April 11, 2023, by Mei Kee Lee
Career Event – Discovering Careers in Health Sciences (2023)
The University of Nottingham Malaysia Pharmacy Society (PharmNotts) and Biomedical Sciences Student Society (BMed), in collaboration with the Career Advisory Services of the university, invited speakers working in the pharmaceutical industry to share their experiences about their career pathways and development. Most of the invited speakers were the School’s alumni, and it was heart-warming to see them doing well in their respective careers and taking the initiative to share tips for their success with their juniors.
The first speaker was Ms. Puteri Nor Amira Megat Muzaffar, a senior regulatory affairs executive at a multinational pharmaceutical company, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). Ms. Puteri Nor Amira Megat Muzaffar obtained her Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical and Health Sciences (PHS) from the University of Nottingham Malaysia in 2019 and subsequently joined GSK. She has been with GSK ever since, moving up the ranks as she received various awards for her contribution as part of the regulatory affairs team. As dealing with various internal and external stakeholders is part and parcel of her role at GSK, she emphasized that good communication skills are key to thriving in this role.
Mr. Mukand Singh, a clinical product specialist at K-Talyst Pte. Ltd. was next in the line of speakers. Mr. Mukand Singh obtained his Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical and Health Sciences (PHS) from the University of Nottingham Malaysia in 2013, and held various sales and marketing positions in pharmaceutical and medical equipment companies upon graduation. He currently works in the sales, marketing, and training of the Allurion intragastric balloon – a medical intervention for weight loss that does not require endoscopy, anaesthesia, or surgery. He shared his experiences working in sales and marketing – perseverance and optimism are traits to convert a potential customer’s NO to a MAYBE and finally a YES, as well as the satisfaction gained from the process.
The next speaker, Ms. Liew Lih Xiu obtained her Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical and Health Sciences (PHS) from the University of Nottingham Malaysia in 2021. She developed a passion for healthcare and an interest in the pharmaceutical industry throughout the years, subsequently joining MIMS Medica in November 2021 as part of their M3 trainee programme. After demonstrating a strong work ethic and a keen aptitude for the field, Lih Xiu was offered a full-time position at the end of the programme as a medical writer with MIMS where she is presently employed. In her line of work, attention to detail is crucial to ensure that materials for medical communication are high-quality and accurate.
The last speaker of the day was Ms. Melody Cheong, associate brand manager at AstraZeneca. Ms. Melody Cheong obtained her Master of Pharmacy degree from the University of Sunderland and her Master’s in business administration (MBA) from the University of Wales (in affiliation with Westminster College). She started her career as a pharmacist in retail and later ventured into pharmaceuticals as a product specialist at Novartis and subsequently moved to AstraZeneca. She highlighted that having the courage to make change allowed her to embark on a career move, from a pharmacist in a community pharmacy to currently working in the pharmaceutical industry. She also shed light on AstraZeneca’s graduate trainee programme AZPIRASI, which is open for application (Malaysia Commercial Graduate Trainee Programme – AZPIRASI – AstraZeneca (beamery.com)).
The School of Pharmacy and Division of Biomedical Sciences would like to thank the organising committee for the painstaking effort in hosting such an insightful event, and the speakers for making this event a success. We hope this event will spark further interest among students to consider the health sciences as a potential career path and motivate students to achieve their career and life aspirations.