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Graduated with an excellent master’s degree after a shock university failure

Attending a special school, taking the national exam for outstanding students, Nguyet Anh is 0.5 points short of graduating university. That failure eventually led me to another journey.

Nguyen Nguyet Anh, 27, graduated with an excellent master’s degree from the University of British Columbia (UBC), Canada, is currently a forestry data analyst and biodiversity conservation officer with an environmental consulting firm in Vancouver. Prior to winning the master’s scholarship, Nguyet Anh was an excellent scholar from the University of Forestry, with a GPA of 3.85/4.0.

“I never thought I would enter this journey, when nine years ago I was still sinking in despair over failing to graduate from university,” said the Hanoi girl.

Nguyet Anh was originally a Literature student at Nguyen Hue High School for the Gifted, Ha Dong. He once won the national encouragement prize for outstanding students in Literature, but was 0.5 points short of being admitted to Hanoi Pedagogical University.

“As a professional student, my academic performance has always been stable, but I failed at university. Because of that, I was very depressed, didn’t want to talk to anyone, and never raised the determination to take the exam again,” said Nguyet Anh.

Nguyet Anh is currently a forestry data analyst and biodiversity conservation officer at a company in Vancouver, Canada.  Photo: Characters provided

Nguyet Anh is currently a forestry data analyst and biodiversity conservation officer for a company in Vancouver, Canada. Photo: Characters provided

Nguyet Anh was one of the few students in Literature class that day, who failed their first wish. I limit contact with friends and teachers, fear shame and low self-esteem. Loving his son, his parents encouraged Nguyet Anh to apply for a second at the Forestry University near his home. The student enrolls in Natural Resource Management, an advanced program (taught entirely in English), a partnership between Forestry University and Colorado State University, USA. I’m not very interested and still have the intention of taking the university exams again.

After entering school, meeting professors, seniors, Nguyet Anh gradually changed his way of thinking, he realized that the field of study has many practical applications and the opportunity to win a full scholarship to study abroad. The program lasts four and a half years, starting with English terms, then having to pass a standardized examination to the major. Nguyet Anh plans a persistent study trip, not focusing on the last month/week of the semester.

My plan has many levels, broken down by period, week, even day. Nguyet Anh also uses a number of private learning tools to read and systematize knowledge. I also get into the habit of taking notes, classifying the topics studied and linking knowledge together. By maintaining the two habits above, when the exam is near, students don’t have to work hard to review and always get excellent scholarships in semesters.

Nguyet Anh also participates in running clubs and extracurricular activities, winning many scientific research awards, including the second prize for international scientific research students held in Russia. When I was in my final year I won a scholarship to do a short term internship in Canada. While studying abroad, the student has just finished her graduation thesis, under the guidance of Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Hai Hoa, Deputy Head of the Faculty of Forest and Environmental Resources Management, University of Forestry, Vietnam.

“Nguyen Anh is dynamic, intelligent, loves to explore, learns new things, especially hardworking and eager to learn. Nguyet Anh was very active in communicating with his instructors during the process of writing his graduation thesis,” said Mr. Hoa.

According to Assoc. Dr. Hoa, Nguyet Anh’s graduation thesis was highly appreciated by the board, as one of the highest performing students in the course.

Graduating in 2016, Nguyet Anh was accepted into an exchange program in the US for five weeks. The end of the journey was also when I received news that I had received a scholarship for a master’s degree in Environmental Forestry Science from UBC, the school was ranked 37th in the world and second in Canada, according to UBC’s world university rankings. . THAT.

Nguyet Anh shared that the biggest difficulty when studying abroad is environmental and cultural differences. At first, overwhelmed by being surrounded by so many good people, Nguyet Anh had an awkward mood and didn’t dare to speak.

During his studies, when he was invited by his classmates to participate in faculty activities, at first Nguyet Anh tried to refuse but eventually overcomes feelings of inferiority. Interested in photography, he volunteered to be the information coordinator, event organizer and new student propaganda. After that day, Nguyet Anh gradually became more confident.

“In a competitive environment, consisting of many highly capable people, if I want to ‘survive’ I have to take care of my mental health first. I changed my mind, don’t compare myself too much and always have an open mind. Respecting differences is my secret to adapting,” said Nguyet Anh.

When I get over myself, everything comes to me more smoothly. I made lots of friends, worked hard to interact, ask questions with professors and build relationships with friends, school and society.

Nguyet Anh (red shirt) and fellow intern won a full scholarship from Mitacs Canada for a three-month research internship at the University of British Columbia in 2016. Photo: Provided by Character

Nguyet Anh (red shirt) and intern won a full scholarship from Mitacs Canada for a three-month research internship at the University of British Columbia in 2016. Photo: Characters provided

A former student at the Forestry University said that studying for a master’s degree was a self-study process. Students have to study on their own, read a lot of documents, learn new skills and suggest research directions, then the professor will guide and give advice.

Associate Professor Bianca Eskelson, UBC School of Forest Resource Management, was Nguyet Anh’s guide during her 2016 summer internship. After the student returned to Canada to study for her master’s degree, she and her colleague, Associate Professor Mike Meitner, led me. Eskelson impresses Vietnamese international students in their desire to learn and is not afraid to broaden their horizons. Under his direction, Nguyet Anh researched the topic of invasive plants in urban spaces.

Nguyet Anh’s thesis was completed after more than a year, with an excellent rating (Honours Desgination) – a level awarded to only 10% of graduate students annually at UBC Forestry. My research work has also been nominated for an excellent thesis award in the faculty round.

“He has successfully published two international articles in peer reviewed journals. It shows the great effort of Nguyet Anh during his studies,” Associate Professor Eskelson said. VnExpress.

After graduating with a master’s degree, Nguyet Anh became a research assistant to Associate Professor Eskelson before finding permanent employment in Canada.

“Nguyen Anh is a person who has a plan and always completes assignments on time,” said Ms. Eskelson.

Nguyet Anh calls the last nine years a journey of self-discovery. I thought Van was my passion, but it wasn’t the right choice for me. Failing at university was a turning point, helping Nguyet Anh learn from failure and heal himself.

“I love the quote: ‘When you feel like everything is going wrong, maybe it’s time to start on the right path. If you’ve tried your best but still don’t succeed, then that choice isn’t right for you. get to where no one else can,” the 27-year-old master shared.

Nguyet Anh has not yet decided to study for a doctorate but wants to work to experience life and expand his skills. I share new knowledge and special methods with my brothers, sisters, teachers and friends in the forest industry in Vietnam. Apart from working in a company, I also write a blog (Moon in Loonie Land) about learning experiences, support and orientation for young people to choose a career.

“I think, whether working in Vietnam or Canada, creating value and making a positive contribution to the community and society is always the most important thing,” said Nguyet Anh.


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