Universiti Malaya – Wales

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I Was Offered a Placement at Other Universities, but I Chose to Go to IUMW

Khairunnisa Noor Ismail 
Bachelor of Science in Psychology, 2018 – 2021

The reason I chose IUMW

I’ve been actively involved in extracurricular activities since I was in high school. I was a school representative for sports and clubs ever since form 1. My parents are the ones who kept me active by signing me up for activities and to attend swimming classes. I remember this one time they signed me up for a gymnast class and I became the Selangor junior representative! I can also vividly remember when I first started at IUMW I immediately asked the Student Council members where I could sign up to join them as their helper!

I was offered a placement at other universities but I chose to go to IUMW aside from the fact that it’s close to home but also because IUMW offered the programme that I want to pursue! 

What got me interested in my field of study  

It is a very funny story! I had a collection of Fifty Shades novels back when I was in high school- and no, I don’t read them for the naughty parts. To be honest, I skipped those parts because I didn’t understand them at that time! I read it because I wanted to comprehend the reason why the male protagonist acted the way he did. Then, I came to realise that I am interested in understanding human behaviour. It’s funny how an adult fiction novel got me interested in the psychology field!


Studying Psychology at IUMW

My programme is fun, interesting and challenging at times! It focuses on skill-based tasks such as how to conduct proper research or treatment ethically, as well as getting familiar with the theories and memorising them. This programme challenges me to be more attentive and analytical with the work that I’m doing which inevitably taught me the importance of reasoning and problem-solving. Not to mention the amazing lecturers and like-minded students who amaze me every day with their inputs. 


Life outside the classroom

I am currently the Student Council 20/21 Executive Secretary & Public Relations Officer. I’d always wanted to be part of the Student Council ever since I joined IUMW in 2017 because I wanted to be part of the change by contributing to decision making and to be a voice for the students. I was not a school prefect back in high school but I have always been involved in organising school events, competitions and was a committee member in clubs. These are the things that influenced me to be where I am now. I was also part of the TimeToTalk team for 3 years in a row, which started with me being the Secretary in the Digital Media series and the Head of Public Relations in Women’s Empowerment and Unveiling the Taboo: Sex Education series. I stayed with the team because I believe in the event’s cause and wanted to be a part of the change, to make a difference. My experience working with like-minded people who share the same passions as me was unforgettable. I was there when we had 0 followers on Instagram to now more than one thousand followers. 

Life outside IUMW

I am currently the Junior Executive Secretary at the Association of Malaysian Economics Undergraduates (AMEU) which is a professional non-profit student-run organisation that represents Malaysian students with a keen interest in economics. Our aim is improving social and economic awareness among youth while providing a healthy platform for constructive discourse on economic-related issues. 

Of course, I don’t surround myself with work all the time! I have been very active in sports ever since I was in primary school. My dad has a hiking group with his friends and I am the youngest member out of all! Our last hiking trip was at Mount Ophir – or Gunung Ledang. Currently, we are in training for our next hike which is Mount Kinabalu. Other than hiking, I am actively involved in marathon events and currently training for my first half marathon (21km). Fun fact, I also won 8th place for a 10km run when I was 16! 

Favourite IUMW memory

In 2018, my classmates and I organised a class trip to Langkawi for our Foundation appreciation dinner. We went on an island-hopping trip, visited other local attractions and had our magical appreciation dinner at the beach or what we called “Seashell By the Seashore Dinner”. We went to Langkawi for 4 days and 3 nights but it felt like a lifelong trip. Speaking of a lifelong trip, a year ago I left for Wales for my dual award programme and it was surreal! We went on excursions around Wales and got the chance to explore the beautiful cities. Even though a year passed already, I haven’t moved on from the experience nor will I ever be. These are the precious memories I will hold onto forever! 


Advice for IUMW students 

I always hear the words “prove them wrong”, but my advice to the students is to prove yourself wrong! It’s okay to hesitate when it comes to doing something and you’re not sure whether you’re capable of doing it but if your heart is in the right place, then just do it! Prove yourself wrong that you can succeed. 

My plans for the future

In the next 5 years, I see myself as a student who just completed her master’s and is pursuing her career as a behavioural psychologist! I’ve always been interested in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), so I plan to focus on that. I am also planning to pursue a career with either the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development or the Ministry of Health upon completion of my PhD. Some might think that these plans are far-fetched but where there’s a will, there’s a way!