On November 27, four students were chosen as Fulbright representatives at AmCham’s Bridging the Employment Demand – Supply Gap in the 21st Century event. Us freshmen who rarely receive such a chance to stand in front of important guests were all somewhat nervous, rehearsing the speeches under our breath.
But Professor Ryan – Chief of Academic Officer and Vincent remained calm, cheerfully telling us to just step on the stage and be what Fulbright has always wanted us to be – ourselves.
11:00 AM sharp. The show was on. Our first impression of the luxurious hall was a moment of realization: how much the university trusted us on presenting the entire body of students to AmCham. Ms Dam Bich Thuy – Fulbright president always proudly presented students to the guests and encouraged us to freely answer their questions.
Participants were not only entrepreneurs, employers… but also caring parents who were AmCham members, attending to learn more about Fulbright as a future option for their children. Everyone was curious as to what is the Co-Design Year, how did students absorb and apply knowledge at Fulbright…
All were anticipated what could four freshmen possibly say about a start-up university, in front of many potential investors?
After Mr Ryan’s introduction on Fulbright educational method and chances of employment for students comes the part where Co-Designers provide everyone with a lively, detailed view on the dream our university pursues.
From Hoai Minh’s heartfelt story on her personal growth at Fulbright – from a tediously perfect, straight-A high schooler to the very first college days of struggle and confusion, later on became attached and committed to this unique, reckless journey of co-designing.
Quoc Chi – former student at Foreign Trade university shared about classes where professor started with asking “How do you want to perform today?”, field-trips, active engagement in teamwork and yoga sessions. These experiences were exotic compared to a traditional Vietnamese lecture.
Or Than Thien’s acknowledgement: “Fulbright students are full of entrepreneurial ideas”. Starting from a simple wish of bringing joy to faculty and students on Halloween night, the members of Event Hub have successfully built an Escape Room right inside campus.
Skipping her own speech, Ms Dam Bich Thuy yielded the stage for us to independently answer questions from companies and parents, without any script. The casual but intimate conversation take everyone quickly from being ambiguous to excited about what Fulbright has done so dả, as well as having faith in the university future.
They put emphasis on the fact that Fulbright is always student-centered, and were very generous with compliments and valuable advice for us. Investors also concerned whether the chance of admission to Fulbright was opened to all, or only limited to students in urban centres.
The answer is Yes!, our diversity is clearly shown in the students’ backgrounds. Some were born and raised in HCM city, but others varied from coastal towns in Central Vietnam, to further North mountainous provinces.
This is thanks to the university need-based financial aid, as well as handsome supports from investors.
After the event, we all realized how much hopes and trust Vietnamese society had for us. This is by no means a burden, but rather a motivation for us to keep thriving for the core values of Fulbright University.