Keynote speech by Dr. Bui Tran Phuong, Hoa sen President, at the 1st Commencement ceremony of 2013
Ladies and gentlemen, men and women of Hoa Sen University,
First of all, Congratulations to you, who this event is dedicated to!
I know you worked hard and today your hard work pays off. In a few moments, your name will be called upon, you will come to the stage under the spotlight, be applauded by your friends and your parents. You will feel very proud of yourself and you deserve it. And I am very glad to know that moment will be experienced by more than 400 men and women of Hoa Sen. Especially, 75 students will graduate with merit and 1 with distinction and they are standing here with us today. And for them, I’d like the rest of us to give a big applause.
Dear men and women of Hoa Sen University,
Starting from today, you will officially join other 12,000 Hoa Sen alumni. The world opens its door to you and shows you different paths. And this year university statistics shows that for every one hundred of you standing here, 62 people already found jobs and will start working tomorrow. And among those lucky people, some can earn as high as over 15 million VND for their salary.
And I have a message for you, my fellow citizens.
I understand you have worked very hard and you have successfully proved that you are capable. For some of you, success may come more easily than others. But please do not take as granted and nor ever stop improving yourself and preparing yourself for daring tasks. For every second you slow down, someone out there has one second to get closer to you. And I do not refer only to people in Vietnam. In December 2015, the ASEAN common market will dissolve all territorial borderlines. Do you understand what it means? You will have to compete to keep your job or to have high salary against college graduates from Thailand, Singapore, Burma, and Malaysia. So ask yourself this question: Do you have the needed quality?
But there is something more important than your quality. It’s your attitude and value. I do not think success can be sustained by sabotaging other people’s careers or treating interns as slaves. I believe success can only achieved and sustained via cooperation and respect. Maybe some of you understood what I meant. So my message is treating people with respect for who they are, not how they look, and certainly not what their gender, sexual orientation, or background is. Only by treating other people right can you have their cooperation for your own success.
For those of you here who are still struggling to find a job, or to find a better job, I also have a message for you.
While you are not as lucky as those who already found what they want, your opportunities are still waiting for you. Our economy continues to struggle and there is no indication of when this hardship is over. Hoang Sa is still under control of China. New flu virus strains are more likely to threaten our human race’s survival. All of those conditions affect us at one point in time or another. So it is normal that you are affected by that condition. I believe that everyone has unique strength and advantages waiting to be unveiled. You will have to re-examine what you need to do to uncover them. You will have to raise your job skills and improve your English or French language. You will learn new skills or adapt to a new environment if it is necessary. Do not ever think that your present condition is permanent and give up hope and aspiration to succeed. Individuals who think so will end up being permanent losers and soon replaced by other hard working and forward thinking ones.
To those who want to pursue further studies, I hope you will not let other factors affect your decision to continue your studies. You may have difficulties from your family, from the Ministry of Education and Training, or from your current temporary situation. I expect those difficulties will not stop you from pursuing your dream as long as you have the right motive for it.
Dear men and women of Hoa Sen University!
After today, the world will open its door and present to you a thousand choices. We all pick wrong choices from time to time but our ability to correct and learn from mistakes distinguishes winners from losers. If you pick a wrong choice for any reason, do not think that the world is over for you. However, there are choices that you should never pick. Stay away from drugs, not even think of trying them as they only make you more likely to pick other wrong choices.
After today, your parents will depend on you, and the future of this country will depend on you. I am not expecting you to work selflessly for the country or for the poor, I am asking you to remember to work hard, to improve yourself, to take a good care of your parents, and to help your country fellowmen when possible.
After today, you will join millions of people out there to have your own life. You will experience different life colors and you will add your own color to life. I do hope that you will bring a warm and bright color to life through your spirit, value, and especially your love of and respect for life. I hope that you will not let the your craving for exotic things lead to unnecessary killing of an animal or cutting a tree.
As you walk out of the door at the end of this theater, I hope that you will continue to hold the spirit of Hoa Sen alive and membership of Hoa Sen University in many years to come.
Dear men and women of Hoa Sen University!
On behalf of the university’s academics and staff, I would like to salute you for your success and wish you the best on your journey of life.