Roll On: Dilemma of a 2016 Pharmacy Graduates

Nov 2, 2016

If anyone know anyone who is blogging random thoughts, sort of like me, preferably in English and based in Malaysia, please do tell. I only know Maria Elena and Hanis Zalikha.


These few days had been so surreal and dreamy. It was absurd. We were not doing anything. Natrah and Nabila don't need to go to school so we were like stucked in the house. This morning I simply slept after Subuh since there is nothing better to do. It kind of felt unattached not needing to wake up early and do anything. I always felt guilty to wake up late and do nothing but this morning, for the bit of a lazy bums that I am, it felt uncomplicated and easy and I like it. 

But yeah, it's been two weeks now not working as a teacher anymore. I am really in the the deepest pit of boredom and no-mind-productivity. I don't know if I was giving myself excuse not looking out for jobs because I am waiting for my convocation to finish first. It will be on this Sunday. Basically, I have this few days to kill and next week I'll be out and about. That is the big plan.

To think all those graduates before us got job quickly and never has to be bothered this way is just so infuriating. 

So what is the issue?

It has been a national Malaysian understanding that doctors, dentists and pharmacists will always have a job. We get this Public Service Department (Jabatan Perkhidmatan Awam) scholarship in which we are then on the other side of a contract with the "government". The contract is that we get the money then we need to serve in government setting. Basically, a job is secured for us. Especially since before we can actually become a real doctor/dentist/pharmacist, we need to to this training and completed the sessions with certified doctors/dentists/pharmacists in a public hospital so that we can get our license to practice in Malaysia. It was like those trainee doctors and in pharmacist we will be called as a Provisionally Registered Pharmacist (PRP). It was a win win situation really. So, when we get this jobs we would first do this training. It was kind of working/training life.

But since 2015, give or take, there are lesser jobs opening due to the oversupply of us. I don't mind competing and not having those privileges anymore but my degree won't actually means so much if I didn't have the license. Legally, we need that license to do anything in Malaysia. There is that. If before, the Public Servant Commision (SPA) interview really is sort of just a formality (since everyone with the JPA scholarship will get the job anyway), it now actually work as an interview and we need to make an awesome impression.

JPA - the one who organized public servant like salary and stuff
SPA - the one who hire people and do the interview and stuff

To get around, our lecturers are prompting us to looks for other options like going into the industry (manufacturing or marketing) and community pharmacy practice (retailing). Since now the PRP training in public hospital are getting saturated, they government gives us choice to go there instead to get the training. What is important here is that it would mean we wouldn't be working in a hospital as per the typical perception of how a pharmacist supposed to. It was not like we can't work there anymore but the chances are quite small. So naturally, some were not very comfortable with the idea. 

With that, they are waiting to get the SPA interview and now were strategizing on how to ace the interview. The common plan is to work as a pharmacist assistant in a community pharmacy (retailing) so they would have more working experience. Some even went to be research assistant and UKM even have this master program that not only get the student a master degree but also finishing their PRPship.

Hey, why this post become suddenly so educational. I want to pour my heart out okayy.


What about me?

The truth is, I was kind of relieved. After doing clinical attachments, I can't really picture myself doing that kind of work for the rest of my life. I don't like how routine it felt. You got sick, I give care. It's a static relationship. Especially working in a public setting which always gives the impression sort of a stagnant life. Don't get me wrong, I am still much fazed with pharmacy but a clinical pharmacist felt like meh. The adventures and the thrills of each cases were fascinating but all I can think about is how it was everything as promising as a dreadful future.

I always know I want to be doing something to help people and I don't want to waste my pharmacy. After a hard thought, I chose industry. It sort of promising. The chances of little adventures in the outside world and the corporate thingy, it was something I do feel drawn too. I think I am always a bit much of a science kids but not so much because the other part was this part of me with passions for words and arts and thinking too much. For the naive understanding that I have, industry world hold more for me and most importantly, it feel right. 

I was planning to get a job/PRP training in an industry setting. It was quite newly made legal and only a certain company provides the training. Most of it was on the most industrial region like Selangor and Kuala Lumpur. There was only one place in Perak which was located in Seri Iskandar. The thing is, the place need to be approved by Ministry of Health. The choices were quite limited. 

The main issue now is money. I need to have some money to live there first so that I can work there.

Well actually, the real main issue is getting the job. 

It was more competitive. I like to think it that way because how corporate a company is. Especially in an imperative industry as a pharmaceutical company and even more important is that I am applying a job as their registered pharmacist. Basically, as per what I have learned so far from the time i'm in UKM, we need to manage operation, the personnel, making sure the product got registered and as in marketing we would also need to be making sales. How can I made the interviewer believe I want and I can be that. Well actually, can I really be that? I wouldn't know that now do I? I have never worked in a pharmaceutical company before. I learn how to care for people health by use of these colourful pills and tablest and these clear liquids for heaven's sake! It's kind of weird how I learn other thing but totally expected to do other very different thing. On my own.

That is the worst thing. I'm still a little scared toddler in this big world. So much to learn. I always felt so self conscious, scared and uncertain with myself with things that I don't know. I always felt such way in things I'm not familiar with. In the little things, I can go dashing but this is big. This is real people with real expectation with real time and money invested and that is quite a horror. I am expected to learn a lot by myself since I don't really learn about management to get my degree. But, that is how life is. I can't fight that. I need to endure and conquer!

Though for now, future was as dark as all the dark jokes I have made regarding my future. Well, it not really is dark. The light was at the end of the tunnel and I need to walk some more and when I got used to it maybe I can run or freaking F1 race it. Then the light would come a little bit at a time, like how the sun shines gloriously but calmly in the morning.

We would do the little things first. Those that I can grab now. 

For now I'll be raining resume first (I didn't even finished updating/designing my resume yet. I'm dead) I'll try to send as much as I can and get myself an interview. Hopefully getting better at it and finally got a job in a pharmaceutical company. Preferably manufacturing department. In the meantime I would also try to get a job as a pharmacy assistant around here. I need a beautiful resume and of course gain some money because I will get that industry job at wherever Allah would destined me too and I don't want to rely so much on Walid's money. If I don't get any job, I'll just apply some random jobs. I don't know, more teaching maybe. Or cashier. We'll see what Manjung has to offer.

In the meantime maybe I don't get any job interview and SPA finally calls for interview. I'll go for it. Try my best in it. Maybe I even get the job and I'll be satisfied still and just go on with it. Allah is the planner after all, I'm here is only obligated to give effort. He will then put everything into the right place.

What if I really want to be a clinical pharmacist? 

I think I would skip the part of raining resume in pharmaceutical company. I'm quite objective minded that way. Well like really, it is one thing to first be a clinical pharmacist and then an industrial pharmacist. But totally a weird and hard thing to first be an industrial pharmacist and then a clinical pharmacist. I'll just focus to be a pharmacist assistant in a retail pharmacy or cashier.

Whatever it is, I think the most important thing is that I don't waste my time. I just get to get moving and going and doing and see for myself what life has to offer.



  1. I reading your suddenly become educational post till the end... :p

    Whichever industry that you will be in, i wish for the best.

    I know u can do it. I can sense from your writing that you are good and very ambitious person.

    U go girl!

  2. omg, am i really? thanks. it kind of very educational kan. idk how it actually goes there really.