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News > Event News > Future Ready: Alumni Black Box Conversations

Future Ready: Alumni Black Box Conversations

With Panthers of the past teaching those in the present, ISKL Alumni always find ways to give back to the community!
27 Oct 2020
Event News
Dr. Elena Azizan, Dr. Hana Aziz, Lynette McDonald, Hezril Asyraaf, Yu Ern Hsueh
Dr. Elena Azizan, Dr. Hana Aziz, Lynette McDonald, Hezril Asyraaf, Yu Ern Hsueh

With Panthers of the past teaching those in the present, ISKL Alumni always find ways to give back to the community!

The inaugural Future Ready: Alumni Black Box Conversations on September 22 saw three alumni in different careers and areas of study share their experiences and journeys in their chosen field. 

Held at the Robert B. Gaw Theatre and attended by a Grade 10 "studio" student audience with sufficient physical distance procedures put in place, the forum focused on the field of Medical Sciences, which many of our Grade 10 students were eager to hear about.

Hezril Asyraaf ('13), a Presenter/Producer of the Evening Edition at Kuala Lumpur's business radio station, BFM, acted as host while the forum speakers consisted of the following alumni.

Dr. Hana Aziz ('98), a General Practitioner at the Malaysia Social Research Institute clinic in Ampang, provides care to the refugee community registered with the UNHCR. Dr. Hana earned her medical degree from the Asian Institute of Medicine, Science, and Technology and is currently studying for a Masters in Public Health. She started her medical career as an emergency doctor and worked as a health screening doctor at a major private hospital.

Dr. Elena Azizan ('05), a Research Lecturer at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre, has recently received a significant grant for COVID-19 research related to her field. Dr. Elena was an IB scholar who went on to receive a Bachelor of Pharmacology at the University of Leeds, then after a postgraduate degree in Clinical Pharmacology at the University of Cambridge.

Yu Ern Hsueh ('17) is in her third and final year of a Bachelor of Genetics at the Queen Mary University of London. She plans to pursue further studies towards a medical career after completing her bachelor's degree.

The forum's main highlight was when the speakers were asked to give advice and the lessons they have learned from pursuing studies in such a demanding and challenging field.

Dr. Elena gave sound advice to those who may see the field as something so complicated that they may quit. "Don't quit," she said, "Change. You can always use whatever you have in the past to move forward. If you feel that it isn't for you, make a change and work towards bringing that change about."

Dr. Hana also added her input: "I did have a few friends who you might say, they quit, but I think it's OK because you don't know how it will be like going into Medical school. We don't know how stressful it can be. Once you go in, it's OK to realize that maybe it's not right for you. Maybe don't call it quits, but you can adjust and do something you're more interested in."

Yu Ern provided insight into the different types of work in the medical field, having experienced them in her studies. "Although I do enjoy lab work, I find that I miss working with real people - being around them and having conversations with patients. I appreciate that because when you go into this field, you realize that people are a lot more complicated than they first seem, and that's interesting because you meet all sorts of people. If you enjoy that, that's the job for you. But if you prefer to focus on your work, then I think research is right for you too. "

Yu Ern also agreed with Dr. Elena and Dr. Hana in saying that sometimes a career in medicine is glamorized. "It's important to realize that you will sometimes have those off days," she said.

When the forum came to an end, our Grade 10 students were enlightened to the many aspects of Medical Sciences, allowing them to explore the paths they might take towards their career pathway.

We look forward to hosting more episodes of Future Ready: Alumni Black Box Conversations to take place and welcoming back more of our Panthers so we can delve deeper into other fields of work and study.

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