Saturday, November 24, 2012

A Holistic Choice

What does Medicinal Chemistry have in common with Debating? Not much but that did not stop Medicinal Chemistry student S Prabu Dev, along with his team, from winning the Inter-Poly Debates Competition. Over lunch, he shared with us his thoughts on school life.

Why did you choose your current course?
Medicinal Chemistry, the course I’m pursuing, is only available at NYP. Science piqued my interest in secondary school so I decided to enhance my knowledge with a diploma course in chemistry. Moreover, I felt that a school near my house would be beneficial to me as it would give me more time to participate in co-curricular activities.

Prabu (left) helping out at the Freshmen Orientation
What are your favourite modules in Medicinal Chemistry, and what do you like about them?Organic Chemistry and Physical Chemistry. Both modules are about understanding molecules and how they function. The practical sessions are very interesting. We learn how compounds are formed and modified.

I felt that this gives me a proper foundation to the entire course, and really helps me better understand what I learnt in secondary school.

Another module I enjoy is Spectroscopic Techniques for Drug analysis. It teaches us how to use the spectroscopic machine techniques to identify the structure of a particular compound. The fun part is figuring out an unknown compound. It’s something like doing a jigsaw puzzle, you can put together different spectroscopic data and solve the puzzle.

Prabu holding up a trophy his team won during the Inter-Poly Debates 2012
What do you like about the School of Chemical and Life Sciences?
Well, I really like the environment and the freedom given. We get to do projects and presentations so we are really tested on how much we understand the concepts rather than how well we can memorise facts. I remember that the Inter-Poly debate was a week before the exams so that was pretty stressful but our lecturers were truly supportive and understanding. They gave us one-to-one revision sessions because we missed the revision lectures due to the competition.

How active are you in co-curricular activities?
I am currently involved in the Rotary Club, School of Chemical & Life Sciences club as well as the Current Affairs & Debating Club.

Wow. That’s a lot of CCAs. 
Yeah I am quite active in non-academic areas. I think it is essential to explore other interests and try out new things. Since my CCAs mostly start after 6pm, it does not clash with my timetable.

I was also a facilitator during my school’s freshmen orientation period. I had to encourage the first years to mingle and make new friends, and learnt a lot from the experience.

What do you like about NYP?
I like the holistic approach to studies and student life. Yes, getting good grades is important but exceling outside of academic studies is just as important. The lecturers here are awesome. They try their best to ensure students understand the basic concepts and theories. Tutors too are very encouraging and help students identify and strengthen their weak areas. As long as you’re willing to learn, they’re willing to teach.

S Prabu Dev is a Year 2, Medicinal Chemistry student. In March 2012 the Current Affairs and Debating Club won the Inter- Poly Debate for the 12th time in NYP history. Prabu hopes to further his studies in the University and will decide on a career path at a later stage.

By Pavani Jeyathasan Krishnan, Year 1, Diploma in Accountancy and Finance
When Pavani is not attending lectures or tutorials, you would probably find her browsing through books at the Library.  Other than reading and writing, she also enjoys foreign films and television shows.

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