Why did you choose to study in Australia and specifically at UQ?
I had previously studied a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery back home in India and was looking to redirect my career. When searching for postgraduate opportunities, my chief aim was to gain advanced knowledge in the pharmaceutical field, to improve my abilities in the drug and device development processes, to get exposure to global research methodology and to enhance my medico-marketing skills.
What made UQ stand out among other universities was the comprehensive curriculum which covers many aspects integral to the pharmaceutical industry such as drug discovery, chemical processes, formulation, manufacturing, pre-clinical and clinical trials, pharmacovigilance, pharmacoeconomics, regulations, medical affairs, marketing, biometrics and research.
Also, I discovered that UQ exposes students to contemporary industry practice in the second year through placements, which help students get real insights into the ‘Pharma’ world and provides an invaluable opportunity to build networks.
What are your thoughts on studying in Australia and Brisbane?
I enjoy everything about studying at UQ. Friendly teachers, faculty support, opportunities for self-development and life experiences make for the perfect blend of everything needed for personal growth and development. UQ also has a strong international culture. I’ve made friends from diverse backgrounds which has added to my experience. UQ is among the most highly esteemed universities in Australia and has a very ambitious research and learning environment. I am also happy about the fact that I am the first Indian doctor to be pursuing this course!
What are the best things about your program at UQ?
The most memorable part of my program was developing a financial budget for a clinical trial protocol. Being a student from the medical background, finance was not something I had been exposed to. My friends and I were hopelessly puzzled at the different types of costs involved in a trial, but it was an equally enjoyable learning experience — spending time together in the library and over conference calls strengthened friendships with students in my course.
In my opinion, every learning activity within my program taught me something new. While the difficulty level of courses varied, I thoroughly enjoyed every opportunity. I would strongly recommend this program to others because it focusses more on the practical aspects of the pharmaceutical industry and helps students implement hands-on knowledge and experience to their work.
The extensive curriculum of my program also provides an all-inclusive view of how a product gets to the market and what is involved from start to finish. The inclusion of placements in the course definitely leads to better job opportunities in future.
I plan to work with multinational pharmaceutical companies as a Medical Advisor and would like to progress to a managerial cadre role in the upcoming years; studying at UQ has helped me get closer to my goal.
What advice would you give people from other countries about studying at UQ?
The advice I would give prospective international students is to be ready to get out of your comfort zone, be willing to courageously say ‘yes’ to challenging situations, accept opportunities, meet new people and build a strong support system. You are sure to perceive a different sense of happiness and satisfaction after being brave and committing to your own path.