Ian Lai Jiong Soon

Biotechnology student hopes to enter the world of academia.

“I had worked as a part time instructor at a tuition centre for primary school kids. Even at the young age, there were many who were very keen to learn which made me think about teaching as a profession. It made me wonder what it would be like to teach older students, perhaps at university level,” says Ian Lai Jiong Soon (BSc (Hons) in Biotechnology). The 20-year-old former student of SMK Seri Suria, Cheras says that his interest in teaching may partly be inspired by his mum who is a kindergarten principal. As such, Ian has already set his sights on extending his studies in the field of biotechnology to Master’s and PhD levels.

Ian says that his interest in science started with a children’s programme called ‘Billy the Science Guy’. “After watching that as a child I became fascinated with all things scientific and I was glued to the Discovery and National Geographic channels which featured plenty of educational programmes,” smiles the self-confessed television addict. After scoring 10As in SPM, his parents had wanted him to enrol in a mechanical engineering programme believing it to be a much in-demand profession. Though they were not wrong about mechanical engineers being much sought after, Ian was unsure whether it was the right programme for him. Wanting to keep his options open, Ian decided to enrol in Nilai University’s Foundation in Science programme. “This one-year programme is the fastest route to a degree and it also allowed me to keep my options open,” he explains. “I had done some research into the field of biotechnology earlier on and was very interested as it was an amalgamation of various sciences.”

It took him some time but he managed to convince his parents of the viability of biotechnology as a career. “The clincher was when I was offered the High Achiever scholarship from Nilai University (Nilai U) which covered 100% of my tuition and accommodation fees,” smiles Ian. “My parents were then quite happy to let me follow my heart into the wonderful world of biotechnology.” Thus far, Ian only has positive things to say about the programme and the lecturers. “The lecturers are very experienced and they take the time to really explain the lessons. If I do not understand any part of the lesson, I can always approach them for an in-depth explanation,” he says. Ian also points to biotechnology facilities on campus as being one of the key reasons he chose the programme. “I was very impressed to see that there were a number of well-equipped laboratories. Also, we are given plenty of hands on experience using latest equipment. We are divided into small groups which allow us real familiarity with the equipment which is vital when we enter the working world,” he states.

Ian enthusiastically promotes the biotechnology programme saying, “The field is so diverse that almost anyone can find a niche in the working environment. By enrolling in Nilai U’s biotechnology programme, you will be taught by experienced lecturers and will learn plenty in state-of-the-art laboratories. The campus is also serene and quiet making it ideal for studies.”

Besides the BSc (Hons) in Biotechnology, Nilai U also offers a Diploma in Biotechnology. For more information, call o6-8502308 / 07-2262336.