Interview with Felicia Tan Hui Fern
Vice Chancellor’s Award Winner on Her Study Methods and Proudest Moments
Felicia Tan Hui Fern was the Vice Chancellor’s Award recipient at the 3rd Convocation of Perdana University. In this interview, she talks about the highlights of her student days and why PUScOT was her choice for an undergraduate degree. Following graduation, Felicia had a well-deserved break and unsurprisingly, received quite a few job offers. She is now an Occupational Therapist at Daehan Rehabilitation Hospital in Putrajaya.
Perdana University: Why did you enroll in PUSCOT?
Felicia: Got to know about PUSCOT when I did some online search. Occupational Therapy was something new to me that I’ve never even heard about it before. Perdana was the only private university that offers Occupational Therapy course at that time. After dropping by to have a chat with Prof. Nathan, I felt that PU would be a good place to pursue my degree as Prof himself is one of the most experienced scholars in the OT field in Malaysia.
PU: What do you like about the programme?
Felicia: The program contains a wide range of subjects including both science and arts which was something that got me keen because I’m never an all-science person or all-arts person, I’m more of a mixture of both. The subjects that we take every semester are very interesting, it includes the basic anatomy, physiology and psychology (just to name a few) which is compulsory for all health sciences. Besides those subjects, we have our own unique subjects which include therapeutic activities, OT interventions for various fields such as paediatrics, psychiatric, orthopaedics, medical and neurological conditions. Practical sessions are always fun cause I get to make splints and try out different things with my classmates.
“… to look for additional information on my own because we can never get enough just from the lectures.”
PU: How did you study? How would you say you overcome challenges in your studies?
Felicia: I don’t have a specific method of studying. To be honest, I’m always a very last minute person. But one thing that helped me a lot was learning through videos, be it for practical sessions or for theory lessons. Being resourceful, to look for additional information on my own because we can never get enough just from the lectures. Discussion with my classmates whenever I’m unsure of certain things and revising together before exams are always helpful for us to remember the important things before stepping into the examination hall. Mr Google was definitely my best friend for my whole 4 years of study. I’d say that keeping my goal in mind at all times helped me to overcome challenges in my studies. Studying is never easy, it requires effort and time.
PU: During your studies here, were you involved any clubs/associations/student committees? If yes, what are your favorite activities?
Felicia: During my 4 years of studies, I was involved in our first house system – The Edettus – as a treasurer and also a treasurer for our own OT club which was formed not too long ago. I think that my favourite activities are planning and organizing an educational trip for the OT students to Singapore. For that, we had to carry out fundraising activities to raise funds for our trip. We sold food, accessories made by psychiatric patients from Putrajaya Hospital, as well as henna drawing from our own OT students. That was definitely one of the most memorable activities for us.
PU: What is your proudest moment as a PUSCOT student?
Felicia: My proudest moment as an OT student was when we finished our final research viva and clinical viva. It gave the sense of accomplishment and satisfaction after finally completing something that you’ve been working hard for the past 4 years.
PU: Most memorable moment?
Felicia: Too many memorable ones cause I have awesome friends! But if I had to choose, the most memorable moment was my clinical attachment in Chiangmai University early this year. Being able to go there with my friend, Pei Ru, to experience and learn new things and explore the different culture and clinical setups at various community centers as well as hospitals. Being able to interact with the students there and also to learn from them and exchange ideas and thoughts. That was definitely an eye-opener and something that I will cherish for the rest of my life.
This interview has been edited for clarity.