"I am utterly grateful for everything that I have learnt and seen during my Chevening journey, which has proved to be invaluable for my life. My Chevening journey is a mysterious book in which I could uncover through my lens daily. I thoroughly immersed myself in the vast abundance of wildlife and huge castles in Cardiff and surrounding areas in Wales, England, Northern Ireland and Scotland. I see myself growing and changing for the better every day to take advantage of all the resources that the UK has offered me."
Hi, I am Minh, a Chevening- Global Wales scholar 2021/2022. I am currently studying MSc Project Management in Cardiff Metropolitan University, Wales, the UK. Time flies so fast and I feel like it was yesterday when I left Vietnam. When I left Vietnam, it was during the peak of the pandemic when everything was uncertain, and I was not sure that I could make it to the final destination. Luckily, everything went well, and I have had such an enjoyable experience since then. Thanks to the Chevening- Global Wales scholarship, I have a chance to make what I have written on my application and interview gradually become a reality.
The courses I have chosen were not too different from what I had expected initially. It was those theoretical and practical courses that helped me discover the foundation to advance in project management in different industries deeper. In every module, I got the chance to join small seminars where only 8-12 students sat together with a professor to discuss different case studies by applying the theory from the expo and individual experiences and then have academic debate. I still remember in my very first seminars when I was very shy to talk. However, with the encouragement from my professor, I could speak out what I thought because the project cannot operate if the project managers and team members are constantly keeping silent.
From that point, I was more confident to be involved more in seminars and gain so many skills and develop my critical thinking in academic debate for project management topics. Currently, I am on my final project where I need to choose a topic to work on. With the experience and knowledge gained from two semesters of coursework, I am confident to work on the impact of stakeholders’ perspectives in project management. With two and half years working with different Dutch and Vietnamese stakeholders in NGO projects, I have seen major influences from our projects, not to mention failure. Therefore, this is a good chance for me to have more academic and professional research on this topic.
Besides my academics, I have a chance to work part-time for the Quality Enhancement department from my university where I gained more practical experiences on small projects running around my university during the years. I got the chance to develop data analysis skills with some professors and the skills to read and put those data on the proper report to propose for new teaching courses in my university. Also, working there gives me a chance to meet new International and local students within the team to learn about their working style and exchange our culture together with the joy of working every day.
It was always the fighting in myself about work and play balance within a year here. Sometimes I encountered stress in completing my assignments and felt home sick. I was getting lost trying to find where I should be at the end of my Master’s. I am thankful for these moments which help and push me to grow more and more during this wonderful journey in Wales, the UK. I learnt how to balance between work and life by joining volunteer activities where I got chances to pick small dust around Cardiff areas with a new friend talking during the way. I learnt how to open myself to enjoy more natural parks and castles around my living instead of staying the whole day in my room.
Moreover, with the Chevening community, I have so many great moments with Vietnamese Cheveners. We always gather at the weekend to travel, cook, and talk about our experiences here. Because of that, sometimes I felt like I was not living far from home, but here it turns to my home whenever I do realize.
Studying in Wales is one of the best decisions I have ever made. I had a chance to live slowly and engage more with natural and local culture here. It is not hard to find the Welsh old lady women on the street where I can start an hour's talk with her in the park. Wales has helped me to find my ever-lasting inner peace somewhere away from the hustle and bustle of metropolis before. I am thankful for what I have had and met during a year here. I feel I am in the middle of nature and in the heart of a peaceful city at Cardiff Metropolitan University, which has brought me a lot of life-long friends and incredible experiences & opportunities. Choosing to study and live here is my recommendation for those who are still considering where to go. Being a Chevening-Global Wales scholar is one of the craziest dreams I could ever think of, and it has come true. I value and appreciate what I have had and experienced. I am looking to bring back my knowledge and skills to Vietnam to continue my next journey.