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Nurfatihah Ayumi Che Yunus

Switching Gears
Young lass has no regrets switching courses to help ease financial burden on family.
“I am very good with numbers and my strong subjects are physics and maths. I was actually enrolled in an Aeronautics Engineering Degree at a public university before switching to the Diploma in Medical Laboratory Technology programme at Nilai University (Nilai U),” says Nurfatihah Ayumi Che Yunus. The young lass who hails from Bachok, Kelantan explains that the decision was purely financial as she decided to apply for a scholarship from the Ministry of Health, after failing to get PTPTN loan approval for her degree programme.
“I had seen an ad inviting students to apply for sponsorship from the Ministry of Health for programmes such as Pharmacy and Medical Laboratory Technology,” says Ayumi (as she is known to her friends). She further explains that her fireman father who is the sole breadwinner was undergoing heart surgery at the time and he was worried about the financial burden on the family of six siblings. “My father advised that I apply for the scholarship even though biology and chemistry were not my forte,” she expounds. “Besides helping deal with the tuition fees, the scholarship will ensure I have a job waiting for me after graduation as I will be bonded to the Ministry for three years.”
However, her Achilles' heel in the areas of chemistry and biology, especially the latter, made transition to the Diploma in Medical Laboratory Technology programme harder than expected. Undeterred Ayumi simply spent more time in the campus’s Resource Centre brushing up on those two areas. “I was very disciplined and would stay in the library till 8pm daily. It didn’t take long for me to come up to par and, though I had to switch fields, I am thoroughly enjoying my studies at the moment,” says the final year student. She says her favourite subject is microbiology as she gets to spend a lot of time in the laboratory doing investigative work. 
Ayumi has already completed her internship, which are in-built into the syllabus of Nilai U’s Diploma in Medical Laboratory Technology (MLT) programme. She has had stints in both public and private sectors of healthcare saying she learnt many valuable lessons. In particular, her time with the nation’s biggest pathology services provider – Gribbles Pathology Sdn Bhd – allowed Ayumi to gain plenty of hands on experience handling latest equipment.  “Gribbles is an industry partner of Nilai U’s and all MLT students get to do their internships with them. Not only do we get to learn from experienced professionals and handle state-of-the-art machinery, there is a good prospect of being retained after graduating,” she says. Students who successfully complete the programme will receive a diploma as well as enhanced certification from Gribbles Pathology Sdn Bhd. Ayumi believes that this certification will give graduates a cutting edge in the job market. “From my practical experience, even the public sector sends samples to Gribbles for analysis underlining its importance. I believe one of the reasons I was sent to Nilai U by the Ministry of Health is because the MLT programme here includes a stint with Gribbles,” she states. 
Ayumi advises school leavers who are looking to apply to the MLT programme to not take the decision lightly. “Just like medical doctors and nurses, medical laboratory technicians are healthcare professionals. Students will need to be fastidious and precise with their work,” she counsels. “After all, their input will be crucial to a patient’s chances of recovery.”
Nilai U’s philosophy of ‘Enrichment of Life’ means that every effort is made to equip students with the necessary knowledge, skills and qualifications to give them an added advantage. Many of its programmes provide enhanced certification or credit exemptions from examinations from relevant professional organisations. For more information, please go to or search for ‘Nilai University’ on Facebook. To speak to a counsellor, kindly call 06-8502308 / 07-2262336.
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