September 30, 2019, by Noor Syuhada

I Was Hired on the Day of Interview!

By, Muhammad Shahrizal bin Shaharudin (Bsc (Hons) Biomedical Sciences). 

I enrolled for Foundation in Science at UNM before joining Bachelors in Biomedical Sciences. Currently, I am working with Pharmaniaga Manufacturing Berhad. My responsibility revolves around two main focus; Product Development (R&D) and Pilot Batch Up-scaling.

What was your career path that led you to your current position?

I had no specific career path when I started my degree in Biomedical Sciences but I was determined to land a career in the research field. Initially, I had the intention to branch out towards molecular biology and pharmacogenetics since I was intrigued with molecular mutation during my final year project. Although in the end my current work has no relation to molecular biology, nonetheless my lab experience proved to be very helpful in the end.

When did you start your career journey? 

It all started by approaching a head hunter via LinkedIn.

But, let me tell you a story.. I aggressively started my career journey while I was waiting for graduation. During that time, I narrowed down my job scope that suits my strength, talent and interest. I knew that I was going to aim for the research field but I didn’t know the kind of job that goes with it. My first step was to contact my seniors and other contacts outside of UNM that were involved in health science industry. I even posted some questions on social media to gauge the public opinion on the current Pharmaceutical & Health Science job market. Most of them ended up saying that research is a tough life. I wasn’t disheartened yet as I was determined to prove myself that I was going to utilize my capabilities to the fullest.

I then moved on to seek opportunities via Job Street and LinkedIn. I attended quite a few career fairs and dropped my resumes. I also forwarded my credentials using the network of friends that I had at the time. Most of the application I send involved being a clinical assistant, research executive and even product specialist. Three months after I graduated, I received a call from Pharmaceutical Company called Chulia Pharma Sdn Bhd. They were looking to build a new R&D team and decided that I was the right fit for the position.

I was hired on the same day!

The interview process had two stages, in which the first stage I had to write an assay about my personal quality that could benefit the organization. First stage of the interview was more about myself and educational background.

The second stage was the tough one as it was more on the technical aspect of the job. A lot of the questions were about the products I used to work on, my technical expertise on analytical instruments and most importantly my knowledge on generic pharmaceutical medicines.  For the most part, I answered what I could based on my knowledge at the time which seemed adequate. To my surprise, they explained that not many candidates they interviewed had they knowledge and skills they required by this position. I was a beginner in the field at the time, but I had learned a lot when I landed my first job in Penang, when I was still with Chulia Pharma Sdn Bhd. Not only that, I was told that I was hired on the same day itself!

Any advice for the future graduates?

Be mentally strong. To be mentally strong, one needs to have the correct mindset. As in we don’t work for the money, instead we do it for the sake of fulfilling our passion. That is why choosing the right career is important. Otherwise we would end up doing the same routine without giving our best performance. Future graduates should understand that we shouldn’t work for our sake but for the betterment of the community and ultimately mankind.

Posted in Alumni story