November 8, 2014, by Noor Syuhada
Expert Talk for Science Students at Careers Day
Picture: (From left) Dr Ting Kang Nee, Stephen Wong, Professor Claire O’Malley, Dr Lily Manorammah, Rainee Jay, Hayat Al-Mazli Bin Yahaya, Calvin Tsen, Professor Andrew Morri and Alicia Ch’ng.
The recent UNMC Health Sciences Careers Day, aptly titled ‘Script Your Future’, presented a great opportunity for students to discuss industrial career options with some of the country’s most talented healthcare professionals, all under one roof.
The three-hour talk, organised by UNMC Careers Advisory Services, was held at Lecture Hall F3A12 with participation from two leading pharmaceutical research and development companies, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and BP Healthcare Group (BP).
Supported by Lovy Pharmacy, Pharmaniaga and UNMC student body PharmNotts, the students received first-hand information from the companies they were interested in as they engaged with the experts discussing about career options, hiring trends and workplace cultures.
Stephen Wong who heads GSK pharmaceutical marketing division, said switching careers is acceptable as long as people do it with the right mind set to expand their horizon after taking into consideration of the risks.
“From the companies’ standpoint, adapting to new environments and having the courage to challenge status quo are becoming qualities that a hiring manager looks for in a job candidate. Being an all-rounder might just go a long way because change is constant in today’s workplace. If we are stagnant, we will be lost,” Stephen said.
BP Healthcare Group senior quality consultant Dr Lily Manorammah, said job-hopping is a difficult path to pursue unless the individual has contributed significantly to the company.
“What is written in the (theoretical) books is not always what happens on the ground. One should add value to the company by staying long enough in the same position and exceeding expectations with a high performance,” said Dr Lily, a former Ministry of Health consultant pathologist who co-piloted the implementation of the Malaysian Incident Reporting and Information System (MIRIS) that is now being used in all MOH hospitals.
Another guest speaker from GSK, national sales manager Calvin Tsen, said young employees will not know what they like until they try it, and having the opportunity to work in different areas in the same company might help with their continuous job search.
“We at GSK Malaysia ‘allow’ job-hopping through our three-year Future Leaders Program to help young people figure out what their real strengths and career aspirations are as they work in rotations in various divisions within our company,” Calvin said.
With the internet creating an even larger marketplace for jobs, manager at Pharmaniaga, Ganesh Subramaniam wrapped up the discussion by assuring students that “the entire globe is your playground” when it comes to finding your niche in the industry you choose to network in.
“Career does play a big role in one’s life. So decide where you want to go, what you want to do and explore each option with care,” Ganesh said.
The Careers Advisory Services would like to thank Professor Claire O’Malley, Dean, the Faculty of Science, Head of School of Pharmacy, Professor Andrew Morris; Head, School of Biomedical Sciences Dr Ting Kang Nee; and PharmNotts student members for their involvement in organising the event.
For access to jobs, internships and other career information, visit UNMC Careers page and like UNMC Careers Facebook page.