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My Learning Journey – Tania Jim

Tania JimName: Tania Jim
Name of institution: MDIS
Course of study: Bachelor of Science (Hons) Biomedical Science

Why did you choose to pursue this course?
I have dreams to pursue my postgraduate studies in Toxicology or Biochemistry and hence I am very grateful to have the opportunity to do a research project relevant to my postgraduate dreams. Why toxicology? While I have loved animals, I never particularly felt strongly about the use of animals for research as I always thought that was ‘beyond my control’ and there is nothing much I can do about this. This was until my family fostered a rescued laboratory rabbit from a local rabbit rescue group, Bunny Wonderland. This rabbit, Tang Tang, had been rescued from a pharmaceutical laboratory and she was initially scheduled to be euthanised due to poor health from being confined in tiny rusty cages in the laboratory. In spite of her condition, she was always in bright spirits and always very happy for cuddles and head rubs, which is rare for rabbits as they are notoriously more ‘aloof’ and less interactive than cats and dogs. Seeing first-hand the impact of animal testing on an animal that was still so lively and always in good spirits, made me realise that I can do something greater. I could either continue volunteering for the shelter (still am) and foster and rehabilitate rescued laboratory animals, or I could be on the frontline trying to find alternatives that are just as effective in reducing the demand for animal testing in the long term.

How did you hear about MDIS and its courses?
I live at Redhill which is near MDIS so I see the MDIS hostel building every day from the train. I vaguely knew it was a private institution. I had limited options as to where I could go because in poly (Singapore Polytechnic) I had zero passion and motivation for my course (Food Science and Technology) and hence did not do well to make it to NTU/NUS. Hence, I was looking at private universities. When I came onto the MDIS website and realised they offered science degrees with direct honours, I was thrilled. Then I came for the open house and decided I am going to study at MDIS, without a doubt.

What is the best thing about studying at MDIS?
There are two things that are great about studying at MDIS:

  • Being given a chance to pursue my postgraduate studies in Toxicology or Biochemistry which is what I am deeply passionate in.
  • I would say the people and the support system here. Class sizes are small so it’s very easy to reach out for help if we are struggling in class as we are given more individualised attention by our lecturers.
Class sizes are small so it’s very easy to reach out for help if we are struggling in class as we are given more individualised attention by our lecturers. Click to Tweet

What has been the most interesting aspect of your learning journey?
I really love laboratory work. We have four laboratories which are equipped with state-of-the-art equipment. Since our class size is small, there is no issue of overcrowding and everybody always gets a chance to have adequate hands-on experience during every practical session. Being able to gain the necessary practical skills enriches my learning journey here and made me better prepared for a career in biomedical science.

What advice do you have for students who wish to pursue a similar course?
Consistency is key. I try to revise after every lecture and do my own notes which makes exams much more manageable.

Also, be prepared for failed experiments or data that does not tally. It is all part and parcel of learning; but most importantly just take the learning process in your own stride and do not expect perfection all the time!

What are you busy with these days?
My final year research project to fulfil my Honours requirement. For my project, I am developing a yeast-based growth assay for toxicological testing.

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