Cheng Kok Suen
Master of Science, UTAR
Master of Science, Lee Kong Chiang Faculty of Engineering and Science, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman
Share with us the story of your postgraduate journey.
While I was doing my undergraduate degree at UTAR, I wanted to become an academician, carrying out researches in well-known institutions. Following this dream, I enrolled in a Master of Science programme at UTAR to further my studies. Upon graduating, I enrolled in a PhD programme at Peking University (PKU), China.
How did you choose this course and institution?
Being one of the top universities in Malaysia, UTAR is an excellent institution for postgraduate studies. UTAR provides high-quality academic standards while keeping tuition fees low. Besides that, UTAR also provides research funding and tuition fee support for postgraduate students.
What research are you currently pursuing?
For my master’s study, my research focused on how different deep breathing durations affect the body’s physiology and cognitive control. My group and I managed to publish five papers in the academic journals (all with impact factors) based on my master’s dissertation. I am really grateful that the knowledge learnt at UTAR had prepared me well for my PhD study.
Choosing your supervisor
I believe one of the most important criteria for choosing a supervisor is based on the strength of his/her knowledge and research network in that particular field. A supervisor with this criterion will be able to provide novel point-of-view and collaboration network required for the postgraduate study.
Postgraduate studies and your career
I think the decision to pursue a postgraduate degree immediately after one’s basic degree is dependent on the field of study. In my case, since I am in the science field, I believe going immediately for a postgraduate degree would be more beneficial as you will have a head start on your journey towards novel discovery.
What is your favourite part of your postgraduate degree?
One of the most favourite parts about my postgraduate degree is the research environment. The environment here really stimulates one to strive for their best and pushes one beyond their limits. Although it may be stressful at times, I am glad that my supervisor and lab mates are always around to help.
If you could change anything about your postgraduate journey, what would you do differently?
Learn more statistics! Statistics constitute a fundamental part in any biomedical research and if I had known this earlier, I would not have spent days to understand how to calculate sample size and figure out what statistical test to use. I do wish I had met and talked to some of the good biostatisticians at UTAR to learn more about statistics. UTAR really has the necessary resources for students to become successful.