Nga Nguyen '12 (Vietnam)
My name is Nga Nguyen and I am a second year student of MESPOM (2010-2012)
I really don’t know how to answer "where are you from" type of question since my fragmented academic career took me on five continents in eight years and by now I should have a case of identity crisis (just kidding). I graduated with a bachelor in applied Mathematics and I just started a graduate certificate in Geographic Information System before joining MESPOM. The reason I chose MESPOM was the interdisciplinary nature of the program, one that can bridge my different interests in sciences, management and policy (as the name literally suggests). I also chose MESPOM because of the distinguished professors and universities in the consortium. However, the moment I joined MESPOM, I forgot about all of these calculations and the journey I had so far was beyond magical. Not only that I was in an elite group of accomplished students, I was also part of a family whose strong bond will last for many years to come.
At the beginning MESPOM gave me a very strong foundation in a strict interdisciplinary setting. The diversity of the subject and the various backgrounds of the students made the education experience very interesting and long lasting.
After the core subjects, I was allowed to select my favourite topics but my interest was not constrained to the courses offered at the institutions. I was encouraged to explored and MESPOM gave me the opportunity to take PhD level course at Norwegian School of Economics on spatial data analysis using open source programming. The potentials from a MESPOM education is limitless when I was selected for an internship at the UN. Even though my internship met many hardships (mainly healthy problems arising from a Greek sea urchin that required surgery :p) I am yet again created another amazing network of friends and professions at the UN.
One of MESPOM's proud consortium partners is the University of Manchester, the one that I chose to attend. And only after being here that I realized the proud name of a 200-year-old institution, I was chosen to attend a conference in Abu Dhabi. The conference was a platform on which students from top 100 world universities were invited to have an equal discourse with world thinkers like Eric Maskin, Finn Kydland. International conferences as well as internships are just the launch pad for your career should you choose to use your MESPOM time wisely.
On the same note with education, I would like to share with current MESPOMers or prospective student this document called Incomplete Manifesto for Growth by Bruce Mau design starting in 1998.
MESPOM teachings dictate that it would have been more correct if the title was Manifesto for development since growth is limited and quantitative when development is boundless and qualitative, but the main message should be the same. I would also like to add number 44:
Procrastinate meaningfully: when you have too much stress, too many tasks at hand and don't know where to start, get off that Facebook, write a note to yourself or share your ideas that benefit others.
I sincerely hope that my note today (stems from assignments overloading) motivates future applicants to MESPOM and current students on believing in your right decision of choosing MESPOM and keep on taking MESPOM name further.