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Archive for March, 2014

Natasha Kam

BSc (Hons) Psychology

Diversity Night at Northshore, St. Peters

Friday, March 28th, 2014


Did I not publish this?! Sorry guys, So I was scrolling through my wordpress files and found that I’ve not published some of my posts yet!:s So this Diversity Night was held last November at Northshore, St. Peter’s Campus and it was a great turn-out! It is basically an event where all international and local students are welcome to share each other’s cultures and traditions. My friend, Rachel and I were asked to perform a Mandarin and two English songs on stage. Rachel is a brilliant singer & I backed her up on the keyboard. There were students performing Indonesian dances, Bulgarian traditional dances and students singing etc. There was also a fashion show for students who’ve came in their respective traditional attires. Future Sunderland students, be sure to attend the upcoming Diversity events this November as you will make new friends from around the world.

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49th Pharmacy SPSA Ball

Friday, March 28th, 2014

I love proms and balls! However, this was my last ball I’ll ever attend in my university life as my friends and I will soon be graduating!! (That is if I pass my final exams in May haha!).. The pharmacy ball was organised by the SPSA (Sunderland Pharmaceutical Students’ Association) and ’twas really fancy as the theme was “Escape to Paris”. My boyfriend, friends and I took a cab to Stadium of Light where the ball was and as typical Asians, we took tonnes of pictures & selfies that night! 😛

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Sunderland Dance Competition- StepUp 2013/14

Friday, March 28th, 2014

Just a few weeks back, Sunderland Dance Squad hosted the Step-up dance competition at City Space. Dancers came all the way from Durham, Hull, Leeds Met, Liverpool John Moores, Nottingham Funky Fresh, Teeside, Central Lancashire  and York St. John competed in so many dances. We did extremely well! University of Sunderland walked away with 1st place in: Beginners Ballet, Jazz, Tap and Lyrical. 2nd placing in: Advance Ballet and Contemporary & 3rd in: Beginners Hip-Hop. We’ve also won Best Costume from Advance Ballet with the “Alice In Wonderland” theme and one of our amazing dancer was awarded with Best Male Dancer. Scroll down for pictures. 🙂

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Students’ Union Elections 2014

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

Hello my dear readers, University of Sunderland is currently having the Students’ Union Elections for the next academic year and this year, there are 29 candidates running for 9 positions! Voting started yesterday at 12pm and will end tomorrow at 12pm. If you are a current University of Sunderland student, please click on the link below to vote as this elected group of people will be your voice among the students. There are slight changes to the positions available this time in comparison to last year as they have revamped the structure of the Students’ Union slightly. This is a great opportunity for students to be involved in, so do not miss your chance if you can go for any of the positions in the Students’ Union next year and best of luck to all my fellow candidates! Results will be released tomorrow at Bonded Warehouse at 6pm. Look out for my FB for updates! For more details, click here: Below is a video of one of the candidates running for Vice-President of Community and Events. Candidates are allowed to be creative on social media where they can put up vine videos, create FB page, create events and videos just to spread the word around for more votes. Enjoy!:)


Living Cost in Sunderland

Friday, March 14th, 2014

So I’ve gotten quite a number of people asking me about the cost of living in Sunderland and I hope this video helps. Please contact me on for more questions!:)

New Prospectus 2014

Friday, March 14th, 2014

Hello Readers! So the new prospectus is finally out and it’s me looking nerdy on the cover page (haha).  All of the fantastic livesonline bloggers are in it so if you’re interested in any courses, accommodation, student life etc., click onto this link to place an order for the new University of Sunderland prospectus:

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Lovely Tea at The Old Vestry Tearoom

Friday, March 14th, 2014

My friends and I have just discovered this really nice tea place for hang out in Sunderland (right opposite the post office in town)! Caught up with a friend with soup, scones, biscuits, tea and cakes. Will definitely come back here again some time! Scroll down for pictures.:)

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Shout-out of the Month: Minna Eii

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

Here’s our 6th SHOUT-OUT of the month since I started blogging for livesonline! 🙂 This month, I’ve managed to interview Minna Eii who used to study in University of Sunderland. She is currently working as a pre-reg pharmacist in Sunderland Royal Hospital so please read on to see what experiences she’s had so far!


1. What is it like working as a hospital pre-reg pharmacist?

Interesting, stressful, busy. Depending on the trust you work for, you have different rotations throughout the year. I covered both inpatient and outpatient dispensaries, aseptic unit, wards, stores, medicines information and a community pharmacy for cross sector. I also run my own warfarin counselling clinics per rota seeing patients on a one-to-one basis. You have to attend residential training (staying in a hotel with pre-regs from other hospitals) and non-residential training days which are mandatory, deliver presentations on a chosen topic every few weeks and write evidences to demonstrate competencies

2. What experiences have you had in the pharmacy setting prior to your pre-reg?

I worked in a community pharmacy for 3 months in my 2nd year. I was then lucky enough to secure a month’s summer placement at the trust I currently train in and due to jobs availabilities at the time, be employed as a bank staff working every weekend and bank holidays. I also volunteered in a community pharmacy when I was on holiday in Vancouver which was different.

3. Why did you choose to work in the hospital?

Funnily enough I did not attempt for any pre-reg places in the community because with only hospital and limited community experiences compared to my peers who have completed summer placements for the likes of Boots, Lloyd’s or Sainsbury’s, I thought I did not stand a chance. Thankfully the risk paid off!

I like rotating around various areas in the hospital throughout the year to keep me refreshed. I also like the fact that I have access to so many (40? 50?) experienced pharmacists every day who are more than happy to assist you in many ways.

