When I started writing this personal statement is also the time when I could hold back and take some time to think about myself and all of my memories and values hitherto. The truth is it's never simple to define "Who am I?" in just hundreds of words; and trying to do so is very shallow and immature. Nevertheless, the question "What do I want to do?" might seem a bit easier for me to answer because it has always been lying in the corner of my mind.
I often look at my elderly parents, thinking of how they had struggled to earn money to support our family, especially at difficult times. Life was never easy for us because it used to be really hard for my father to find a stable job. Any way, they never complaint a word, and it even makes me sadder, sometimes like broken heart when I can notice fatigue in their eyes. When I decided to study finance in the National Economics University, I thought about them, and dreamt of finding a good job with high salary.
Subsequently, getting deeper in the world of finance, I became to comprehend the importance of an effective financial system to the economy and how it can possibly influence every family in the country. Then I realize that with proper uses of financial knowledge, I can not only benefit myself and my family, but also serve for the well-being of other people and the society.
As I have been actively participating in plenty of Youth Union activities in recent years, I spent most of my time with numerous younger students with different feelings, motivations and desires; but the apparent similarity among them is that they really aspire to contribute their power and intelligence to the construction of our country. Everyday, I listen to them and everyday, I try to find out a way to help. I also often thought about my future for the next five years, and the next ten years. I wondered what I would become and what I really need to do.
Then some ideas flashed into my mind. "Maybe an organization providing a little money, inspiration and knowledge for the youth" is what I need. In my dreams, I dreamt of a strong, independent and influential endowment fund for Vietnamese universities, like that of Harvard University. At first I would need some extra sponsors, and attract students to join in, then when my fund becomes larger and more efficient, it can be running on it own. Running such an organization would both earn money for myself, and, above all, benefit other students.
However, it wouldn't be straightforward. More complex demand would appear and require me of in-depth knowledge and expertise to solve. I asked myself "How could I deal with all of these obstacles only with the things I have been supplied at my university?"
Going to the US will open the whole new horizon for me as the US has the best education system in the world. Such opportunity will not only support me with applicable practices, to which I cannot approach in Vietnam, but also expose me to an international environment so that I will simultaneously be able to learn about various cultures and make many new friends, thus widening both my knowledge and networks. Therefore, studying in the US would be an ideal condition for me to achieve my plan.
When I first read about the UGRAD program last year, I knew that this is the opportunity of the lifetime to realize everything I have ever wanted. Would I capture it, or just let it slip? The answer seems too obvious for me.
When I look at those famous people in the world of finance, like Warren Buffett or Benjamin Graham, and see how inspirational they are to the world young generations, I always feel I need to do more. I am confident that with all precious knowledge gained from the UGRAD program, I can devote myself more effectively in the future and make my dreams come true.
Hanoi, October 20, 2011