BÀI LUẬN KINH ĐIỂN CHINH PHỤC NHIỀU TRƯỜNG IVY
BÀI LUẬN KINH ĐIỂN CHINH PHỤC NHIỀU TRƯỜNG IVY-LEAGUE VÀ CÁC TRƯỜNG LUẬT HOA KỲ CỦA MỘT CẬU HỌC TRÒ NGHÈO XUẤT SẮC
Tôi may mắn được hướng dẫn cho cậu học trò này, một người gần gũi và như bản sao của chính mình, đỗ vào nhiều trường đại học danh giá nhất nước Mỹ. Bài luận này cũng là nguồn cảm hứng cho nhiều thế hệ học trò tiếp theo của tôi, trong đó có một em đã bước vào Đại Học Luật Harvard, Đại Học Cornell, Đại Học Chicago, Fordham, Michigan Ann Arbor, Boston University và nhiều trường khác nữa cũng với cung cách kể chuyện và nói lên khát vọng của mình và quyết tâm vượt lên hoàn cảnh khó khăn của xã hội đương thời, của gia đình và bản thân để vươn lên đỉnh cao văn minh và trí tuệ.
Hôm nay tôi chia sẻ lại mong góp chút cảm hứng và động lực cho các thế hệ học sinh Việt Nam kế tiếp.
Chúc các em một mùa apply học bổng thành công tốt đẹp.
I was born and grew up at a time when the Vietnamese people were at the crossroad of advancing forwards with “doimoi” policies or lagging behind with xenophobic thoughts. As the Soviet Block collapsed and the cold war thawed, my father – a war veteran – told me “My son, the Russian dominance is over. It is high time for you to learn English.” Encouraged by my dad, I cycled nearly 20 km from my commune to Hanoi every week to learn English with a burning aspiration to escape from the vicious cycle of chronic poverty and ignorance pervasive in a war-ravaged country.
The year ________ marked a turning point in my life. I was admitted to _________________________. Here I majored in English and hoped for so much from a university education. However, to my disappointment, my teachers offered me bookish knowledge from textbooks designed in the 1970s. I was shocked on my very first day in the English class. The teacher played a dilapidated cassette and the students listened passively, without comprehension. From then on, I decided to learn in my own way. I listened to VOA and read the Times and the Economist whereas rather than following strictly what my teachers preached. At that time, I hoped one day to become a teacher and be in a position to change the prevailing teaching methods in creative ways. In my mind, an old saying rang true “where there is a will, there is a way”.
In _________, my dream of becoming a university teacher came true when the Dean of American and Anglo Language and Culture Faculty where I had studied offered me a post in the translating and interpreting division. At the start of my teaching career, I faced many challenges both in terms of academic knowledge and the established education system that was strongly resistant to new ideas. As a victim of conventional, old-fashioned and rigid methodologies, I did not want to see my students undergo the same experience. I wanted them to unlock their creativity through self-study under the guidance of their teachers. In all academic exchange seminars, I boldly stated that teachers nowadays should offer the “how” rather than the “what” to students and that students, be they academically strong or weak, should be stimulated to explore the world of knowledge. I proposed to the Dean that English training should not be confined to a passively artificial linguistic setting but opened to an authentic linguistic environment. I pioneered this by bringing my students to international conferences to which I was invited as a simultaneous interpreter. Though I was criticized for my unusual teaching methods, I stayed the course and in fact, my proposal effected a real shift in students’ attitudes towards English not just a means of communication but also as a door to a world of knowledge. Apart from teaching and doing researches, I also participated in youth union activities and soon I was elected to be the president of youth union of my faculty. In this position, I influenced my students by appealing to them in extracurricular events. Every semester, I organized English speaking contests which captured the enthusiastic interest of students everywhere. I also mobilized students to join me in carrying out volunteering trips to mountainous areas to help the disadvantaged and ethnic minorities. In retrospect, I realize that these activities have also had an impact on the development of my own character and that my interest in helping others was born of these experiences.