If you are a foreign student wanting to apply for a Tier 2 visa to start hospital pre-reg, I have written an article in the RPS pre-reg forum as a guide. You would need your RPS login from joining BPSA (for free) to access this page. (

4. Briefly describe the interview process for pre-regs in hospitals.

Depending on the trust you apply for, I went for 3 hospital interviews and they all varied in styles of questioning. Examples:

  • You You You! – Tell me about yourself (HARDEST question for me), how would your friends describe you, what skills do you have which you could apply to your pre-reg year, where do you see yourself in 5 years, why do you want to work for them, things you put down in your application form (literally know this inside out because they will be scrutinising things you wrote and question you on them hence also vital that you do not lie)
  • Pharmacy bits – NICE guidelines, what do you expect to do as a pre-reg (read GPhC Pre-reg manual), CPD, what did you learn at university which you could apply as a pre-reg, latest pharmacy news (read pjonline)

There are PLENTY of pharmacy interview tips if you care to google them. Just remember the panel do not expect you to remember precise things from the BNF or MEP. They just want to see how you present yourself in the interview, some general pharmacy knowledge and whether you tick the box in what they are looking for.

5. What is your daily routine like?

I can’t live without my diary now because I’m doing something different every day and I’ve always got goldfish memory. There is actually one routine I managed to stick to – change into pyjamas after work, shower, eat, cup of tea, TV, read Daily Mail on iPhone, sleep! (HOW SAD)

6. What are your plans for the future?

I am hoping to pass my pre-reg exam with flying colours, be employed as a Band 6 pharmacist and going down the diploma/ prescribing route. I might locum in the odd weekends and I also wouldn’t rule out going for a PhD if I find a topic of interest.

7. How is working life different from being a student?

There is certainly much more responsibility now compared to being a student when everything was just an OSCE and someone will be “pretend-harmed” if you fail a station. Eg. I have recently passed accuracy checking but I still final check my prescriptions double, triple, quadruple times before giving them out to the patients (and be paranoid later you have given it to the wrong person).

It is painfully hard to meet up with my girlfriends now that everyone’s timetable is different and dotted around the north east so my takeaway/movie nights/drinking sesh have significantly reduced.

One thing that remained the same despite having a monthly income is the ‘Poor Student’ status where I had to pay my own rent, bills, food for survival, GPhC fees, RPS membership fees, prescriptions, taxes (huge amount), pension etc.

8. What do you miss most from home?

My nationality is rather complicated. I grew up in a little town called Seria from Brunei Darussalam but I hold a Malaysian passport. Despite being a Malaysian, I’ve never lived in Malaysia nor know the lines to Negaraku which is embarrassing. The Brunei sultanate refuses to grant me permanent residency/citizenship despite my circumstances after numerous applications therefore I’m Malaysian but technically Bruneian. (I could potentially be in trouble for further political comments so I shall stop). I do speak Mandarin, Malay, English (obviously) and broken Cantonese. I don’t get homesick because I have no time to be but I’ve flown home for Chinese New Year this year to see my family having missed all festivities the past 4 years.

9. Advice for future pre-reg pharmacists/current pharmacy students in UoS?

Pay attention in lectures and seminars because you will need everything you’ve learned at work. Several times on the job I had little conversations with my head going “It’s legally correct because Sherwood said…” or “there is a drug interaction because Jess said…”. I actually had to email Paul Carter once regarding something he said in lectures about spacers for an MI query.

As boring as it sounds, try gaining work experiences in pharmacies or participating in pharmacy activities (SPSA, BPSA, LPF, RPS, Hope Winch) to stand out from the rest in application forms and be able to talk about in interviews especially if you have no pharmacy work experiences.

Do not expect to be spoon fed at the start of your pre-reg year just because you’re new, you WILL BE thrown in the deep ends from Day 1.

Most importantly…remember to partyyyyyy!

Here's stunning Minna Eii

Here’s stunning Minna Eii

Shrove Tuesday (Story behind it…)

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

Happy belated Shrove Tuesday & Happy Ash Wednesday guys!

Those of you from other parts of the world reading this may know the meaning behind Shrove a.k.a. Pancake Day, however for the rest of you who are wondering what is this all about, “shrove” comes from the word “shrive” which means “to confess”. For Christians, Shrove Tuesday is the last day before the Lent season begins and this is when we would fast or abstain from bad habits/food/meat/watching tv etc. for 40 days and 40 nights. This is according to how Jesus was being tempted when he was fasting and praying in the desert before his crucifixion  on Good Friday.

So why pancakes? Well it’s been a tradition as pancakes contain eggs which gives you protein, fat, butter etc. for energy and strength to prepare for the fasting period. Fortunately in the modern days, we’re all well-fed and without food for such a long period of time, we would die (haha) or become really unproductive with our work & all.. So instead of fasting on food, my parents would suggest to me (when I was younger) that I could fast on not procrastinating or complaining etc. (which hopefully after 40 days, I’d continue doing so). Some of my friends would stop swearing/cursing, abstain from playing video games or watching tv and what not.

Hence, this is the story behind The Pancake Day! Attached is a picture of some mouth-watering chocolatey pancakes made by my friend, Sue. 🙂


Update of the Week

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

Heeeellllooo!! I’m soo glad all of the coursework is almost done! We’ve still got our last PBL presentation to present next week and we’re off to just revising, revising and revising for our finals which is in May. Most of us have already printed out our FYPs and all ready to submit it next week! So to release some stress… I’ve been enjoying myself going out and around this whole week… Check it out!:)


Nandos meal


Nandos menu


Wonderful ELO Experience at Sunderland Empire Theatre


Friend’s birthday celebration at Revolution

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  • Name: Natasha Kam
  • Age: 23
  • Studying: Pharmacy MPharm
  • Hometown: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Ambitions: I would love to set up my own pharmaceutical company.

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