What made you decide to do Pharmacy?
My father used to share with me his stories of when he was dispensing medicine in the medical centre’s dispensary during his army days. I was intrigued by his knowledge, skills and experiences which aroused my curiosity on how medicines work to cure our illnesses. “How could a small candy-shaped pill possibly make one feel better after consumption?” I have always asked myself. My strong desire to know and learn more about this medicinal world has led me to take up a diploma specialising in Pharmacy in Republic Polytechnic (Singapore). I have always been fascinated about Pharmacy; I enjoyed the knowledge I have learned from my diploma, and I still am passionate about this field of science. I believe pursuing this would not only benefit me knowledge- and career-wise but would also be useful in contributing to society.
What did you know about Pharmacy before you started your BPharm?
I have some background knowledge on Pharmacy as I was previously from a Pharmaceutical Science diploma course. However, during my diploma internship, I was always fascinated by the pharmacists when they explain new things to me and I realised that there is so much more knowledge to be learned. Pharmacy is a lot more than merely preparing, packing and dispensing of medication. There is more than meets the eye in Pharmacy.
Where do you hope a career in Pharmacy will take you?
I hope to become a full-fledged pharmacist working alongside doctors and allied healthcare professionals to educate patients in using medications safely and effectively. I believe there is a lot more that a pharmacist can do besides imparting medical education and knowledge to patients. If an opportunity comes along, I would love to be a part of a medical research team. The research field which develops new medicines is especially critical with the current surge in antibiotic resistance; and I would like to utilise my expertise to aid in these researches.
Why did you choose Otago?
It is amazing to know that Otago is New Zealand’s first university which carries a rich history with it. Coming to this school was an easy choice for me as I am confident I would gain credible knowledge and skills here, knowing that Otago is a trusted and respectable university and is also recognized by the Singapore Pharmacy council. Moreover, I am assured I will have peace of mind studying here knowing that Otago also provides a safe and secure environment for students. Besides that, a lot of places are within a walking distance from Otago which is a plus point!
What is/are the best thing(s) about being a Pharmacy student at Otago?
The course is very well-structured which includes training and preparing us for the working life. The staff, lecturers and demonstrators are always there to give a helping hand, as well as giving us constant support and encouragement knowing that learning Pharmacy can be nerve-racking and mind-boggling at times.
Do you have any plans for you internship?
I would like to enrol in the EVOLVE intern program upon graduation. This program would be great for me to experience working in a Pharmacy-related industry such as hospital and community pharmacies. I would get to learn and apply the necessary skills and knowledge as well as practise the right attitude while working as a healthcare professional. I hope the working experiences I obtain from my internship would allow me to advance my career-of-interest.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?
I came from a tiny country called Singapore and coming to New Zealand to further my studies was initially not an easy decision to make. Leaving my family, friends and loved ones behind was something that I never imagined I’d do. However, I am very blessed that they were very understanding and supportive, especially my parents, and that further helped with my confidence and my decision to come here. My parents have always been my source of encouragement since my secondary school days in Alsagoff Arab School and I am very thankful of that. Besides my passion for Pharmacy, I enjoy teaching kids and volunteering in community work which I am glad New Zealand is able to provide opportunities and platforms for me to do what I love doing.