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Solving My Greatest Puzzle: Shareena’s Journey with IMU Psychology
Published on: Monday, January 16, 2023
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Solving My Greatest Puzzle: Shareena’s Journey with IMU Psychology
Shareena Syaira Binti Shaari’s journey with IMU began as early as 7 years ago at the IMU Oral Health Centre to which she was a loyal customer of. Ever since she stepped foot on campus, she knew that this was where she wanted to pursue her studies as IMU checked all the boxes. It’s prestigious, located conveniently near my house and has amazing facilities, to name a few. To top it all off, she was offered a generous scholarship from IMU for her foundation studies and later, a full scholarship to pursue her degree in Psychology. She relates her IMU journey here.

In 2019 after completing my foundation studies, I was fortunate to have been selected as part of Project Connected 2019 under IMU, a week-long community service project in Indonesia which not only instilled in me a greater understanding of societies beyond my own but simultaneously provided an opportunity for the team and I to unravel personal experiences about ourselves.

After gaining a Bahasa Isyarat Malaysia (BIM) certificate from the Malaysian Federation of the Deaf myself back in 2017, I was delighted to organise a sign language workshop under the IMU Scholars Committee to motivate other IMU students to be able to reach out to a wider range of people, especially being in the healthcare industry where we are bound to encounter people from all walks of life. Together with my project team and YMCA KL, we managed to successfully organise the workshop which had a great outcome.

I also had the opportunity to participate in a research hackathon. Going in with zero expectation, it felt surreal to witness what seemed like a small seed of idea in the beginning blossoming into something way beyond our expectation. My two closest friends and I were elated to have won a RM20,000 research grant in the IMU Research Hackathon 2020 to turn our mental health app into reality; but more than the award itself, the biggest award for us was definitely having the opportunity to realise our small idea for the greater benefit of the society. Currently, the app is in its development stage and is hoping to begin its pilot test soon!

A highlight of my IMU Psychology journey would definitely be my internship at Hospital Pengajar Universiti Putra Malaysia (HPUPM), where I got to experience being in the profession for what it is under my amazing supervisor, Ms Hiew Yik Wei, a clinical psychologist who is also an IMU Psychology alumni. With proper guidance, Ms Yik entrusted me with case formulations, intake interviews, observing and interacting with patients daily and administering various assessments. My 3-month stint there enabled me to put myself in the shoes of a clinical psychologist and truly reinforced my passion in this field. Through my internship, I knew for a fact that this was what I wanted to pursue.

Of course, it would be remiss of me if I didn’t mention my thesis – “The Earliest Experience of Hair Pulling and Discovery of its Name Among Malaysian Individuals with Trichotillomania Symptoms” – that I hold dear to my heart. Thanks to all the individuals who have given me the pleasure of listening to their stories and have bravely entrusted me with their experiences that may have otherwise remained hidden forever, my thesis managed to win itself an award at the IMU Alumni Conference 2022. This would not have been possible without the guidance of my supervisor, Dr Serena In, whose belief and confidence in me steered me through my research.

Currently, I am attached to the Human Resources Department of IMU to serve my bond where I get to apply my psychology knowledge in dealing with a vast array of personalities. Nonetheless, I’m looking forward to applying for and pursuing my Masters in Clinical Psychology.

The 3-year Bachelor of Science (Hons) Psychology at IMU has a curriculum that has been developed to meet high international standards. Students have the option to complete the entire psychology degree in IMU or study part of the programme in IMU and transfer to University of Newcastle, Australia or the University of Strathclyde, UK for completion of their degree.

The 3-year Bachelor of Science (Hons) Psychology has also been accepted internationally for further specialisation at the graduate level. In order to become a qualified psychologist, you will have to first complete your undergraduate degree in psychology, followed by a Master’s degree in one of the specialised areas of psychological practice.

Intakes for the Psychology programme are in February and September.  If you enjoy thinking about the causes of human behavior and have a desire to help people manage their problems, apply now for a great start to an interesting and exciting career in psychology.

If you have just completed your SPM and do not have pre-university qualification, consider enrolling in the one-year IMU Foundation in Science, the preferred foundation and direct route for entry into any of the University’s local degree programmes.

For more information, please refer to or email: [email protected] or call IMU at 03 – 2731 7272.

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