RMIT Vietnam graduates Nguyen Thuc Hien and Nguyen Vinh Bao were presented with the university’s prestigious President’s Award at the 2015 graduation ceremony.
Outstanding Bachelor of Business (Marketing) graduate Nguyen Thuc Hien graduated with distinction at a Saigon South campus ceremony, with impressive achievements in national and international challenges alongside her studies.
Bachelor of Commerce graduate Nguyen Vinh Bao from the Hanoi City campus also graduated with distinction, having represented RMIT Vietnam at several international youth leadership symposiums during his time at the university.
Presenting the awards, RMIT Vietnam President, Professor Gael McDonald, said the graduates exemplified high academic achievement, social responsibility and service to the university community.
“These two students have not only flown high in their studies, indicated by their positions of president and vice president of in the university’s Golden Key Society, but have shown leadership and extended their personal skills far beyond expectation,” she said.
Hien rebounded during her university years from the setback of withdrawing from university studies for financial reasons; she left university for seven months and took on teaching a charity class and studying English on her own.
Eventually back in school, she won a scholarship; determined to make the most of her opportunities, she was in the winning team for the 2014 RMIT Business Plan Competition against Melbourne RMIT teams. She then competed in other national and international academic and business challenges, including the gruelling Maybank Challenge.
“I was regional finalist in the Hult Prize, the HSBC Competition and most recently, national champion and global finalist of Maybank GO. Ahead Challenge,” Hien said.
“Before RMIT I never went out of the country but those competitions and student programs gave me the chance to go to Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Australia and Dubai.
“And like every other RMIT student, I also wanted to give back to RMIT and society so I volunteered in student clubs and different student programs inside and outside RMIT.”
Nguyen Vinh Bao participated in the Fifth University Scholars Leadership Symposium in Cambodia and recently was chosen to go to the University Scholars Leadership Symposium in Hong Kong.
There he met prominent global change-makers and other young international leaders of his age – and learnt more about humanitarian issues around the world.
Bao said: “From that experience I have been motivated a lot to better myself day after day and contribute more to my community.”
He said his favourite quotation is: Whether you think you can, or you think you can't - you're right, from Henry Ford.
“Instead of thinking you cannot, let's be ready to embrace challenges every day because hidden opportunity can be found in the most unexpected situation, not by luck but through persistence and preparation,” Bao told students at the graduation ceremony.
Hien and Bao both thanked RMIT Vietnam staff for their support during their university years: “Thank you for so unselfishly sharing your time, talent and knowledge with us. Yes, we know it was your job to do it, but what you did for us went beyond the call of duty,” Bao said.
Hien’s advice to graduating students was to “remember we don’t have to know everything, we just have to do it, seize the opportunities and never stop moving forward.”