Soul of Academia: “An Investment in Knowledge Pays the Best Interest”

My teaching philosophy: “Each student have their strength, and my most important job is to discover and empower that strength”. My job is to inspire my students, provide them with guidance, and lead them by example. Only then can we reach our goals.

Nurul Diyana Binti Md Khairi

Creating a concrete plan in our career development as academia can help us move forward and feel motivated to achieve the next level in our career. It is a personal action that will be used to create a roadmap for my career. Therefore, one of my plans to soar high in academia is by having an aspirational timeline that serves as the basis for constructing my vision as academia. My vision in academia is simple but hardly achieved if I did not have specific goals as the guideline. My start-up journey as new academia is by adjusting my routines and taking a step up by becoming an influential contributor to any committee or organisation that I joined. My early career development will be much focused on enhancing my technical skills by participating in research, attending courses and workshops, and promoting active learning. Through time, I will continue developing my career by exploring possibilities and expanding networking to enhance my visibility either in UTM or outside the UTM. I also aim to seek and accept higher levels of responsibility at the faculty and university level, which helps me learn to make effective decisions towards the advancement of my career. Along the process, I wanted to be renowned for my passion for teaching and research and for getting actively engaged in grants and publications.

Therefore, I need to plan for my future and set a specific timeline to accomplish things I wanted to achieve in my career. This action is necessary to ensure that I will not lose my motivation along the way and always keep me on track. As people always said, if it does not challenge you, it does not change you. As we try to soar high in academia, we need to keep our foot on the ground. To do so, I need to constantly assess myself to define my goals by periodically check, reassess, extend and modify them. Apart from that, I need to participate in my career direction and assessment actively. I also need to consistently teach myself to accept criticism and value them in a way that can help to improve myself to be better. In order to stay grounded, never judge people around you and always stay humble as what we have may not align with others expectations. Everyone has their strength and capabilities; what is essential is how to empower those strengths. Of course, even with these, challenges will always remain.

Nevertheless, keeping this in mind helps me strive toward the goal in my mission. In summary, we need to have a soul, especially for something that we hold dear to our heart, our job as academia. If we are firmly anchored on our soul of academia, we will never stop but keep seeking new opportunities to constantly make contributions and offer the best of what we had either by enhancing knowledge, strengthening skills, or improving our actions and behaviour.