BIOMEDICAL SCIENCE GRADUATE AND A*STAR SCHOLAR HENG YUE JING is currently a Year 2 undergraduate pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Life Sciences in NUS.
Getting the scholarship
I applied for the AStar undergraduate scholarship after graduating from Temasek Polytechnic in 2013. Looking at my academic results and CCA records, I really wasn’t confident that I’ll make it through. I was neither a perfect scorer nor was I the president of a club/committee. There were many others out there who could easily outshine me. Then I thought to myself, I shouldn’t doubt my capabilities. If being a scientific researcher is what I really want to be, if being able to improve the quality of life of others is what I want to do, I will have to work hard to turn that dream into reality.
To prepare for the interview, I did some background research and found out more information about my interest in neuroscience. On the day of the interview, I arrived at the venue early and gave myself time to calm my nerves. And when it was my turn, I walked into the interview room with nothing in mind, but a heart committed to enhancing lives through science. I believe that staying confident is the key to succeed at the interview.
Studying in university is akin to watching a show on fast forward mode. This truly heightens the stress level when the pressure is on. I feel that stress is a burst of energy. It’s our body telling us what we need to do. With good stress, I’ll stay motivated and productive. From a personal perspective, I manage stress by playing the piano. It's a great stress reducer. Prioritising my responsibilities so I have a clear idea of what needs to be done also allows me to be in control and provides a great sense of accomplishment.
One of my greatest passions is helping others. I believe that by helping others, we can create a sense of abundance - we feel grateful not only for what we have, but also for what we give. Hence I decided to embark on this career path, as it allows me to contribute back to society. We can play a role in the research and development of novel diagnostics and therapeutics, and improve the quality of life not just of the patients but also the caregivers.
From ignorance to competence
In addition, I have a great passion to learn and continuously improve. I feel that the process of learning, more than the outcome, excites me. I am energised by the steady and deliberate journey from ignorance to competence. I feel that it’s through the learning process that we get to learn more about ourselves. And when things don't go as planned, I’ll try to analyse the situation and find out what went wrong. This can help me to improve and avoid the same mistakes again. I also enjoy learning from everyone I meet.
My dream is to be a Scientific Researcher specialising in neuroscience research. Neuroscience is one of the most widely supported research areas of modern bioscience. While some of the mysteries about the inner workings of the brain and the nervous system have been answered, many are also yet to be solved. I am fascinated by the complexities of neuronal organisation and function, as well as the array of neuropathologies responsible for morbidity and mortality in so many people. Hence, I’d love to embark on this journey into the human brain; I long to understand more. If there’s anything I can offer in life, it’ll be to enhance lives through science. I’d like to pursue my graduate studies in Pathobiology in Johns Hopkins.
Stand up and start moving
I believe that we hold the blueprint to become whoever we wish to be and it’s our resolve that makes it happen. Certainly, we’ll face many setbacks and fall along the way and we will stop to reflect and contemplate whether this is the path we really want to take. But I always believe that we should never fill our mind with negative doubts. Stand up and start moving again. Never let the burning passion within you die out. This is a constant reminder to myself because it can get really overwhelming at times in uni where the competition is tough. It can be a real struggle to stay ahead of the game. Nevertheless, staying focused and determined is the key to success.