shoulder during challenging times.
As I progressed from one semester to the next, I began developing important skills like time management and multi-tasking, as well as flexible study schedules that worked around scheduled learning hours. These skills enabled me to meet tight deadlines and eventually made the commitment to some extra-curricular activities possible. Although physical events on campus were limited during the pandemic, IMU’s clubs and societies remained active through virtual platforms, enriching my university experience.
The IMU MB faculty have also designed a comprehensive curriculum. Beyond core science modules like molecular biology, immunology, microbiology, cell and tissue culture, omics technology and so on, the MB programme encompasses modules in areas of entrepreneurship, bioinformatics, healthcare data analytics, quality management and many more. This enables students to develop in a well-rounded and up-to-date manner.