However, my personal ambition outweighed my dedication to this very challenging but, in a sense, tranquil career path. I took a bold decision to change. After considering a number of options, I decided on the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, a decision that has opened a new chapter in my occupational life.
In early _________, after being placed first out of over 100 candidates, I was hired by the __________________ to a position in ____________________. With a strong and burning will fueled with an inherent curiosity for knowledge, I was able to adapt quickly to my new working milieu. I am in charge of handling relations with the United States of America, the International Labor Organization (ILO), World Trade Organization (WTO), Asian Development Bank (ADB) and World Bank (WB) and have been exposed to numerous issues that I had only read about as a lecturer back at university. They include human rights, human trafficking, industrial relations, industrial action (strikes and lock-outs), international labor legislation, social security and people with disabilities. In fact, I feel that my daily work affords me a unique opportunity to follow, and contribute to key developments in my country. For example, my growing familiarity with industrial relations in Viet Nam has enabled me to contribute to the work of an internal task force on strikes at which I was able to suggest that strikes could never be solved if the Government intervened too much; and that collective bargaining at enterprise level was key to settling strikes.
Currently I am also involved in aspects of Vietnam’s negotiations with WTO members on terms and conditions for accession and have contributed to the preparation of in-depth briefings for the negotiating delegations and to answering questions from Working Party members on Mode 4 (Movement of Natural Person in GATS). I was also the only officer in the Ministry selected by the WTO Secretariat to attend in a training course on negotiating skills held in Thailand in January _________.
In view of my growing familiarity with the labor field, I have been assigned to participate in three important projects: Social Insurance Legislation Development funded by World Bank as an assistant to the law drafting team; Industrial Relations funded by the US Department of Labor and executed in cooperation with the ILO as member of the national steering committee; and Employment for People with Disabilities also funded by the US Department of Labor as a member of the National Coordinating Council on People with Disabilities (NCCD). By involving in these projects, I have had a chance to contribute to the work of my Ministry in a very practical way. For example, I have proposed to the drafting team on social insurance law that the retirement age should not be raised abruptly from 55 for women and 60 for men to 60 and 65; and that a gradual increase in the retirement age should be appropriate for Vietnam like in many other countries which experienced the same stage of development. I have also advised leaders of my Ministry on the establishment of an Advisory Council on Employment for People with Disabilities. All my proposals have been appreciated and I feel that my active involvement in these projects has greatly expanded my knowledge of the labor field.
As a special interpreter for Her Excellency the Minister of Labor, I have traveled to many parts of the world and have been able to acquire a wider understanding of labor and social issues as they affect other countries. In May __________, in Mongolia, I had the honor to speak on behalf of Vietnam on forced labor issues at ILO Asia Pacific Conference entitled “A Global Alliance on Eliminating Forced Labor.” These opportunities to learn about other labor and employment systems have been a decisive factor in my decision to seek further education to strengthen my knowledge of this field.
On the advice of my supervisor, – a former Fulbright scholar – I have also begun to expand my knowledge base and analytical capacity through research and further study. I was happy to join with him in writing a research paper on Movement of Natural Persons In which I suggested that the movement of natural persons occurs in the service market rather than in labor markets. I am also a member of the Taskforce which is researching Forced or Compulsory labor in Vietnam – a comparative analysis of Vietnamese Legislation and ILO Conventions. In late __________, I was admitted to the Law School of Hanoi and I feel that this academic legal environment has helped me capture a panorama of the Vietnamese legal system and realize a big gap in legislative capacity of Vietnamese law makers.
My professional achievements over the past four years have enabled me to be appreciated among my leaders and colleagues. In particular, I have been recognized by my Ministry as a man of considerable potential and ability who is training himself to become a future leader. However, I still feel that I could do more towards acquiring the skills and knowledge that would permit me to contribute more effectively to the work of my Ministry and the development of my country and believe that a Masters Degree in Public Policy at a university in the U.S would help me achieve this ambition. I do hope to be offered a chance to realize my prospective career.