Monday, December 10, 2012

Finding your passion from the start

When you are close to graduating from secondary school, I am sure your teachers and parents have asked you, ‘Do you want to go to a polytechnic or junior college?’

You’re in a dilemma.
Priscillia Tay (left) really enjoys her school life
If you have made up your mind and know what you want to be in the future, well congratulations!

But if not, the Diploma in Biologics and Process Technology might just be the course for you. Why? Well it is a science course with an engineering edge, so it incorporates two cutting edge disciplines. And who knows, it may even help you find the cure for cancer or create genetically modified organisms that will help save lives.

We managed to bag an interview with Year 3 Biologics and Process Technology student, Priscilla Tay, and find more about what she really does at Nanyang Polytechnic’s School of Chemical and Life Sciences.

1. What ignited the interest to enroll in the Diploma in Biologics and Process Technology?
It's probably because it deals with the production of medicine. Since young I have an interest in helping people, especially in matters like improving their health. Furthermore I like it that medicinal products developed in this course come from biological sources, unlike oral pills from synthetic chemicals.

2. Tell us more about what you enjoy most about your course and why?
I love the modules Molecular and Cell Biology as well as Organic Chemistry. Both encompass lab sessions dealing with cells and chemicals respectively. The experiments are always so interesting. For example, in one of the Molecular and Cell Biology lab sessions, we introduced this jellyfish gene into bacteria. The gene enables the bacteria cells to glow fluorescent green under UV light. These hands-on experiments allow me to learn better since I get to handle everything myself.
That’s me on the extreme left! We just ended a super fun experiment!
3. Like every other course, there are bound to be some module(s) that are rather challenging. How did you overcome these challenge(s)? 
I put in more effort like researching and picking up books to read on these modules. Other than that it's practice, practice and practice since there are quite a few modules dealing with calculations.

4. A less serious question here, what is one thing that people should know about you, but don't?
I tend to eat non-stop when I'm home.

5. I understand that you're from Canoeing Club and the training must be really taxing from what I've heard. Can you tell us how you manage your time between studies and canoeing training?
I got to prioritise and manage my time properly. It all comes down to discipline. For me, I have really cut down on social life since I spend most of my time training, studying and resting. But, I do have my late nights once in a while.
Are you game enough?
6. What are some of the activities that you do during the weekends?
Read, swim, hang out, bake and not forgetting, shop!

7. It’s your final year in NYP, what academic plans do you have in mind for the future? Biological Science in NTU, maybe?

8. What occupation do you aspire to have and why?
I would like to be a cancer researcher. This is because cancer has been in my family line for a few generations and seeing family members going through chemotherapy and radiation is very tough. I believe there are other alternative cures yet to be found.

9. Do you foresee yourself applying what you've learnt in NYP in the working world? 
 Yes, of course. Other than knowledge, over the years in NYP I have become more confident and it has shaped me to be an independent learner. The skills I have acquired will help me perform better in my future.
Me and my friends, all dressed up for a presentation!
10. What words do you have for prospective NYP students who are thinking of applying for your course?
At the beginning, I unsure of what was in store for me. However after three years I realised the course has opened up a lot opportunities and I was also given a good internship experience. NYP is equipped with good science facilities that made my experience worthwhile. I did not regret enrolling into this course, so never hesitate to take on what interests you.

By Farihin Joehari, Year 1, Diploma in Mass Media Management
A Year 1 Mass Media Management student, Farihin Joehari, has a penchant for cooking and wishes Nigella Lawson was his wife. He has a love-hate relationship with food and is a massive movie junkie! He loves going on escapades with his pals and might have a knack of whining too. He also enjoys going to concerts to be left in awe.

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