Alumnus Voices

Alumnus Voices

Fia Noviyanti

Fia Noviyanti
Doctoral Program in Life Science Innovation,
Food Innovation Course, Graduated in 2020
Master's Program in Life Science Innovation,
Food Innovation Course, Graduated in 2017

Current Position: Fixed-term Researcher
National Agriculture and Food Research Organization

-Why did you choose the T-LSI program?
I always wanted to attend higher education in Japan because I know that Japan is very famous for its advanced knowledge and technology. Japanese universities are also really well known for their excellent education systems and high-quality research. I was planning to obtain a master’s degree when one of the professors from the T-LSI Program came to my university and introduced their newly established program. At that time, I directly fell in love with the program since it has a mission to build outstanding human resources to improve human quality of life and offers global environment. Besides, the location of the campus is very strategic. Tsukuba city is a science city that located around 50 kilometers away from Tokyo. The living expenses here is not as high compared to Tokyo, but we can easily reach Tokyo in less than one hour by train.

-What did you learn in the T-LSI program?
T-LSI Program offers chances for students to engage in research at academic research institute and companies. In my case, I performed my experiments at the national research institute. There I received so many opportunities to learned about microbiology techniques and interacted with the experts. I was also joining collaborative research with food companies, university professors, and researchers. I gained more research experiences and knowledge, also expand my networking. Besides doing research, I also attended classes from T-LSI Program delivered by excellent scientists and top-ranked professors from Japan and abroad. In T-LSI Program, I was not only learned about my field of specialization, but also attended courses and learned about other specializations based on my interests. I feel that the understanding of cross-sectoral specializations is really useful to build critical thinking skills as well as to gain the ability to analyze and solve problems using different perspectives. Being a graduate student from master to Ph.D. has taught me a lot to challenge myself in doing many things efficiently at the same time.

-Your memories in the T-LSI program.
I was one of the first students when T-LSI Program opened in 2015. The professors and staff kindly welcomed and supported me to adapt to the new environment. Everyone helped me without being asked, and I can say that I felt like being surrounded by family when I was far from home. Attending higher education in a diverse environment was an amazing experience for me. I was not only learned about the courses and perform experiments in the lab but also about other student's cultures and experiences. When I graduated from the master's program, the T-LSI Program chose me as a student representative. At that time, I had a chance to receive my diploma directly from the university's president. Surprisingly, I got selected again when I graduated from the doctorate program. It was a humbling experience and an honor to be chosen as a representative twice.

-How are the experiences in TLSI program used in your current job?
During my master's and doctorate studies, I did my experimental works at the Food Hygiene Laboratory, National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO). There I learned how to evaluate and control the growth of pathogenic bacteria as well as spoilage microorganisms in foods, developed new methods that can accurately estimate bacterial concentration in food products, and constructed mathematical models to predict bacterial behavior. I was unfamiliar with those techniques in the beginning since I studied agricultural technology in Indonesia. However, my supervisor fully supported and guided me from zero until I gained more knowledge in that field. Then, I received an opportunity to continue my research after I graduated from the doctorate program, and now I'm working as a fixed-term researcher in the same laboratory. The experiences that I received when I was attending classes in the T-LSI Program also helps me to build better communication skills, develop critical analysis skills, broaden my perspectives, and develop other valuable transferrable skills that are useful for my current position.

-Messages for the present students of T-LSI program.
Being a master’s student is way different from an undergraduate student and being a doctorate student also way different from a master’s student. Sometimes we might feel that our study life is super hard and challenging. Even though we are part of a supportive laboratory, we might still feel that difference during our transition. Sometimes, we find it easy to get lost during our work or study, get stressed, and losing motivation. At that time, I think it is okay to ask for help when you need it. Talk to your supervisor and especially to your friends because they can help you through your difficult times. It is super important to build our support systems and maintain the relationship for each other’s growth. In my opinion, it is also important to make time for the things we enjoy during holidays, release the tension, and grab back the motivation to study and do the research at the lab. I believe that every after our energy has recharged, we will become stronger. Go back again to that exciting and challenging work, achieve our aims, and get that amazing transformational experience. If you face hardship such as paper rejection or unsuccessful experimental trials, do not give up, it is a part of our learning and growing process. Keep on moving and keep on trying! You should embrace this process. Someday you will recognize that we are growing from the lessons we learn and the experiences we have. The things that truly matter are how we see things and how we shaped our minds during the time in university.

-Messages for the future students of T-LSI program.
With a purpose to develop excellent human resources, the T-LSI Program is a perfect program to help shape your future and make your dreams come true. By joining this program, you will feel significant personal and professional development. Here you will gain research, communication, critical thinking/problem solving, management, leadership, collaboration/teamwork, and many other essential transferable skills that important to engage in a global research world. Those skills are also necessary to work effectively in diverse working environments. The T-LSI faculty members are outstanding, not just great teachers and advisors, they are also respected scholars in their field of expertise. Here the students are required to be active in expressing opinions, asking questions, and sharing valuable discussions during classes and laboratory seminars. This kind of activity is one of the best ways to shape the skills I mentioned earlier and is a great learning experience that you can have. If you are interested in pursuing a master’s or doctorate degree, do not hesitate to contact T-LSI Program any time!

Munkhzul GANBOLD

Munkhzul GANBOLD
Doctoral Program in Life Science Innovation,
Drug Discovery course, Graduated in 2019

Current Position: Post-Doctoral Researcher
National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST)

Tsukuba Life Science Innovation doctoral program was a great experience for me. T-LSI is the program allowing foreign students to pursue their study easily without language barrier because the program is entirely in English while integrating to the society and discovering special customs of the country smoothly. Wide range of courses from up-to-date innovative life science fields offer students a liberty of choice in any field they want to be specialized in. Being able to work together and exchange idea with international students; listen to internationally recognized professors, researchers and experts sharing their great experiences; interact directly with them was an enriching collaboration which I consider as the uniqueness of this program.

Speaking of the city, Tsukuba, is the tranquil place ideal to concentrate on studies although the busiest metropolitan area of Tokyo is just neighboring. Architecture of the city combined at a time the vast green spaces and freshness with the whole city built up for the advancement of science creating a hub of research institutions and global pharmaceuticals.

Throughout the program you will be given the opportunity to visit these national research institutes, food and pharmaceutical companies, talk with their specialists, see their facilities and laboratories etc. which would not have been possible without powerful network of collaborators participating in the program. If you are fascinated by multidisciplinary research, international and dynamic environment, here is the place to come and join.