Many people were asking why would I want to study (again?!) when I’ve a doctorate that comes with the “head-damage” title. Isn’t it enough of studying? If you didn’t know, I have taken a series of high-level chemistry course & examination that allows me to be a Licensed Chemist. The question that has been thrown to me a thousand times: “Why do I need to study for a Chemistry License after all the 10++ years of accumulated studies in my entire 20s?”

I graduated from a first degree called Bachelor’s Degree Bioindustry with a major in Entomology. What that actually means is that I am a agriculture science graduate which does everything else, biology of plants, insect sciences, and how to kill insect pests. In a nutshell: I learnt the best ways to kill pests such as my little brother and caterpillars munching on your sawi. ūüėõ

After my first degree, I received a scholarship from Kuok Foundation to do my Ph.D. to continue to find fancy methods of killing insect pests. Yes, best gilerrr to kill insects like cockroaches, mosquitoes, caterpillars, locusts, etc. But upon graduation of my doctorate degree, I was hired into a non-related industry – the Oil & Gas industry. Let me tell you, this studying is something personal that I want to do, without any coercing by my boss or company. It’s entirely personal. Actually, my brains is already wired to do chemistry (I do a lot of chemistry work in my Ph.D. dissertation & in my current job), but it’s more like ….if I don’t get a Chemistry License, I can’t sign off any chemistry reports at my workplace. Why? Simply because I am not from a chemistry background. Damn. That does frustrates me that¬†even a Ph.D. is insufficient for the O&G industry! Btw, there’s a governing Act for Chemistry that requires that only one from a Chemistry degree could be a Licensed Chemist.

So what I did was to take up a whole entire comprehensive course on chemistry – high level Analytical, Organic, Inorganic and Physical Chemistry, and sat for their examination to obtain the so-called “chemistry background”. It was very refreshing yet intimidating to study chemistry from zero¬†(e.g. memorize the periodic table, again?!). You know, this is harder than STPM. Imagine fitting the entire STPM chemistry (and even harder) in 5 months, to then take the exam on month-6th. Total: 6 months to get a Chemistry degree.

#Wefie during the practical exam that took us 8 hours(!!) to complete 3 experiments, with the complete lab report.
And the next day, I went to run a full marathon 42km.
President of Institute Kimia Malaysia (IKM) handing me my Chemistry completion certificate.

I am old. Don’t appease me by saying I am not. I have so much workload in my company. My hair is turning white literally. To juggle between studies and work is pretty difficult and therefore, am amazed by how some of my colleagues could find time between studies, work and family (kids!). And my handwriting too, or should I say: my penmanship has deteriorated, probably ¬†due to the reliance of¬†keyboards to write reports.

I am old because I realised that I could not memorized reactions and mechanisms anymore. Being in the 30s compared to my Ph.D. years (in the 20s) is completely different (180 degrees). My brains couldn’t store any information as easily as before. The only strategy was to study last-minute, where I packed all knowledge a week before and spill (read: vomit!) them all out on exam day. Well, to say the least, that strategy worked rather well for some papers.

I¬†am now awaiting the results of this exam results, to which I have both my toes and finger’s crossed. My worry basically lies on Organic Chemistry where memory is required the most.

Article on us by Dr. Sharon. My coursemates at the end of our 4 month chemistry course.

I do enjoy Chemistry because I can relate to my current jobscope. But the truth is, I still enjoy biology more than chemistry, although practically you can’t independently separate ’em both. Again, some people¬†JUST LOVE STUDYING. Nothing is more satisfying than solving a problem related to chemistry or biology both at work and in life (think: cooking!)

I thank God because He allows me gave me the thirst for knowledge (albeit all the time!), the ability to study well and handle stress alike. I thank God for his grace for getting me through this stressful/sleepless period with ample support for my husband (he is a fan of mine), and family members. I study because I am personally happy for myself for having the extra edge against others apart from my accumulating experiences at work. With all these in mind, I hope to climb up the career ladder and slowly accumulate more wealth for my family and to….errrr…errrr… buy myself a bungalow or a Mini Cooper or anything for that matter – without thinking twice!¬†That’s the whole point kan? Far-fetched objective for a cute little lady, many thinks?

For years, I have gained or am accumulating knowledge in:

1. Insect science (Entomology)

2. Agriculture

3. Microbiology

4. Pesticide science/formulation science

5. Analytical Chemistry

6. Environmental sciences

7. Oil and gas, EOR

Next knowledge to acquire based on my passion:

1. Management (MBA). Planning yah…

2. Psychology

3. History

4. etc.

For now, let’s just find some time to finish a bunch of novels and fiction….bought from past two Big-Bad-Wolf ago. LOL!


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