Top graduate of RMIT Class of 2024 found success through perseverance

Top graduate of RMIT Class of 2024 found success through perseverance

The university journey of fresh RMIT graduate Ngo Viet Luong is one marked by resilience and a growth mindset.

Winning the highly coveted RMIT Vice-Chancellor’s Award, an honour presented to only two students of each graduating class for their academic excellence and community contributions...

Being offered a full-time job as a Project Management Officer at Vietnam’s leading automotive company VinFast before having officially graduated...

Those achievements had seemed far-fetched to Ngo Viet Luong when he first started university over three years ago.

Ngo Viet Luong receives award on stage Ngo Viet Luong is the Vice-Chancellor’s Award winner from RMIT University’s class of 2024, Hanoi campus. (Photo: RMIT)

The freshly minted Bachelor of Business (Logistics and Supply Chain Management) graduate revealed that throughout his time in primary, middle and high school, he was mostly regarded by his classmates and teachers as a student with a mild learning disability.

“I’d like to compare myself to a sea turtle – slow but extremely resilient and consistent,” Luong said.

“I’ve never been fast in my work – it usually takes me longer to finish a task compared to my friends. However, I can maintain consistent quality in my work, and I never give up in the face of challenges.”

Growing up in a small town near Hanoi with limited educational resources, Luong’s path to RMIT University was fuelled by a relentless pursuit of knowledge.

This relentlessness led to academic accolades, including the RMIT Academic Achievement Scholarship for Current Students and a GPA of 3.6/4.0. He was one of ten Vietnamese representatives in the highly selective McKinsey Consulting Fellowship Program in 2023, and interned for Big4 company PwC’s Operations Consulting division.

Beyond academic and industry experience, Luong’s engagement with the student community around him was deep and impactful. He was a Program Tutor for more than two years, helping fellow students improve their academic performance, and participated in various initiatives for students.

He is, however, most proud of his role as the Founder and President of the RMIT Innovation & Entrepreneurship Club (IEC).

IEC group photo in front of VinFast gate A notable achievement under Luong’s presidency of the RMIT Innovation & Entrepreneurship Club was organising a visit to the VinFast factory in Hai Phong, making RMIT the first university to set foot in the factory. (Photo: RMIT Innovation & Entrepreneurship Club)

The birth of IEC came from what Luong considered one of his life's lowest points. In April 2023, he and his team faced a significant setback in a nationwide student competition. They had dedicated months to it with a single-minded focus, yet their efforts did not bear the fruit they had hoped for.

“In the days that followed, I began each morning with a profound sense of loss, burying my face in my pillow, mourning for the time and efforts that seemed wasted,” Luong recalled.

“But a pivotal thought struck me – I couldn't let sadness define my life. I mustered all the resilience and motivation I had left and set my sights on a long-held goal: to establish a dedicated club for entrepreneurial-minded students at RMIT.”

Luong explained that despite the evident passion and ambition for startups and entrepreneurship among students, no club back then specifically catered to those interests. Identifying this gap, as he too was seeking such a community, he was motivated to establish IEC.

He found establishing IEC challenging but immensely fulfilling. It involved assembling a trustworthy team of friends, dreaming up ambitious plans, engaging in passionate yet respectful debates to refine those plans, and learning to multitask in ways he never had before.

“With IEC, we have made significant contributions to the RMIT student body and the broader community. I am eternally proud of the club. It’s a testament to how resilience and determination can turn failure into a foundation for success,” he said.

Group photo of IEC members and K Hospital patients and their families Luong and IEC members on a visit to K Hospital, a specialised institution for cancer treatment. The club contributed in-kind gifts worth VND20 million to 50 families, benefitting 150 individuals. (Photo: RMIT Innovation & Entrepreneurship Club)

For Luong, graduation is not an end, but the start of his journey towards entrepreneurial success and global impact.

“My university journey has been a truly transformative experience. It is a narrative of a boy who arrived with curiosity and now leaves as a man with knowledge, skills, and a deep sense of responsibility towards the University and society,” he said.

His ambition is to set up a company of his own that can make a positive impact on people’s lives, however big or small.

“I believe everyone has a mission in life. For me, the mission that I've identified for myself is to make people's lives better, easier, and more convenient.

“The past three years have helped me cultivate resilience, adaptability, and a network of diverse perspectives. With these foundations, I feel equipped to embrace the unknown and make meaningful contributions to the world,” Luong said.

Story: Ngoc Hoang

Meet Ngo Viet Luong - Vice-Chancellor's Award winner, RMIT Class of 2024

  • Graduation

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