"My name is NGUYEN VAN AN, born on Dec 29th, 1985 as the unique son in a teachers' family - both of my parents are primary school teachers. I'm going to get the Master of Science of Robotic in Sungkyungkwan University (SKKU), Korea this June.
Although, in those early days my family was not rich, I always got at least one new encyclopaedia book every week. These books built up my love for science, nature and animals. During my childhood, under my own effort and also the instruction of my parents, I got the National Mathematics Prize at the age of ten. As a result, I was directly accepted to study in the gifted Mathematics class in Colette secondary school, a famous school sponsored by French Consul in Ho Chi Minh City. After that, every each year I won the Mathematics Prize continuously. However, little by little I recognized the real meaning of a pupil called "fighting chicken" - who just studies in his gifted subjects the whole day to keep winning the prizes while losing opportunities to become well-grounded due to skipping other classes, and neglecting the practice of social skills .
However, little by little I recognized the real meaning of one pupil called "fighting chicken" - who just study in his gifted subjects whole day for keeping winning the prizes and lose his balance by skip out not only the other lectures, but also the normal social skills.
By just concentrating on several subjects, I was easily admitted into the two most famous high schools of South Vietnam at the same time. The first one was the Gifted High School in Mathematics, Chemistry, and Computer fields, and the second one was the most favoured in South Vietnam: Le Hong Phong High School ranking 12th over thousands of examinees . Anyways, I easily made up my mind to study in a non-specialised class at Le Hong Phong High School because my real target was Ho Chi Minh University of Polytechnic (HCMUT) to fulfil my loving for technique, not prestigious prizes . Moreover, trying to get rid of the image of a "fight chicken", I determined to have a balanced social life and enjoy my youth . Generally speaking, I spent more time for myself than my study in high school. Therefore, to remain a high GPA, I started planning my strategy to get the highest scores with the smallest time of studying. And this habit quickly became one of my strongest points .
Like other eighteen years olds who hardly have a clear idea when choosing their majors or "their career trends", I found it difficult to envision myself as an electrical or mechanical or computer engineer in the future. Hence, to avoid the later risks, I chose Mechatronics to have more open options in the future. Five years later, I completed my BSc in Mechatronics at the 5th position of the "Excellent Engineer Training Program" - a cooperated education programme by the French and Vietnamese governments - "Programme de Formation d'Ingénieurs d'Excellence au Vietnam - PFIEV". This program selects the eighty most excellent freshmen in HMUT based on university entrance grades every year, and the aim of it is not to train the normal excellent engineers, but the excellent manager-engineer ones with twenty one subjects in the hardest semester. Consequently, during five years in PFIEV, the best achievement I got was the opportunity to study with most of the greatest professions from all of different departments included School of Industrial Management. Their short but condensed and practical lectures were not only about the knowledge but also about their own valuable experiences and creative viewpoints. My interest in economics became greater and greater after their classes.
In summary, I gained five wonderful things from PFIEV. Four of them are (i) multi-discipline knowledge, (ii) the ability of self-study, (iii) the aptitude of analyzing and modelling and (iv) a capacity of thinking critically. And the most important thing of all is the spirit of being willing to change. In addition, as the president of many excellent classmates, I developed myself many leadership skills such as communication, arrangement, negotiation as well as teamwork. With that basic background, I could rapidly adapt and perform very well in my researching works at SKKU.
If I have to judge myself, I think that: "Except having a habit of well planning and a spirit of being willing to change, I'm as normal as the others." "